The Herman Trend Alert
May 17, 2017
Recently, when Joyce was in Amsterdam, she met Jasha van der Wel, a brilliant young woman who makes a living enhancing experiences within small and large-scale events.
A psychologist by training
"Life is all about experiencing", began van der Wel, whose background includes training as a developmental psychologist. During her time at the University of Amsterdam, she specialized in the influence of humor on the immune system, but her passion was (and is) the connection between body and mind and between the inner- and outer-worlds.
Types of festivals van der Wel works with
She especially likes to work with events like Burning Man in the United States which has as two of its principles radical self-expression and radical self-reliance, where attendees are expected to contribute. Her clients have included Mysteryland NL, USA, and Chile, TEDx Amsterdam, and the Boom Festival Portugal.
Her process for enhancing experiences
Van der Wel starts by looking at who is the client and what they want to achieve? Then, what is the client's brand and which of the 38 touchpoints, small and large uses will be most effective in enhancing the participant's experience, while reinforcing the client's brand. The touchpoint could be somethings as small as a coaster to go under a coffee cup or as large as a mural-size installation of moving wallpaper.
A feast for the senses
Enhancing experiences involves all the senses. That enhancement could include hiding interesting mindbenders throughout the area, e.g., a poem placed on the back of the toilet door. Scents also play an important role. Working with an "Aroma Jockey", she may use the scent of food or mint to energize or orange or lavender to relax. The scents are dispersed using big fans or dry ice with essential oils and small fans. Aromas work on the primal system.
Visual projectionists, creative chefs, and poetry pushers
Depending on the client, van der Wel might use visual projections or recorded images projected to create a visual trip, using a lot of color created by video artist Spinsekt. Often, she will include some enhancement before entering, perhaps a harp player in the parking lot or something to engage attendees, while they are waiting in line. Poetry pushers might be engaged to create verse onsite or coach attendees to write their own. And of course, innovative chefs design unusual food and cocktails, that also might be changed with natural food colorings.
On a mission
Van der Wel's attitude: "May all beings be happy." She believes that, "Consciousness needs experience to expand".
Employers will hire consultants like Jasha to enhance experiences for their employees; different from the HR professionals focusing on experience, these folks will look at adding scents, music, and visuals to employee environments. It would not surprise me, if Facebook, Apple, or Google already has such folks they are working with.
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