One of the hardest things about The Eureka Room is getting the right people there and keeping the wrong people away. By “wrong” I don’t mean they are wrong or bad people. I mean “wrong fit” for The Eureka Room.
If even one person isn’t into the participation aspect of The Eureka Room, then it dulls the experience and value for everyone else. I owe it to the “good fits” to do my best to keep this from happening. I also owe it to the “non-fits” to do my best and give them clarity as to why they should not visit. For me, it’s a matter of courtesy, transparency, and good business.
I’ve rewritten Eureka Room messaging a million times over the years, but I’ve had a couple showings lately that made me realize I need to do better. So I’ve changed one section of the homepage.
It used to say:
An Immersive Experience… of Human Interactivity
The Eureka Room brings people together to interact not just with the room but with each other. Collections of curious participatory experiences are designed to connect visitors within a world of playful surreality.
Now it says:
Is The Eureka Room Right For You?
If you are the type who loves participation, absurdity, yelling, and secretly dreams of one day being a contestant on a Japanese game show, then The Eureka Room is for you.
If you are the type who would rather die than follow some ridiculous instructions while listening to corny jokes and acting stupid with strangers, then The Eureka Room will be one of the worst experiences of your life.
This is much bolder, for sure. It’s also somewhat off-putting, I admit. But it’s supposed to be.
In the second paragraph I needed to use language that would resonate positively with the “good fits” but resonate negatively with the “bad fits”. I don’t want to scare off the “good fits”. I want them to read that second paragraph and feel reinforced that they are making the right decision to visit. I didn’t want to use words like “pointless” or “idiotic” or “goofy” since I think those go too far into the negative for both groups. I don’t even like the word “silly”.
But the word “stupid” can do double duty and mean both worthless and playful (e.g, “Let’s get stupid!”). The same can be said of “corny” – some people proudly love corny jokes and other people deride and get upset when they have to listen to one.
I’ve also found that “participation” is a very polarizing word and use if often to help people self-sort.
It’s strange and disconcerting to write copy that says “don’t come to my business”, but I think that it will resonate strongly with the “good fits”. They know the person I’m talking about in the second paragraph and they might even feel grateful that I’m protecting and better curating their experience.