Home > Articles > Business & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

The 11 Stages of Project Development

The following guidelines have been amended from Project Development Guidelines for the Themed Entertainment Industry6, a guide developed by the Themed Entertainment Association, an organization made up of professionals in the experiential branding and LBE industry.

These steps are offered to provide a roadmap for marketers interested in developing brands outside the usual and customary presentations, who may not be familiar with the processes involved. Experiential branding can be a very powerful tool, but only if developed correctly, with all the complexities of a fully operational consumer destination carefully considered. While most marketing professionals may not wind up in the trenches of location development, they should be aware of the challenges these types of installations present. Thus, the following information is presented as an introductory overview.

The process of developing a project can be expressed in 11 distinct stages under the following four major headings:

  1. The Master Plan and Program (Stages I and II)

  2. The Design Process (Stages III, IV, V, and VI)

  3. The Implementation Process (Stages VII and VIII)

  4. The Pre-, Grand, and Post-Opening (Stages IX, X, and XI)

The first two stages culminate with the project's Master Plan. The nine stages that follow the Master Plan address the complete design and implementation processes that are required for a project's development.

In establishing descriptions for the 11 stages of project development, the Standards Development Committee discovered that the various definitions of a Project Master Plan have no common basis. To an architect, a Master Plan might be a site plan; to a show designer, a Master Plan might include storyboards for a show or attraction; and to an economist, a Master Plan might mean developing a demographic analysis. While all of these definitions are valid in describing various Master Plan components, a true Master Plan must completely address all of the issues required to develop the Owner's/Developer's Project Program. This therefore becomes our starting point for the Project Development Guidelines.

A. The Master Plan and Program

  1. Master Plan Organization and Project Program: At this stage, the project's goals and scope are formulated and documented while the project team is chosen and its tasks are delineated. The delivery of clear goals that define the scope, nature, size, financial parameters, schedule milestones, and target audience, as well as the creation of planning and development strategies, will establish the Project Program.

  2. Preliminary Concept Design: Preliminary Concept Designs are developed for major project components to address the attitude, scope, and nature of the project. The issues addressed include not only the conceptual design, but the economic and operational guidelines as well. The conceptual design developed at this stage is based on the Owner's/Developer's Project Program.

B. Design Process

  1. Final Concept Design: The Final Concept Design covers all project disciplines carried forward to a level of detail sufficient for understanding the project's scope to determine the requirements of all disciplines needed to design and develop the project. Verification of the Final Concept Design against all major components of the Project Program will complete the project's Master Plan.

  2. Schematic Design: This stage develops the design "scheme" to a level of detail that identifies the sizing and interfaces required to bridge between the various component elements and project disciplines.

  3. Design Development: This stage develops the design to a level of detail that accurately describes the project. Generally, this includes detailed strategies and specifications, as well as design documentation describing the show, architectural, and site elements that support the project's design intent.

  4. Production and Construction Documents: This stage develops all Production and Construction Documents, which the consultants, vendors, and contractors need to implement the project. It can include developing plans, specifications, drawings, scripts, storyboards, and other detailed information that will support and delineate the production and construction bid documents. Verification of the Production and Construction Documents against all major components of the Project Program will complete the project's Design Process.

C. Implementation Process

  1. Production and Construction: This stage deals with the bidding, negotiation, and subsequent production and construction of all components for the show.

  2. Show Installation: Show Installation covers the installation, termination, testing, and programming of all components and equipment directly related to the show system and technologies proposed for the Project Program. All show systems are tested during this stage to ensure they will meet the Project Program requirements as set forth in the Master Plan.

D. Pre-, Grand, and Post-Opening

  1. Pre-Opening: The Pre-Opening stage covers the training of operations/maintenance personnel, the establishment of operations and maintenance procedures, the loading of operations furniture, fixtures, and equipment, and the stocking of all inventory required for operation.

  2. Grand Opening: The Grand Opening is the culmination of the entire project's development. It is also the official opening and presentation of a fully operational and completely finished product to the general public.

  3. Rehabilitation/Expansion: The Rehabilitation/Expansion stage begins when an infusion of new ideas and/or updated processes, thematic content, or additional components are required to maintain a project's viability. When requirements include new facilities, a major rehabilitation of existing elements, or any other major additions or alterations, the process then becomes a new and separate project and must again address the 11 stage of project development.

Success Story

In general, there are several common elements among successful experiential branding projects. They include:

  • The project must demonstrate the knowledge of the brand from both the company's and the customer's perspective, otherwise the consumer's expectations may not match the end result.

  • The project must educate, enhance, and entertain, and be presented within an aesthetic that supports the brand image.

  • The project cannot stand alone; it must be supported within a traditional framework of advertising and promotion.

  • The project should be located in an area that can draw from tourist as well as local traffic. Co-opetition with other attractions can also be helpful.

  • The project must be able to be refreshed within the boundaries of a realistic budget to do so.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020