NAI met in St Paul MN this week. Fermata exhibited earlier in the meeting. Ted held a workshop on the Tao of Interpretation on Saturday, the last day of the workshop. In fact, Ted presented one of the last sessions on the last day.
Needless to say, the crowd had thinned considerably. Those in attendance, however, were enthusiastic participants. This is a new presentation, and the crowd tolerated a few rough bumps. For example, the NAI inexplicably did not arrange for internet in the presentation rooms. Imagine giving a presentation on new media without access to the internet. In any case, the group that attended seemed unbothered by the glitches.
For the past several years Fermata has been a supporter of NAI, the National Association for Interpretation. Ted met Lisa Brochu, NAI’s Associate Director, while in Texas. Yet over the years our involvement has been limited to participating in national events and the like.
Last year, however, Ted became interested in NAI’s certification process. There are only a few certification programs in our field available internationally, and NAI’s is the only one that focuses on interpretation. Given the importance of interpretation to our work, Ted decided to participate in NAI’s program and to become certified himself. As with so much that we do, unless we have actually done the work ourselves it is hard to recommend a program to our clients.
Ted attended a National Association for Interpretation (NAI) certification seminar in Porterville, California, this past week. Porterville is one of the gateways to the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Seven teams worked on interpretive plans for the Monument during the week, and presented their work on Friday (the last day of the session). On the team with Ted were Marianne Emmendorfer of the US Forest Service in California and Joe Lomicky with Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. This session, on interpretive planning, is the final certification seminar in a series for Ted (at least for the foreseeable future).
On Monday several of the groups sped from Porterville to the Forest to see the nearest grove of sequoias. These trees are among the largest and oldest living organisms on earth, with the oldest reaching an age of 3000 years. Words cannot describe how humbled one feels when first standing at the base of one of these giants.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler—Albert Einstein
The third principle of the Culture of Conservation is to keep the message simple. Effective marketing is little more than simple messages and images repeated endlessly. Remember the earlier quote that 93% of American children can recognize McDonalds by the golden arches? I wonder what the percentage is now for the Japanese?
McDonalds sponsoring the Osaka sumo basho
Simple messages and images rise above the cacophony that is modern life. Simplicity and volume (both amplitude and amount) help messages battle through the noise. Doubt this? According to the Associated Press, BP’s been spending more than $5 million a week on advertising since the blowout. Remember BPs original simple message? Beyond Petroleum.