You are "experience architect", can you explain your job?
I see it as an opportunity to blend both the science of things with how you experience it. I´ve always liked the idea of an architect - how they use a blueprint to build something. They start with a firm foundation and build up from there. We can relate in the meetings and events industry - there are a lot of things we do that are repeatable, but the experiences we build can help us break out of that repetition.
Should this be a specific job, as opposed to being integrated it in the team´s responsibilities?
Everyone should be an experience architect, and build exceptional experiences. We can help them get there through specific methodologies. I see my job as a catalyst to help people achieve that "ah-ha" moment and understand that they can create great experiences by applying a few principles.
What are the key dimensions of a positive, engaging experience?
A rich guest experience is made of four realms - entertainment, education, aesthetic and escapist values. If we can help people laugh, learn, give them the sense that this meeting or event is going somewhere and that they have a sense of being, then we´ve created a truly valuable experience.
Examples of actions to take (or avoid)?
The most obvious thing to avoid is being boring. One of the ways is introduce novelty and surprise. We can do that by creating curiosity in the brain and creating a gap in the brain so that it doesn´t know what to expect. If it doesn´t know what to expect, then it will stay active to try to figure it out.
Educational psychologist Kathie Nunley wrote about the hierarchy of engagement and explains that there are four things that trigger action in the brain: physical need, self-made choice, novelty and hearing your name. These are things to keep in mind in meetings and events.
What learnings from other sciences do you apply?
We work with The Maritz Institute, which brings the latest in human science insights to Maritz Travel Company through a network of neuroscientists, academics, business leaders, pioneering clients and Maritz people, the Institute is bringing a science-based approach to the design of next generation business practices.