I’ll always remember my friend Jessica’s 9th birthday. Her Mum had planned a treasure-hunt extravaganza. Not just clues, but clues on authentic looking scrolls with burnt edges. We had a REAL pirate map she’d handmade which looked like it had come straight from Johnny Depp’s hands. There were parrots hidden cunningly in the trees. And finally, after solving all the challenging, rhyming riddles, we had to actually dig up the treasure with a spade from under the X-marked spot!
Jessica’s Mum understood that you can put on a kid’s birthday with lollies and musical chairs, or you can be an experience-creator.
This applies to more than just kid’s parties.
Last week we had friends around for dinner. On the menu was Thai Fish Curry. Instead of setting the table with forks, spoons, and knives, Seb suggested we use some mussel shells he’d found on the beach. We told our guests we were eating ‘traditional Thai’ style tonight, and it was shells-only cutlery! They loved it. And when they talk about the dinner, what they’ll remember won’t be the food, but how we ate it. A new experience.
The act of experience-creating brings fun, romance, and sparkle into situations. A few months ago I had booked a night away for Seb and I in a hobbit-style earth house built under a hill. (amazing!) The place was only a 20 minute drive from where we live, but I wanted it to be an experience – not just the stay, but also the getting there part. So I made a series of clues and tasks that lead us to the hobbit-house, with fave goodies packed in a chilly-bag for when we arrived. The suspense and the fun of the trip made the night away a much more memorable experience than just saying, ‘We’re going away for the night – here’s where the place is and all the details about it are in this brochure.’
It takes some imagination, some planning, and a sense of child-like playfulness to really get into creating experiences for people, but once you start – you’ll get hooked. Presents become more inventive and personal, dinner parties might be themed, dress-up, or in unique locations, and holidays will have an element of surprise!
Think about what sort of experiences you’d like to create for the people you love. Have some fun. Give new things a try.
Be an Experience-Creator