Ben Eady - March 31, 2022 - 2 min read
“Quit playing around!”, “This is not a playground!”, “I haven’t got time to play around!” Let’s face it: as businesses we don’t seem to have too much time for play.
Play might not seem obvious for boosting KPIs and ROI – but getting serious about the value of play could be the secret to elevating your audience’s experience and connecting with hearts and minds.
We in the creative space know that play stimulates problem-solving, unleashes the imagination, and fuels innovation. Walk into any creative studio and there’s a good chance music will be blasting, and some staff will be working hard at improving their table tennis backhand.
Einstein said: “Play is the highest form of research”, and he was someone who knew a fair bit about innovation! Play relieves stress, improves brain function, stimulates the mind, boosts creativity, and improves relationships. In short: play makes you work better.
Play’s not just about fun, it’s a big pipe engagement conduit for communicating content to the audience, keeping them motivated, excited, captivated and most importantly, awake.
Example – in a recent show activation, we had the audience get playful, recording random noises, we then took this eclectic collection of sounds and set our music producer to work on them. Thankfully they weren’t all fart-sounds, and the outcome was a very cool electro music track. It didn’t end there, the entire creative and music engineering process was used as an analogy to demonstrate important show-specific communication objectives. This resulted in a hug uplift in audience attention and recall, plus the show gained a bespoke theme track.
The ultimate lesson: when planning a show, start with a playful mindset, be brave, avoid stereotypes and comfort zones. If the show development is stimulating, enjoyable and challenging for yourself, this will likely translate into an experience that’s meaningful, engaging and fun for the audience too.
Your audience are humans first, businesspeople second. Make the experience less work, more play and you’ll increase the impact and generate a whole lot more cool-factor.
Image reference – “The Pool” by Jen Lewin, who specialises in art installations that embrace play, captivating the audience to make them part of the artwork and elevating the experience for all.