Creating a Welcoming Climate

Over my 23+ years of business travel, I’ve seen a lot of airports. Most of them are quite forgettable (at best).

CLTAirportBut yesterday I was once again passing through the Charlotte, NC hub. And once again, I was struck by what a mood difference a nice “climate” can make.

Somebody paid serious attention to the user experience when that terminal was designed. From the wide hallways, to the airy ceilings, to the coordinated color schemes, and even down to the strategically placed rocking chairs, the place exudes – if not homeiness – then at least pleasantness.

The (numerous!) restaurants and shops are well-placed, in a central area as well as in the various terminal “arms.” There are plenty of moving walkways, but lots of space for traditional walking, with good use of plants and other visual diversions. The color blue is tied in everywhere, from lighting to signage, in a nicely-coordinated design.

When I fly through O’Hare, I just want to get through and get out. When I go to my home airport of Newark, my stomach roils in anticipation of the hassle. But in Charlotte, I don’t mind just sitting down for a spell and watching the world go by. It’s peaceful instead of janglingly claustrophobic.

I’m always glad to get home. But if I have to wander around the Charlotte Airport for an extra hour some day, I really won’t mind all that much. I feel…at ease there. They even have a decent BBQ place!

Most of us don’t have entire airports to design. But in ways large and small, we do create a climate, through our words, our tone of voice, our cheer, maybe even our physical surroundings. Do people want to come back after interacting with you or your business?

Where are places, and who are people, that create that kind of welcoming climate for you?? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

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