First Moments – What’s The Experience of Arriving in YOUR Office?


At the Cirque du Soleil performance of KA in Las Vegas, the show begins before you even arrive at your seat.

Taking your ticket are ushers dressed like characters in the show or as my friend thought, “Like the Ohh-lee-ohh characters in The Wizard of Oz.”
Sort of. But the point is this. The music was mysterious. The lighting was dark and magical. The ushers were “characters” in full warrior attire. Wow.

The EXPERIENCE had begun. These individuals did not greet us as the typical usher tends to with that reprimanding tone of “Let me see your tickets” or “Are you together?”  wagging a
flashlight and with a puckered, annoyed expression blurting out, “Follow me.”

Unfortunately, the experience of arriving at most people’s offices isn’t far from this. In fact, there’s a pretty standard FIRST moment.  A woman (sorry, but it often is) sitting behind a desk blocking you. When you arrive, she puts down the phone from chatting with her friend, looks up, and says with a tone that’s just a bit inconvenienced, “May I help you?”

Hmmm. Sound familiar?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You bet. Easy to point the finger, though. So…what’s the experience of someone arriving in your office? What’s the first moment? Do you have cheeseball fluorescent lighting? Plastic plants with dust covered leaves? A bowl of hard candy? Boring magazines on an old boring coffee table? Marshmallow chairs and a sofa with a stain? AND…a receptionist who doesn’t really “receive” but who in fact acts like a mosquito?

What’s the first thing your receptionist says when someone comes through the door? Is it a welcoming phrase or an inquisition? What does she offer your “guest”? How are people made
to feel welcome? What’s the “set” like? The scenic design? The staging? The sound design? The lighting? What cool props are on the table?

How can you create such a wonderful first moment, such a great experience that when someone arrives they nod, smile and look around in wonder thinking, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

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