Creative All Round
Every year Massey University throws its doors open to prospective students (and their parents) to come and take a look at what University life at Massey might hold. There are introductory seminars, tours of the various departments, exhibitions of current student work, tours of student accommodation and free ice-cream!
In particular the College of Creative Arts is popular on Open Day - this comprises of the design, arts and fashion parts of the Wellington campus. They have one small difficulty to overcome. One half of the CoCA is in the old Weltec buildings and the other half is in the Old Museum site. This means that there is a 3 or 4 minute walk between sites, through the Wellington high School carpark. The CoCA folk were looking for a creative way to help people navigate between the two sites and they came to us.
So, along with Jonathon Price, I donned the white shirt, shorts and bow tie ensemble pictured above and, armed with a high viz flag, we proceeded to act as guides between the sites. This involved a mixture of leading little walking buses, pointing people in the right direction and answering questions not just about Massey but Wellington in general. Over the course of the afternoon we answered questions about the location of Government House, how to find the best bars in Courtenay Place and what the weather in summer was like amongst all the regular Open Day related questions. We helped to keep the journey alive between sites as well by giving bogus tours, referring to random bits and pieces along the way as if they were pieces of groundbreaking design and generally raising as many laughs as we could along the way.
I think we even managed an ice-cream in the middle of it all.
What this job did highlight was the value that good way-finding can bring to an event. By making the way-finiding entertaining through character work we not only added value but also entertainment and helped reinforce the creativity of the campus. We can do similar things for other conferences and events where things may be a little spread out. A bit of human interaction and a laugh alongside sound directions really helps make things run smoothly.