I was recently in Jacksonville for our annual sales meeting. One of the highlights of that meeting was when our guest presenter, Amahl Hazelton, director of communications for Destinations at Moment Factory, shared a plethora of interactive AV experiences they developed around specific public spaces.
Now, I have heard the term “place-based entertainment” many times in my career, with the idea being that through the use of creative technology and space, you turn the “place” into a true “destination.” So even though I was familiar with the concept, Amahl actually introduced me to a new term describing the design and realization of these spaces.
If you want to see some amazing examples of some placemaking, feel free to look at the sizzle reels on Moment Factory’s site as they are very well done.
Placemaking really extends beyond traditional AV, however, as it not only requires an understanding of technology, it also requires some insight into human psychology and behavior and why they visit the public spaces they do. It also requires a unique understanding of urban planning and architecture as well as the historical context of the space at hand and how that can be leveraged to create a destination.
When I was on the integration side, anytime I was able to speak to someone about a lobby project, a visitors’ center, an interactive tour, etc., I always talked to the potential client about creating a true destination.
I define a destination as an experience so compelling that you’d travel to see it, even if you weren’t interested in the company, product, service or subject matter.
For instance, I go out of my way to walk into the SalesForce lobby just to see their amazing large format content, even though I really have no other business at SalesForce. In this case, their lobby goes from something you had to walk through to accomplish your goal elsewhere in the building, to the lobby visit becoming the actual goal itself. It becomes the destination. This is really a subset of placemaking called creative placemaking.
Creative placemaking is just one more way that AV companies can focus on experience and leverage their technical expertise to partner with content creators and architects to create amazing destinations.
Many integrators already have the right connections inside their government and corporate accounts. Many times there may be separate decision makers for these spaces as well. Integrators may have to leave the IT department and walk down the hall to marketing or the C-Suite as well. Either way, integrators today have amazing opportunities to expand their services beyond operations centers and huddle, conference and boardrooms and out into the public spaces as well to leverage a new focus on experiences and create true destinations.
Now it’s just time to capitalize on them.