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Designing resort experiences that beg to be shared.

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One of the most interesting takeaways from NSAA National this year was from a session from the guy behind Human Movement (the event company POWDR acquired).

When discussing how they designed what became some of their biggest successes, their response was (my words from imperfect notes, not their word-for-word quote:

“We simply asked ourselves what would be worthy of becoming someone’s Facebook profile picture?”

It’s easier to poke fun at the narcissism in our society, but if we fail to accept this as reality instead of a quirky exception to human behavior, we’re missing the motivating force behind a massive amount of human behavior.

The Spectrum
As we design experiences that are just begging to be shared, I think it’s important to remember that this is a specrum.

On the far side is the Tough Mudder. Massive events with obstacles are fire and water and other things that are intended to make your life extremely uncomfortable for an hour or so.

But on the simpler side is this:

This is a sculpture. But it’s also a fun, rideable feature for cyclists and quite possibly the coolest end point for a hike with small children.

When we hiked it last year, we took lots of pictures. When my wife hiked it again with some friends, they took even more. It turns out, when just about anyone rides or hikes it, they can’t help but snag (and share) a quick photo.

14.50 miles of today at #powdermountain #paperairplanetrail #brimtail with @d_blanch such pretty country!

A post shared by brittblanch (@brittblanch) on

Like pirate ship park, these novel elements of a resort experience are begging to be shared.

It’s an interesting mental exercise to think not about what could sell or what could drive skier visits, but what people would want to share the instant they saw it.

Nail that and you’ve got a product with built-in marketing. Just like Powder Mountain.

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