1. Technology

The Evolution of
People Engagement.

The power of technology to enhance the experience economy. 

The world has just witnessed a jubilee like no other as celebrations took place to mark a sovereign reigning for 70 years.  This remarkable achievement makes Queen Elizabeth II the longest reigning sovereign of all time.  Another remarkable first for our progressive Queen, was her coronation in 1953, which allowed the television cameras inside the hallowed Westminster Abbey so that people across the land (and the world) could tune in and witness the occasion.  

This ‘people engagement’ mindset set the scene for a modern monarchy that needed to adapt to the times, one in which every succeeding generation has become ever more involved with the public.  

70 years ago, the television was the height of technological advancement along with huge rooms to house ‘computers.’  Today, we have live streaming on a myriad of digital platforms, and of course, the ubiquitous mobile phone - a computer in the palm of our hand – that takes the conversation to another level. 

Like technology, people engagement is an ever-evolving ideal. At its core, engagement is a way to initiate a desired response from someone or something.  A set of behaviours and actions deployed to gain an outcome – usually someone selling something, and someone being convinced to buy it – be it product, service, knowledge, or a shift in behaviour. 

Whilst in the days of yore, ‘people engagement’ might have consisted of an autocratic dictate, whether a leader or a company pushing its message, or a hand shaking ritual, today, it’s a two-way street, enabled by a better understanding of human behaviour and the psyche.  

This has been brought about by the rise of the data analytics industry off the backbone of an ecosystem driven by connected conversations on multiple levels.  Computing all the information generated in the digitally transformed domain we are now part of, requires new skills and new platforms.

Audience Engagement Platforms to enable better conversation 

This is where audience engagement platforms (AEPs) come into their own.  As part of the Internet of Things (IoT) bridging the online and offline worlds, AEPs are helping brands, visitor attractions, as well as governments, to better understand their publics and service their day-to-day as well as future needs.  

The greater our digital footprint and identity becomes, the better informed we can be, which in turn facilitates a better connection with the wider world. 

A practical example for the visitor attraction space and considering it’s a jubilee year, let’s take Buckingham Palace (Buck House). How can the United Kingdom Monarch’s official state residence open to the public between July and October, use the digital network to enhance its visitors’ experience and build an even greater loyal following?

That’s simple.  

It’s one thing for visitors to physically tour the rooms and marvel at the splendour of the apartments and reflect on some of the historical occasions the walls have borne witness to.  But it is another entirely, for the tour to be elevated to an experience that enjoys an integrated and connected engagement. 

Beyond booking tickets online, imagine if the content and the layer upon layer of history and stories that Buck House has observed over the years was digitised and relayed to an enthusiastic audience?  In the digital realm, they can go deeper into this history and take it home with them, as the experience doesn’t have to end at the exit.  

As a time capsule for the Queen’s reign, a modern AEP can deliver a multimedia experience – on the day and afterwards – whereby visitors can truly be immersed in the experience.  Series such as The Crown, have shown just how popular the monarchy is, but whilst this is a dramatized version of true events, an AEP can convey the real deal.  Video, audio, the written word, all transmitted and delivered to a smartphone that has accessed the prerequisite app.

On site, the app, an integral part of the AEP, seamlessly navigates the visitor through their desired journey.  Along the way, visitors can unlock different layers of information – either as a matter of course, or as part of an adaptive engagement scenario that learns more as the visitor engages.  

Gamification and a tour of the Royal household?  Who could ever have imagined such a thing, but in today’s highly adaptive technologically driven environment, it’s simpler than you might imagine.  Think built-in quizzes and tours that ‘engage’ all the senses, test knowledge and reward effort in an instant feedback loop as an example for how imaginative and creative audience engagement can be.

All the while, the platform is learning each engaged individual’s likes and dislikes and feeding this information back in real time to the platform.  From there, the operator can analyse these valuable data insights and behaviours to deliver other content, which could be in the form of bonus material or other engaging media. 

Being digital, dwell time is monitored in real time too, also aiding in the better curation of exhibits.  Understanding what resonates and that which does not is critical to the future development of the ‘attraction.’

Ongoing feedback is key for visitor attractions and digital makes it easier for both visitors and operators to send and receive, both from a speed and ease point of view.

In an earlier article we discussed ‘shared experiences', and their importance for forging deeper longer lasting relationships, increasing engagement and driving revenue, all facilitated by the capabilities of an audience engagement platform.

For now, though, as we acknowledge just how much has changed in Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne and look to a more integrated technological future where ‘people engagement’ can enhance experience, we would like to extend our respect to the sovereign.  Long may she continue to reign and engage with the people.

To discover how to turn your visitor attraction into a shared experience and one focused on people engagement, get in touch with us and request a free demo.  

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