When most people hear the word Oklahoma (!), there’s a good chance they think of tornados, pump jacks, college football, and Rogers and Hammerstein. So when Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell and Selser Schaefer Architects presented us with an opportunity to tell the true story of Oklahoma, we were proud to set the record straight. Our mission: Reimagine the visitor experience by redesigning all ten Oklahoma Tourism Information Centers (Welcome Centers).
From Concept to Reality
Each of the Welcome Centers located around Oklahoma serves as a necessary pit stop for tourists, essentially acting as a front door to our great State. More importantly, they are a critical branding touchpoint that desperately needed a heapin’ helping of some Hampton TLC. To transform the visitor experience from “meh” to “wow!” we worked hand-in-hand with Selser Schaefer Architects to surprise, delight, and educate travelers at every turn.
Each Welcome Center features an interactive outdoor plaza space designed to educate and immerse guests in large-scale sculptural elements fabricated from 1″ panels of aluminum. The plaza themes were based on authentic regional stories and local points of pride and allow visitors a deeper dive via dynamic QR codes on each plaza sign.
The Colbert plaza captures a rare glimpse of Bigfoot as a nod to the Honobia Bigfoot Festival & Conference, which draws a worldwide audience. The Midwest City plaza pays homage to Oklahoma’s significant contribution to NASA and the aerospace industry. By design, the plazas provide travelers several socially sharable moments, as witnessed on Facebook and Instagram.
It’s The Inside That Matters
Creating intentional spaces for conversation and exploration was a vital requirement of the Welcome Centers interiors. We collaborated closely with SSA to ensure the updated architectural finishes and environmental graphics worked cohesively to provide visitors with an impactful experience.
We designed a custom, large-scale (20′ tall) Points of Interest Mural wall graphic. This beautifully illustrated map of Oklahoma visually piques visitor’s interest and provides an overview of key attractions and must-see destinations. The mural also gives Ambassadors the perfect opportunity to engage with guests, recommend specific sites along their journey, and educate them about the State in a dynamic way.
Each Welcome Center features an Oklahoma Originals wall dedicated to telling the story of notable trailblazers who contributed to Oklahoma’s rich heritage. From Shannon Lucid – one of the first woman astronauts – to Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete of all time, these Oklahomans left a legacy and inspired future Oklahomans to greatness.
The Natural Beauty walls feature large-scale photography of some of Oklahoma’s most iconic landmarks and locations. This space gives guests a glimpse of Oklahoma’s diverse geography and allows Welcome Center Ambassadors to share local knowledge.
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime legacy project, and we were incredibly grateful to partner with the State of Oklahoma and Selser Schaefer Architects in our quest to do Work That Matters. To learn more about this project and these locations (and see them for yourself IRL), visit the Oklahoma Tourism website.