Running a historical site is a great way to engage with a community and to attract business, especially in the holiday seasons when tourists are keen to learn about the culture of their destination or to spend a day with the kids outside of school. There are so many competing ideas about how to run a successful attraction, and we’ve put together a few evergreen ideas here for you to work from.
- Understand visitor needs
As with running any event or business, the core importance is to ensure that you understand what your target demographic wants from you and how to meet those needs.. You can make the most of your customers’ opinions and feedback by engaging in daq, or data acquisition, which can make a huge difference. Data acquisition is the practice of gathering feedback on your current offerings and practices, and this can be a great way to know how to move forward and improve what you offer.
- Keep visitors comfortable
Historical sites especially can be subject to cold temperatures, due to old buildings experiencing poor insulation and draughts. Though visitors will expect this to an extent it’s important to make sure that visitors are still kept comfortable. One way to do this may be to install electrical heating cables which allow the site to be kept warm without needing to install costly other systems.
- Engage with visitors their way
Though you might be full of ideas, that doesn’t mean that every single one will be a great one and it’s important to pay attention to how your visitors are responding to your initiatives. If an idea is consistently unsuccessful or unpopular after multiple tweaks and reworks, it’s important to let it go and redirect your energy towards ideas that are having a positive impact on your site and its visitors. Additionally, on top of data acquisition, it’s good to mentally consider your customer base. For example, if your attraction is popular with families, it’s important that you make the information you have on offer appealing and accessible to children.
- Focus on integrity
Though it’s important to ensure you make your historical site financially and commercially viable, and entertaining for guests, it’s important to ensure that the site itself loses no integrity. At the end of the day the reason that people visit a historical site is to learn and to experience something from a different time period and you should focus on maintaining that educational and immersive experience. It’s all too easy to cross the line from entertaining to gimmicky, and lucrative to money grabbing.
- Make your gift shop unusual
Anybody who has been to a museum gift shop in recent years can attest to the fact that they, by and large, sell a lot of the same content. Though we have to imagine this trend grew because these shops were stocking what sold, now that the same souvenirs are available everywhere a smaller historical site can do well by selling something a little more unusual – for example, some local arts and crafts.
Running a historical attraction provides an educational and entertaining experience for all, and it’s important to make sure you’re making the most of yours. Hopefully the ideas on this list will help you do just that!