Attraction visitors in a queue

Six ways to create
shared experiences.

How the visitor attraction industry can expand reach and transform visitors’ experiences 

School’s out! Half term is here and the question of ‘what to do with the kids’ resonates in many households across the country. With the Jubilee celebrations also happening this week, we suggest that now is a good time to visit a museum or cultural heritage site where young minds (and our older ones too), can continue the learning process and have fun at the same time.  It’s also an ideal time to build deeper relationships and connections to people through these shared experiences.  

As we discussed in an earlier article, children learn better when they are having fun. So, whilst it might be the half-term break, and they need some time off from their formal academic studies, it is still beneficial for them to visit a local museum, zoo, aquarium, cultural heritage site – where they can find enjoyment, whilst unconsciously absorbing knowledge like a sponge, and creating those special “remember when” moments with family and friends. 

With most of our younger generation born as digital natives, technology is an integrated part of their lives.  Consequently, the best ‘experiences’ to share, would be those that would naturally involve some form of technology with that of a physical and tangible element.  The best of both worlds.

There is no questioning the fact that the visitor attraction sector needs to embrace digital transformation to resonate with this audience group and encourage their participation.  In fact, we would go so far as to say it is critical, given the importance of promoting an understanding of where humans fit into the world, how history has shaped our present and our future and how our next generation need to be reminded of the responsibility for tomorrow that they hold in their hands.

Although many of the country’s larger more established attractions are already reaping the results of a digital-forward audience engagement strategy, most of the sector is still somewhat behind the technology adoption curve.  The reasons are many and not for discussion here, but for some it’s a question of cost, expertise, and resources.  All of which can be mitigated by a raft of new technology offerings such as specifically tailored audience engagement platforms, which are helping to close the divide between expectation and reality in the visitor experience segment. 

Here's how technology can shape shared experiences in the visitor attraction sector:

Go Interactive – use an audience engagement platform to create customisable, engaging, and educational content that reaches audiences instantly through the accompanying app. 

Make entire collections, exhibits, monuments etc, digitally interactive using beacon or object recognition triggering functionality, and with no technical skills required. Create quizzes, tours, and trails to drive audience engagement, whilst gaining valuable insights into both on and off-site audience behaviour to help future planning and curation.

Stimulate action - from learning and education, to messaging around the preservation of heritage, conservation of animals and the environment etc, use prompts, notifications, and facts, all easily configured in the audience platform. Highlight key messages around the museum's mission, to stimulate a response from visitors for example, or encourage visitors to get involved in a conservation project through easy ways for them to engage in actioning what’s needed to make a difference.  With a cloud-based audience engagement platform that is optimised for mobile, tablet and desktop, staying connected to visitors is simple, as is keeping them engaged – anytime and anywhere – and sharing the experience becomes a natural event.

Enrich the journey of discovery - digitise collections or introduce a new exhibition through innovative ways of discovery. Improve engagement with more enriched content, by allowing audiences to unearth new facts, locate specific exhibits and learn more about them than can be printed on a sign board.  Incorporate multimedia to deepen the discovery and layer this content, which can be unlocked like an archaeological dig, as each step of the discovery is completed.  

Adopt a more flexible approach to how your audience consumes your content. Make the shift from exhibit-based printed information to dynamic content delivery where stories can be told, and additional media can be consumed both off and on site.

Increase accessibility – by the very nature of adopting an audience engagement platform, the visitor attraction sector can use the features to improve accessibility to their venues as well as the content, whilst promoting the core mission of the specific establishment.  The app, downloaded onto any smartphone, is tracked by the platform through the device’s unique ID, tracking audience engagement before, during and after a visit to deliver powerful insights to the operator but also allowing the visitor to access more content.

Personalise and communicate audience engagement platforms gather and analyse multiple bytes of data in real time.  These insights are then parlayed into highly customisable experiences conveyed through a corresponding audience experience app that facilitates communication in multiple languages.  

By tailoring information and offers to someone whom the audience engagement platform’s built-in functionality has profiled through understanding their dwell time at specific exhibits for example, there is a better response and engagement, which ultimately turns visitors into fans.  It also allows the operator (venue), to stay in touch with the visitor thus deepening the relationship, through notifying them of upcoming exhibits, events, special offers, private viewings etc – but only content that is pertinent to them.

Reward and delight we live in a fast-paced world.  Consequently, providing visitors with a way to pre-plan their visit, and quickly navigate their way to the exhibits they most want to see through smart wayfinding and mapping, sets the tone for the experience to come.  Follow this up with a branded digital ‘capture the day’ photo frame, which can be easily shared to social media channels and the experience becomes a shared memory and the brand/venue/museum/zoo/aquarium etc gains an expanded audience. 

The technology also allows for rewards to be redeemed.  For example, the visitor can be prompted to participate in a quiz or a treasure hunt (or any other action that has been pre-programmed into the platform), and when correctly answering the questions or identifying all the required objects, they can redeem a benefit, be it a prize or a discount or even having their name in ‘digital lights’ for all to see. 

Maximising visitor satisfaction & experience is in.  By understanding how visitors feel and what they take out of the experience, attractions can form longer lasting and more loyal, as well as profitable relationships with their audiences. There is a growing need for a better understanding of the experience and what drives audience and visitor satisfaction, as well as engagement. In understanding the stimuli that triggers behaviour, the attraction operator is empowered to mould strategies to encourage visits, then increase the number of times visitors return and ultimately, expand their reach through using technology to create shared experiences.  

To discover how easy it is to incorporate digital into your experience and up your audience engagement, request a free demo from today.  There’s no time like the present to prepare for tomorrow.

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