The Value of Focus Groups In Event Planning.

In 1980-81, when Steven Spielberg's production team was researching a new story idea about a young, lost "Alien" from another planet, the team suffered the inevitable, unsettling frustrations of bringing a new idea to life. At some point in the creative process, they decided to enlist the support of their potential audience: young children! If the children could imagine such an encounter, what would it be like? So, Spielberg placed an ad in “Scholastic Magazine", which is generally distributed to most American schools.

The ad read: If you were to run a cross a "young alien" visiting from another planet, what do you think he would look like? Will you draw us a picture? Well, probably, the largest "focus group" on Planet Earth was launched! Spielberg's team received cartons and cartons of submissions from young school children. Pictures were sorted, cataloged and stored. Every image, in infinite variety, passed across the drafting tables. Eventually, a composite emerged! Feature after feature was assembled and re-assembled until E.T. (extra-terrestrial) was created. You might say he was "type cast." Anyway, he got the "role," and in 1982, one, solitary, lost Alien on an unforgettable journey of discovery, was introduced to the world.

Elliott and Gerdie and Michael, all befriended E.T. and helped him find his way home.
When Event Makers is asked to come up with a new event, a new theme, a new design, we use a modified creative "focus group" process: We brainstorm, we throw our ideas into the ring, and before you can say " E.T. phone home," a new adventure is about to begin.