033 | Creating Memorable Experiences with Dawn Ruchala

create experiences
What creates an experience worth remembering? Dawn walks us through elements to consider and how she approaches new opportunities to create meaningful experiences.

Every once in a while you come across someone who enamors you just a bit.  They have skills and experiences so different from your own and yet there is a mutual respect and admiration for what the other person does.  I first began interacting with Dawn just over 5 years ago through our work paths.  Dawn has 20 years of experience in corporate marketing and events, and currently manages the U.S. Venture Open, a golf outing in Northeast Wisconsin that hosts over 1200 people, and attracts celebrities like DuWayne Wade, Michael Phelps, Matthew McConaughey, and this year Charlize Theron.  The event raised over $4.5 million dollars last year to address the root causes of poverty in our region.  Dawn is the master of recognizing the details that make an experience memorable.  Beyond work she is a spontaneous adventurer who loves to see how things go and invests in the experience she is most interested in.  On a personal note, Dawn is an OG to Ordinary Sherpa.  She literally listens to every.single.episode the morning they drop.  I am so grateful to have Dawn in my tribe of listeners, colleagues, and friends.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Creating a memorable experience is often in the details.  Imagining every aspect from an attendee perspective.  
  2. Your sense of smell is a critical piece to creating a memorable experience.  Walk through all of the 5 senses: touch, taste, see, hear and smell and design aspects of the event from those desired elements.  
  3. Recognizing your genius zone at work and in your personal life are important.  Because Dawn is so involved in planning details at work, in her personal life she is much more comfortable showing up and seeing what opportunities present themselves.  
  4. Creating experiences can also be a solo adventure.  When Dawn was in Anaheim she went to Disneyland alone. She asked strangers to take her picture and optimized her time using the singles line for rides as a solo adventurer.   
  5. FOMO can be motivation.  The fear of missing out can be a helpful indicator in designing your list of desired experiences.  
  6. Buy the tickets without knowing all the details.  When a legendary band is coming within driving distance she has learned to buy the tickets and figure out who will attend with her later.  
  7. When people recognize you are a person that says yes, they are willing to share opportunities that you may not have access to otherwise.  Notice, what do you say yes to?  Is that what you want people to invite you to do more of?  
  8. Be open to the opportunity when it presents itself.  Some of the events she attended weren’t from a deep desire to attend, rather a place of curiosity.  Seeing and hearing about an event is one thing, but it’s a completely different experience to be there.  
  9. A healthy indicator is a sense of discomfort and slight fear.  
  10. Having an experience completely different from your life can offer a perspective that leaves a lasting memory.  Ideally sharing the experience offers a deeper connection as opposed to one person attending and telling others about the learning and perspective.  

Websites references during the episode: 

 To Follow or Connect with Dawn

Facebook: @dawn.ruchala.1 she is also an active member of the Ordinary Sherpa Facebook Group

Instagram: @druchala

LinkedIn: @dawnruchala

Where to Listen

Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher,  Google Podcast, anywhere podcasts are played