Speed Journey Mapping at NESHCo 2024

The Cast & Hue team shares their learnings and outputs from their journey mapping session at NESHCo conference 2024.
key Takeaways
June 13, 2024
Reading Time
4 minutes

At the 2024 NESHCo conference in Newport, RI, Jonathan Pathuis and Steve Koch of Cast & Hue led a session on journey mapping leading with emotion. During the session, the group participated in what might be best described as “speed journey mapping.” Over about 20 minutes, participants gathered in groups of 3-5 and mapped journeys associated with NESHCo - either their journey through the airport to NESHCO, the journey to the Newport Marriott Hotel, or their restaurant journey during the conference. 

The focus of the session was on the importance of incorporating emotions into journey mapping, because of the critical role that emotions play in how our brains process decision-making and develop perceptions of experiences. We mapped “defining moments,” key points in the journey marked by peak positive or negative emotions. The experiences of our participants showed no shortage of emotions - and not just the usual ones. Some of our favorites included people feeling edgy, miffed, serene, placid, and the emotion no one wants to experience: hangry. 

Steve sharing defining moments

While these journey mapping exercises were much faster than normal, and lacked the group facilitators and guidance of a traditional Cast & Hue journey mapping workshop, there were still many interesting insights gleaned. Each group had their choice of journeys to map. Five groups chose to map the hotel journey, three the restaurant journey, and, not surprisingly since so many people drove to the conference, just one group mapped the airport journey. 

You can view the maps below, but here are some of the key takeaways we found with each map:

  • Airport
    • Luggage process: Long lines made participants nervous about luggage getting to their destination. (Steve can empathize with that - his luggage arrived in Newport about 16 hours after him!)
    • Security lines: The security process caused a lot of stress in the airport experience. Even with all of the innovation we’ve seen around TSA in recent years, it is still a defining moment in the airport experience, often filled with feelings of anxiety, angst, annoyance, and stress. 
    • Boarding: Our participants had varied experiences boarding their flights. Some found it to be placid and felt relief as they got to their seats, while others found that the chaos of the process left them worrying about humanity.
  • Restaurant
    • Restaurant Choices: Decision-making is tough, and it is a reminder that consumers will always appreciate resources to help them narrow down their decisions.
    • Waiting: It is an age-old problem, and while we’ve seen strides with restaurants texting or handing out buzzers, it remains a challenge in the restaurant experience. This leads to one of the most troubling emotions - hangriness!
  • Hotel
    • Arrival and parking: This was one of the most important touchpoints of the hotel experience, and had some of the most opportunities for improvement. Participants had negative emotions when trying to find the hotel and navigating parking or engaging valet – some didn’t even know that self-parking was an option.
    • Further frustrations: Guests encountered unexpected sets of stairs to get to the check-in desk as they entered the hotel. (Anyone else experience this?) If we were helping redesign the hotel experience, there would be many recommendations around wayfinding and setting expectations for guests around the arrival experience.
    • Check-In: The hotel staff had a positive impact on the guest experience here through their flexibility, their speed of service, and making things right quickly when challenges arose. An exception was when a guest was given their colleagues room key and walked into the wrong room (that was a defining moment!)
    • Room arrival: Guests reported feelings of serenity when they opened the door to their hotel room, knowing that they had completed a core phase of their NESHCo journey. 

We want to thank those who attended our session for being open and jumping in and collaborating with their peers to document their NESHCo journey. It was a lot of fun! We are looking forward to even more fun at NESHCo 2025 in Springfield! 

View the complete maps here: 

Airport Journey Map

Hotel Journey Map

Restaurant Journey Map

Post-mapping wrap-up


Jonathan Pathuis


Speed Journey Mapping at NESHCo 2024


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