Since the 1800’s, we have been commemorating our experiences with postcards. The first souvenir picture postcards in the United States were created in 1893 to advertise the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. We haven’t stopped creating them since.
The varieties today range from raunchy to sweet, from iconic landmarks to quirky roadside oddities. If you Google “postcards”, you get pages of printers willing to put just about anything on a postcard … and delivery them overnight.
In recent years, postcards have been given new life as experience promoters. Not so much to commemorate what has been done, but as a reminder or a nudge to try something new. A great example is when postcards are used to “extend” the initial experience and to renew it.
A tradition at the end of each Pine & Gilmore thinkAbout is the “Top 10.” Each attendee gets 10 numbered envelopes. In each envelope is a unique picture postcard that is a challenge to the experience junkies attending the event to try a specific experience in the coming year. As each envelope is opened, the postcard is explained and the attendees are further challenged to write a message to re-read when the postcard arrives some time in the coming year.
Each month in the coming year, a postcard arrives. It is an extension of the thinkAbout experience and provocation to DO the experience depicted. It works. It is old technology that has found a new and powerful application as an experience extender.
Sure … I still the usual reminder postcards from my dentist and doctor and I faithfully act on them. But the postcards I really savor are those sent from me to me as reminders to extend my learning and explore new digital or real world experiences.
When was the last time you sent yourself a postcard?
What experience do you need to go do in the coming year?