Ep. 235 — Using Brain Science to Craft Immersive Tours

On this episode of Tourpreneur, we explore the art of creating an immersive experience. Paul Zak, author of ‘Immersion’, shares insights on the neuroscience of immersion, and how we can use storytelling, staging, and surprise to craft memorable experiences for our guests. He also discusses the right balance between pushing people out of their comfort zone and creating bonding experiences and gives some great examples of immersive experiences.

This episode covers:

  • Using stories to create a personal experience for the audience
  • A five-step approach to creating an immersive experience
  • How to balance the experience by offering both acceleration and slowing down
  • Breaking the experience down into smaller chunks and incorporating participatory activities to keep people engaged.
  • Why pushing people beyond their comfort zone is necessary to create a shared moment among participants

The takeaway here is you want to push people so that they’re a little beyond their comfort zone. So you’re opening them up to actually experiencing something new. Otherwise they’re going to revert back to what they’re comfortable with.

About Paul Zak

Paul J. Zak is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and is ranked in the top 0.3% of most cited scientists with over 180 published papers and more than 19,000 citations to his research. Zak’s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rainforest of Papua New Guinea.  Along the way he helped start a number of interdisciplinary fields including neuroeconomics, neuromanagement, and neuromarketing.  He has written three general audience books and is a regular TED speaker.

His latest book, Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and Source of Happiness (2022), identifies the neurologic basis for extraordinary experiences and uses 50,000 brain measurements to show readers how to create high-impact marketing, entertainment, training, customer experiences, and employee experiences.  The book shows that extraordinary experiences drive up customer lifetime value and provide the neurologic foundation for increased individual happiness.