"I like to think
that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the
particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland,
and be part of a flower or something like that... I like to think that
nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like
they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say
something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see
you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or
understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all -
that all things end happy." ―
Lynn Anderson, Tiger Lily
Whether all things end happy or not, we tend to
spin a life of fiction that gives us the safety to explore the unconscious
experience of life free from the tensions that govern our social trappings.
As a kid growing up, some of my happy "go
to" companions were the characters shaped by Lewis Carroll and J. M Barrie. They
offered me the freedom of fantasy in a world that anything was possible. A world
where I got to design and re-design my own dreams in a space that was not bound
by time because, frankly time simply did not exist. You see, Einstein's Theory
of Relativity is after all, not that complicated. "Just think of happy things,
and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”
As this is true for me, this is also true for you. Perhaps you had stumbled upon
a reality of a different kind. You went on a trip to the desert planet of
Tatooine. There, you fought against the Tusken Raiders and Krayt dragons. You
helped the Jawas build fortresses and and learned from them the the survival
skills of the arid climate. Or, perhaps, you were special advisor to Queen
Amidala, on a mission to find a peaceful end to a large-scale inter planetary
trade dispute. Whatever it was, I have no doubt that
each of us have our place carved out in our own "Neverland."
So What? What is the Point to all this?
If I have managed to hold your attention this
far, I believe you are getting to formulate the dots that I am about to connect
here. So, stay with me and let's see how this magic plays out. Ah!!! Magic. That
is why we do what we do. Isn't it?
which thinks...that it has outlived the need for magic, is either mistaken in
that opinion, or else it is a dying society, perishing for lack of interest in
its own maintenance." R.G. Collingworth (qtd. In
THE NEED FOR MAGIC AND FANTASY IN YOUR EXHIBIT
In our digital world of diminishing attention
span and decreasing sensitivity to emotional cues a trip to the Neverland might
be the answer to get over this cultural anxiety that we face in our strive to
connect with people.
By creating an environment, unlike our own, fantasy fosters an opportunity that
cannot be found outside your exhibiting space. Just as Wendy's stories lead
Peter to her window and they enter into the world filled with fairy dust,
mermaids and crawling pirates – your exhibit design can be a fantastic vehicle
for presenting your products and services in a brand new light. Because, fantasy
offers you and your audience to escape the confines of everyday reality and look
back on the world, free from the rules and assumptions that drives the usual
business environment. Perhaps in your exhibiting space the attendees enter the
Neverland with “astonishing splashes of color here and there, and coral reefs
and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes
who are mostly tailors.” All these forces stirs the imagination, and not only
inspires the desire to get to know your brand better, but enriches the
previously established desire because a subconscious connection is made to the
fantasy of the childhood years. This is true for the attendees and for the booth
In preparing for this article, I was reading Tolkein's essay, "On
Fairy Stories." He elaborates that Fantasy creates a renewed sense of wonder
in the real world. He says, “We should look at green again, and be startled anew
(but not blinded) by blue and yellow and red." Our sub-conscious is a playground
of symbolic and imaginary structures vying for dominance. It is in a state of
highly "structured chaos. It is claimed, that by presenting that which is
unexpected, it sure violates the real world logic but falls within the laws of
fantastic reality and hence alters our reality with a sense of rejuvenation,
wonder and familiarity.
Just as Neverland is not an active thriving world without Peter Pan, likewise
your brand cannot and does not achieve memorability with out the underlying
imagination of the one who perceives it. In an age when attention is the primary
currency, your brand is the bridge between the Real/Symbolic World and the
Imaginary. Attending trade shows and events provides you with that opportunity.
It gives you and your audience to exist in the gap created by these two realms
and for a moment or two the concept of something beyond the arbitrary nature of
reality can be reality itself. a reality, where your brand achieves
consequential significance in the minds of your audience.
Creating Fantastical experience is specially true
when you are competing with the digital buyers and internet sellers.
Ample research shows that we make our decisions "emotionally (and, to
varying degrees, unconsciously), and then let our rational processes justify
that decision with facts." Taking advantage of your venue, you are activating
the experiential sequence of the right brain function thus gaining attention and
interest. Now, all you have to do is back up with facts and figures. Now, you
have won their trust.