2. Understanding visitorsWear visitor's hat - using market researchGood gut instincts & well executed visions matter, but so too does 'thinking like a visitor'. Always anticipate their interests & needs. Regularly use market research methods (even if basic) to know who your visitors are - their sources, behaviors, motivations, satisfaction levels, media & transport used, how they heard of you .. Having fun is infectious:An organizational culture that fosters fun and enjoyment on the part of the staff will most likely infect customers too ... and boost their sense of satisfaction with the total visitor experience. Happy and friendly frontline staff (who love meeting people) are a necessity, not an aspiration.First impressions matter:For example - the attraction's external appearance and setting (including its capacity to build interest and reinforce important themes and expectations in advance of arrival); its website; brochures; ease of location & parking; signage; entranceway impacts; staff attitudes and behavior; cleanliness of restrooms; lack of repairs/maintenance; Generating successful 'word of mouth': While still retaining its sense of purpose & authenticity, the ultimate aim of a museum is to in some way capture people's imaginations, or evoke a highly personal and (if appropriate) pleasurable response. Success here can result in great 'word of mouth' recommendations to friends and family. And no more powerful means of tourism promotion exists, as any marketer will confirm.[...]
1. Visitor content appeal: Exhibit and interpretation essentialsThe necessity for high quality storytelling:The essence of excellent interpretation (and exhibit development) is powerful, intriguing, challenging or entertaining stories ... told powerfully by talented storytellers. Successful curators fully understand and apply this principle.Visitor experiences that tap into all the senses:When creating visitor experiences (and storytelling in general), it pays to tap into all the available human senses - i.e. sight, sound, touch, taste and smell (when relevant). How this is best done will also relate to how well you know your visitor markets. And most markets (young ... and old) will welcome imaginative opportunities for interactivity and participation.A central role for design excellence:Achieving the highest design standards possible in all aspects & levels of the museum's operations, product development and marketing is fundamentally important - as is finding the right designers to consistently achieve the right results here. The quirky and the weird matter:While a museum's founders may have 'serious' intentions at first (such as conservation and education) even educating visitors is more effective when done with imagination (& some flexibility). Creativity can also encompass the quirky, the silly, the weird ... not just the serious - it's basically all about how well it's conceived, implemented and promoted. The media love 'the quirky' too.
Tourism Destination Development
Checklist of Key Success Factors:Museums & Non-Profit Cultural AttractionsBy Bruce Dickson, Tourism Development Solutions (TDS)
TDS Tourism Product Development
“Creativity can also encompass the quirky, the silly, the weird ... not just the serious."