Wow, I did not expect that!
These are the words that speak to the heart of creating experiences that exceed the expectation of an attender. Usually when we think about creating a wow moment, our minds drift to Cirque du Soleil, Disney, or the Ritz Carlton. But the truth is, most of us have budgets that more in line with a C-grade traveling circus, Chuck E. Cheese, and Holiday Inn Express.
I wonder what could happen if we changed our perspective of wow. You see; the truth is that wow is not about big budgets or hyper theatrics. Sure, both of those could create wow. But the reality is, wow experiences are what happen when we exceed the expectations of someone who is engaging our ministry.
If you think about that, it makes creating a wow moment much more tangible. And what if, instead of creating one major wow moment, we created multiple wows each weekend?
What if our parking lots were managed so well that every guest said, “Wow, these people care about me?”
What if our greeters were so happy to see people when they walked in that guests felt like family from day one? That would be a wow.
As we check in kids, what if every classroom was inviting, every step in the process was easy, and there was a host who walked our guest through each moment of a very tense situation and helped relieved the tension of that moment? Wow!
Then our hosts made our experiences inviting, our songs and our teams delivered their best efforts, our messages spoke to the needs of our community…
And even more, what if we were just as intentional about the exit of our experiences, that last 90 seconds before people leave the room and how they get to their vehicles that they were so wowed that they couldn’t help but come back next week.
And finally, what if our communication to these guests throughout the week was so beyond their expectations that they couldn’t help but think wow?
So what experiences can you transform from average to amazing? There are things that are in your control and are ready to be improved so that you can make people think, “Wow, this is awesome!”
What do you want the outcome of each of those moments to be? If you don’t define the win, and clarify what wow would feel like for someone, you will never be able to actually achieve that goal.
And before we can improve we should start by asking, “What does the average attendee, guest, or user expect?” Once we can answer this question, we can enhance every aspect of their day.
The last question that we should focus on is what impact does not enhance this experience we create? Can we afford to not focus on wow moments? And if we fail, is the failure worth the pay off if we succeed?
At the end of the day, creating wow experiences is a lot like the rest of the creative world: focused on expectation management. If you want to make the most irresistible experiences in the world, change your lens. Focus more on how you can beat expectations every single week. As you do this and work like crazy to create wow everywhere, one Sunday you will look up on the stage and see the equivalent of the Ritz. Step by step, week by week… Wow, that will be awesome.