Hannah Griffiths spent 12 years working as Custodian of a National Trust property involved in all areas of running the site, visitor experience and enjoyment, catering, retail and interpretation. She also spent 3 months working with the Royal Museums Greenwich on a sabbatical placement in 2013/14 to apply her knowledge and ideas in parallels within a large National Museum. Hannah is now keen to pass on her wealth of expertise as a Heritage Consultant.
“Working for the National Trust I am used to working with limited resources in all areas. I like to ensure that any project I am involved in gives maximum value for money. This starts with complex and detailed planning, looking at markets and visitor profiles, meeting the needs of your visitors and the organisation; fulfilling all expectations”
Visitor experience is the key to any visit, Sudni Heritage can offer training courses in customer service. Sudni Heritage will carry out audits, either as a mystery visit or a structured visit, to help identify what is working well, what areas need improvement and offering constructive ways to help you achieve this improvement. These audits are not limited to the heritage industry.
Case study: interpretation planning at a National Museum
While working at the Royal Museums Greenwich, Hannah was involved in the planning stages for a redesign of the exhibits at the Royal Observatory. A multidisciplinary team was tasked to look at the exhibition from the eyes of the main visitor segments to produce a cohesive plan to put forward to the board. The team look at all the galleries at the ROG in turn, focusing a morning looking at each over a number of weeks. Hannah’s input was described as particularly insightful as she was seeing it through a first time visitors eyes and but with the knowledge of many years working on interpretation projects.
During her time at Greenwich she was also invited to join a working group putting together plans for a future temporary exhibit. This team involved both museum staff and outside experts, TV producers and conservators. This planning then went forward to the Board of Trustees to become a potential exhibit in 2017.
Case study: the Importance of Visitor Experience
The visitor experience begins before the visitor even walks through the door, a good and informative website and helpful social media set the scene. Once the visitor arrives a warm welcome is essential, staff trained to recognise the visitors needs are essential. Each visitor will have different expectations of what they want to get out of the experience. Providing a visitor with as much information as they need is a great start, but too much might be over facing. It is essential to look at the visitor profile and attempt to tailor the offering to as broad range of visitors as possible.
Providing interesting and easy to follow interpretation on a well planned visitor route will help visitors get the most out of their visit. Ensure there is someone around to answer their questions, give them an opportunity to offer feedback and a friendly goodbye making them feel valued. All these elements put together should make for a great visitor experience.