Experiencing mission

GAMC display tells stories, encourages interaction

July 2, 2010

Photo from above of an exhibit area

The GAMC’s exhibit, “Mission Experience, Experience Mission” – highlights 16 different stories —By Danny Bolin

MINNEAPOLIS

Attendees of the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) might have been to their share of conference exhibit halls.

But visitors to the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) section of this Assembly’s exhibit hall might feel as though they’ve been transported to a museum instead of a typical conference center hall.

“The concept was to do something more experiential,” said Dianna Ott, director of Creative Services, part of the GAMC.

The GAMC’s area – “Mission Experience, Experience Mission” –  has taken on a storytelling approach, highlighting 16 different stories that show the breadth and depth of the agency’s ministries. The stories are told using a variety of media – photos, text, video and props. For example, the “story” on multiculturalism features a blinking neon “OPEN” sign.

“It is very different for the GAMC to sort of pick and choose a few stories,” Ott said.

She acknowledged that there are far more than 16 stories that could have been highlighted, but the ones chosen were ones that organizers thought best lent themselves to visual representation. Three stories – recovery efforts in Haiti, human trafficking and water issues – were selected as lead displays.

Ott said she hopes the exhibits will help people remember what they saw once they get back home. Instead of leaving with lots of brochures and trinkets, she hopes they’ll take advantage of one comprehensive brochure that will summarize all 16 stories.

Also in the GAMC section will be a corridor with six areas – one for each of the GAMC’s ministry areas – where people can gather and talk more about what they’ve seen in the displays.

The corridor will also be equipped with WiFi, and each area will demonstrate the GAMC’s new Web site, which will premiere July 3.

GA veterans will notice some changes elsewhere in the exhibit hall, said Kerry Rice, manager of the General Assembly Meeting Service. Aisles will be wider than in years past, allowing for more gathering space. In addition, attendees can take advantage of food options like sandwiches and a salad and baked potato bar.

Exhibit hall hours:

Friday, July 2: noon-6 p.m.

Saturday, July 3: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday, July 4: noon-5 p.m.

Monday, July 5: 9:15 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 6: 9:15 a.m.-7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 7: 9:15 a.m.-7 p.m.