How are museums and attractions preparing to welcome visitors? What measures can you put in place to make sure your visitors feel safe and comfortable? And what are visitors expecting from you as venues? Over the past few months, Tiqets’ Regional Managers have spoken with 400+ museums and attractions worldwide about how they’re handling and recovering from the impacts of the Coronavirus.
On Thursday, 4 June, Tiqets held a webinar to share some of the insights gained from these discussions about reopening strategies of museums and attractions. Tiqets Regional Managers Jaume Vidal (Spain), Nadia Mastrangelo (Italy), Heidi Andersen (Denmark) and Linda Snoek (Netherlands) shared how reopened venues in their regions have handled issues like safety and hygiene measures, capacity management, communications and staff preparedness. Here are some of the key takeaways to apply to your own reopening plan.
It goes without saying that hygiene and safety measures are especially important in this new post-lockdown era. To curb the spread of the Coronavirus, venues must be vigilant when it comes to safety and sanitization. The regional managers took this moment to spotlight the venues that have tackled this issue particularly well.
Copenhagen Zoo has been open since 23 March, and have focused strongly on adhering to government safety measures and guidelines. Creating an environment where it’s possible for people to be a safe distance from each other while queuing for tickets can be tricky. The Copenhagen Zoo tackled their space issues by:
They have met the demand for improved sanitization measures by:
The famous theme park has not yet opened, but when it does, it will focus on maintaining safe distances between people. They plan to do this by having customers reserve access to any ride or attraction in advance. Some of the other safety and hygiene measures they plan to introduce include:
While canal cruises are offered by a range of suppliers in the Netherlands, these different suppliers worked together to create a set of guidelines that they could all follow. To come up with these guidelines, the suppliers looked at the full customer journey to assess what measures to implement, identify high-risk areas, and locate where they should provide reminders to customers. Some of the measures they came up with include:
Capacity management has been a hot topic among museums and attractions, as many governments have put capacity restrictions and social distance rules in place for public spaces. It can be tough to restrict your capacity and maintain oversight of how many people are in your venue at a given time. Here’s how some venues are tackling capacity management issues.
Before the Coronavirus outbreak, Gaudi’s El Capricho didn’t have any online ticketing, so they had no means to enforce time slots and visitors couldn’t book their visit online. This meant that it would be especially difficult for them to assess their number of customers at any given time, and they ran the risk of discouraging customers from visiting (as there may not have been space for them to visit once they arrived). Tiqets helped them come up with a solution in just a few weeks: they implemented the Tiqets Booking Engine.
This meant that once they knew when they would be able to reopen, they could already start selling tickets in advance. Based on their capacity restrictions, they can let people in every 30 minutes which means that they can implement time-slotted booking as well.
For the Colosseum, capacity management has always been an issue, as it is such a popular attraction. Under the new regulations, they can only accommodate 600 visitors per day. To help manage this, the Colosseum put several measures in place.
The Moco Museum already had a time-slotted entry in place, which in itself is a useful way to help manage capacity. They took this a step further and now offer only online time-slotted entry. Here are some more of the measures they put in place to better manage capacity in their venue.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to reopening is how to attract customers again, and which customers to target. As most international travel has been put on hold, a lot of venues have decided to refocus their marketing and communication efforts and target local audiences instead. Here are two examples from our regional managers of venues that are doing this exceptionally well.
The Oceanario de Lisboa decided to focus its marketing efforts on local families with a special month-long campaign. In June, all children will be able to attend the oceanarium for free. As children will likely be unable to attend without their parents, the venue will be able to maintain a steady stream of sales while giving families a chance to do something fun out of the house.
The Thyssen Museum launched a campaign aimed specifically at locals: The Thyssen is for you. Built around the fact that tourists will not be visiting the museum, this campaign focused on giving the local community special access to the museum. The Thyssen Museum organised two days of free access to the museum for locals and they made it essential for bookings to be made online and in advance. Marketing campaigns like this can help to ignite local interest in your venue and encourage more domestic visitors.
Making sure that your staff is well prepared for the new regulations was also a topic that came up in many of the roundtable sessions that sparked this webinar. Christiansborg Castle (Denmark) and Muiderslot (the Netherlands) are two venues that prepared their staff especially well.
After being told that they would need to reduce capacity, Christiansborg Castle decided to increase their staff numbers as their venue is a large one and will likely need extra policing to ensure that visitors adhere to the new rules.
Another tricky issue they wanted to be prepared for was uncooperative visitors. Staff at the venue have been instructed to tell visitors who do not follow the rules or appear to be ill to leave the premises. In the event of someone refusing to leave, the venue has made sure that security staff will be on the premises to escort uncooperative visitors out. There hasn’t been any need for security so far, but having them there is perhaps enough to reassure both staff and visitors.
Muiderslot is an excellent example of a venue that came up with a creative way to handle its staffing issues. This venue usually relies on elderly volunteers to run their daily operations, but since many of them fall into the high-risk Coronavirus category, they have decided it would not be safe for them to work.
Of course, to reopen their doors, they’ll need staff. Their solution to this problem came from an unexpected source: the Dutch airline KLM has a volunteer group, and some of the people in this group have offered to step in and help out at Muiderslot. Thanks to this arrangement, the venue has 40 new volunteers. This is a great reminder to be creative when coming up for solutions in unprecedented times!
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