Do you want your audience to come back? Leave them hanging

Last Sunday I tuned HBO for the season finale of “Game of Thrones”. For you that are not familiar with the series everything happens in a fantasy medieval age with a story full of Kings, Lords, knights, and queens trying to become “THE” king. After bitting my nails for 70 minutes during the last episode of the season I felt like some story lines came to an end or I had a few answers to most questions but most important… I want MORE Game of Thrones.

Just like the Harry Potter movies or the twilight zaga once you watch the first movie you are doomed to either hate it or visit the movie theater multiple times to see “the end”.

I have been to interpretive programs where they give you a lot of valuable information and make it relevant to me but also left me hanging and wanting even more, I call this the “To be continued…” effect. If you do this effectively at the end of your program not only your audience will be glad you shared a natural or cultural resource with them, they will be wanting more. Your audience will either pick up a book on their way out, look up online more information or even better, signup for your next program.

When I teach basic “Map and compass” class by the end kids and most parents are excited to know how to use a compass and find their bearing. Before I wrap up my program I explain to them that compasses are used in modern days as a low tech option or backup  and bring my GPS out. I tell them what a GPS can do and encourage them to signup for my GPS program.  Usually at least half of them will at least try to attend the next program.

Try this next time at the end of your program and who knows, maybe you will find your audience coming back just like Harry Potter fans going back to the movies 8 times to watch “the end”.

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