What My Museum and Exhibition Weekend Taught Me

I had a pretty packed weekend going off to the aviation museum and also going to the auto show this weekend. As someone who is looking for the hood retailing solution by creating next generation showroom displays with exhibits and mobile technology interacting with each other, I saw a lot of things going out to take away and apply to the hustle, including Shop Wall Star. Aviation Museum The aviation museum I believe is funded by the US Department of Defense and have aircraft exhibits on display. As a kid, I would love going to the museum on my free time and browse through exhibits as the Natural Museum of History in Chicago. So each exhibit is either a full scale aircraft or a replica or scaled model of the aircraft. In other cases, there were diorama of events and you would see a video screen explaining the event or see text explaining the event also. Here is what happened at the aviation museum: The Exhibits are Static. The exhibits are pretty much there and it took people interaction make them interesting. Hearing an associate point out something, seeing someone tell a story or fact about the exhibit or an interactive question or answer or accompanying video or multimedia. What this tells me and you that we need to do more than make QR code shopping displays – we need to make them interactive for people to talk to each other about or point out features. Mobile Phone Battery Used Up. I was taking pictures and pictures with my mobile phone and what happened is my mobile phone battery basically was very low and I needed the phone available to make a phone call. What I realize is no matter how smart our phones are, they only have a limited batter life. So we cannot realistically have this utopia where cats are running around doing mobile commerce with limited batter life. And it takes more than a minute to recharge a mobile phone battery and we cannot charge everybody phone at the same time. Auto Show I then went to the auto show here in Atlanta and to be honest, I’m in the new market for a car. But I wasn’t impressed at all with any of the cars they had at the show. But here is the thing that trips me out about the auto show and why Jaguar, Maserati, Mercedes weren’t at the show – it’s always some whack fronting cats hanging around like they were doing at the Audi section. Cats who can’t drive one home the main one sitting in the car and won’t get out and let others check it out. Here is what I noticed at the auto show: Inactive High-Tech Interactive Displays. I saw a lot of LCD screens showing videos and also saw a lot of kiosks where you can use the touchscreen and iPad kiosk setup and no one was using them! I tried to play with some but to be frank, I was bored and walked away. The truth is the content on these digital signage and the interactive feature sucked and was boring. If we going to incorporate these elements, they need to be more engaging to video game quality of interaction and feature sketches instead of “technical specs” videos which is boring. Chicks with Tablets. Then you see a lot of cute girls with tablets gathering information from people and that is probably very effective. What happened is as soon as I filled out a form with a tablet chick, I got an email reply which is good. That means when people fill out information on a tablet, that data is processed almost immediately on the server and get things in motion. That’s better than filling out paper forms that has to be checked by another person later. Lessons Learned I want you guys to see this video over in India and their auto show. I want you to see how engaged the users are and the crowds they are attracting. Please watch the whole video to see where I'm going: Going to the museum and the auto show opened my eyes to implementing Shop Wall Star and QR codes. What I’m learning is we cannot just slap QR codes or NFC tags on posters and expect people to start shopping with their phone. I think having actual people involved in showing how to use the QR shopping wall is very important, even videos are definitely necessary. And we have to step our game up to better interactivity with computer vision special effects to enhance the enxperience. Overall, here are my takeaways: Need Stand-Alone Payment Devices. We cannot rely on mobile phones too much for the solution as they have shorter battery life when using features like digital cameras and NFC. If I had my real camera with me, I could have taken pictures all day long. With that said, we probably going to have to accept that plastic cards will continue to dominate the market if we cannot create a better mobile payment solution with a longer battery life. This is why the Kindle is still selling because of the long battery life. Create Better Interactive Content. At the auto show, the video on the flat panel screens really sucked and was boring. And the tablets and touchscreen tabletops were very lame and lazy in design. In fact, I was highly upset and scared that what I was trying to do would not work using their stuff. But I realize it is important to focus on standing out when doing something new. Look at Augmented Technology. I realized that the exhibits in the museums were boring because I’m used to experimenting with augmented technology we are working on where we are in a location and see things pop-up on our mobile phone. I think something like this is necessary to get people better engaged with exhibits, especially in the pop-up stores. Overall, I realize that we cannot play around when it comes to exhibition displays and QR code shop walls. So expect the launch of Shop Wall Star to be a lot punchier and edgier as a result. Next article, I will discuss the Shop Wall Star beta launch and how we are engaging the people. Building static diorama and stand-alone QR code walls is definitely not going to take us far and I will be keeping that in mind.