Most float tanks centers have customers. So as to have a place to put these customers where they will be able to sit, or stand, as they please and not be in the way, most float tank centers also have lobbies. So as to have something – some surface upon which these these customers may place their cups, reading glasses, newspapers and color therapy glasses – most of these be-lobbied float tank centers utilize a what is known in the industry as a coffee table. The question then arises, “What types of things can we put on our coffee table to entertain guests and improve their experience?”
At Float On, our coffee table hosts a wide variety of games, knick-knacks, books and other fun items to inspire creativity, including some of our most valued shop articles – sketchbooks, which we leave out for our floaters to write and draw in.
What is so great about having sketchbooks? This is actually a somewhat complicated question, like asking, “what is the value of art?” Lets start with the most basic of the benefits.
The Sketchbooks promote floating
Floating makes people feel good, and this is reflected in the drawings floaters make in lobby sketchbooks. There are lots of hearts. There are lots of rainbows. There are good vibes all over the place. You can think of each drawing as an unsolicited advertisement. A person who has never floated can look through a sketchbook and see that there is something special going on here and that your business has a history of providing positive experiences to people.
If you really want to take advantage of this effect, you can scan the contents of your sketchbooks and use them for social media content. First hand testimonials such as these are a tried and true advertising method – people tend to have more faith in what a fellow consumer says than what a marketer says.
Sketchbooks are fun to look at
In theory, every tiny thing that you can do to improve the quality of experience for your floaters, from the moment they walk in the door of your shop to the moment they leave, will increase your sales in the long run. Sketchbooks give people something fun to do, and fun to look at, before and after a float.
There seems to be an innate human fascination with looking at images, words, and other traces left behind by the people who came before. The fascination many of us have for cave art is the same as the fascination that drives people to read graffiti on the bathroom wall. Its something primal. Once you pick up a lobby sketchbook, you are hooked – you want to look at every page. The fact that the drawings come from such a unique group of artists (people who have just entered altered states of consciousness in your float tanks) only adds to the fascination.
Sketchbooks provide added encouragement for first timers
If someone is nervous about floating, looking over the whimsical and childlike crayon and pastel drawings in the sketchbook can have a comforting effect. When a first timer looks through a sketchbook, they are looking at a history of people not too dissimilar from them who have come into your shop, floated, and enjoyed the experience so much that upon returning to the lobby they couldn’t stop themselves from drawing a picture of a unicorn. That nervous first timer then looks down at that drawing of a unicorn and thinks, “You know, maybe things are going to be alright…”
Sketchbooks can be Therapeutic
We all know floating is a great therapy in and of itself, but it’s also important to realize that therapy also can extend to the time before and after floats, that what happens before and after the float can be just as important as what happens during the float. Sketchbooks are one way we have of extending the therapy before and after the float. Self expression through art or journaling is widely acknowledged as a way to both enhance a therapeutic process and as a sort of therapy on their own.
Floating can be an emotionally intense experience. For some, the most natural way to process an intensely emotional experience, good or bad, is to grab a box of crayons or a pencil and “pour it out” onto the paper.
Sometimes a floater will feel the need to say something about the experience, to tell a story, express gratitude, convey something about how they are feeling, and they may not feel like doing it out loud or in written words. Sketchbooks give them a chance to do that.
The therapeutic benefits of the sketchbook might not be limited to the artists, but also to the floaters who flip through them. A simple sketch can convey emotion and feeling through color, imagery and symbolism.
That’s the beauty of art, it can convey something that can’t be said in words. Seeing the art of another person who has gone through a similar experience breaks the barrier of ego and personal identity. You resonate with the image they created as deeply as if you had created the image yourself. You see your joy and your pain reflected in the experience of another, and you know that deep down you are the same.
You’re not alone, you’re connected.
Go pick up some Sketchbooks
Ok, maybe I got a little heady there, so lets bring it back down to earth. If you don’t have them already, go out and pick up a simple sketchbook and some crayons (it will probably cost you all of $10-20) at the nearest art store and set them out on your lobby coffee table. See what happens.