In my experience – all experiences (especially production-oriented ones) stand upon Five Pillars. These pillars are the foundation on which all events must be designed. If the foundation is partially constructed, left out or brushed over – it stands no chance of reaching the level of greatness to which we all strive. Creating an experience of any kind, is always a reflection of you/your company and is intended to produce a specific result. Even if you are lucky enough to be hiring an event planner to make an experience happen, it is still your job to make sure that each pillar is given the proper attention.

The Five Pillars are Vision, Frame, Flow, Planning and Control.

I give an overview below and will dive into more detail on each in individual entries to follow. Why? Firstly, because I want to give you all of the information that I can express in this medium and if I did that, right here and now – this entry would be the length of a short novel! In the entries that follow I will also give you exercises and challenges to test your skills and awareness of each pillar, so that you can begin putting them into practice. I have never found it useful to simply read a bunch of theory-ish mumbo jumbo: It usually ends up with an “Oh cool. I have no idea how to do that.” That is not the goal! So here we go. Your experience of experience is about to begin…


VISION : Pretty simple. What is your vision for this experience? What do you want it to feel like? Look like? Sound like? What should be the first thought that enters your audience/customer’s head in the very first moment? Getting to this type of vision is best achieved through the use of metaphor (which we will cover in the very next blog!)

FRAME : The space (frame) you set for an experience, must create a sense of inevitable action. This is not just about what you see, but in what location and in what order you see it. Giving just enough information to keep people interested, while allowing for an unfolding moment to moment. Your audience is both engaged and excited about what might happen next. There is a very important difference between surprise/anticipation and worry/confusion – don’t be fooled!

FLOW : First off, an experience must have a very intentional flow to it; no dead moments, no awkward transitions, no obvious resets or pauses. The “flow experience” has the potential to make life more rich, intense and meaningful. You may be saying “WHOA really?!?” and/or “Yeah, right” – but a truly extraordinary experience has the ability to achieve magic. This process of flow is one of the most important elements in creating that magic.

PLANNING : So much more goes into the planning an extraordinary experience than what is commonly included in our general perception. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Logistics, details, supplies
  • Playing detective with your “run-of-show”
  • Anticipating every possible hiccup
  • Moving pieces – Solving the Puzzle
  • Big picture/Little Picture
  • Staff & Volunteer Tracks

CONTROL : Military Precision!

  • People – Crowds, Management & Tasks
  • Emotions – Flow, Frame, Attention “Grab their attention. Hold it. Direct it. Do not let them look away.”
  • Information – Organizing information and the way in which people receive it [both before and during the event – both staff and guests]         “People cannot read your mind. If you want them to do something, it needs to be clear, understandable, SPECIFIC and delivered at the right time.”

There you have it. All Five. It is fully anticipated that right now you have no idea how to weave these pillars together to create a cohesive action plan. Not to worry, the information forthcoming will help smooth out the rough edges and make you an experience master. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will answer them!




Superior, Awesome, Amazing, Extreme Happiness

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