Thursday, July 13, 2023

The Most Important Exhibit Development Question

What's the most important question to ask when you are starting to develop an exhibit or exhibition?

I'd say the most important question is, "WHO CARES?"

You may think the topic or content related to your exhibition is interesting, but will your audience?

To find out, you need to drill down into the WHO part of different kinds of Who Cares? questions.  

WHO are the people that come to your museum already?

WHO would you like to come to this new exhibition?  (Not necessarily the same answer as the previous question ...)

WHO might feel excluded (or even offended) by this topic?

WHO would be so excited by your exhibition that they would want to bring their family or friends back to see it?

The thing about finding the answers to WHO CARES? questions is that you need to speak with potential visitors about their ideas and feelings before you set too many design wheels into motion.  

And perhaps the most important variation of the WHO CARES? questions start internally.  If you and your project team can't generate sincere enthusiasm for the ideas in the exhibition under development, why in the world do you think your visitors will be interested in what you create? 

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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