statue and eiffel tower

The Power of the Creative Brief

Think of it as a one-page interpretive plan. Writing a plan is tough work, and writing an interpretation plan is one of the more daunting tasks many of us in the nature-heritage sector face. So daunting, in fact, that many of us would rather chew off an arm than set aside time in our busy weeks to work on any kind of long-term strategy. Recently, I’ve started […]

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boat on calm water

Defining Your Values: Some Exercises

It takes time to become accustomed to values-based thinking. This is part two of a two-part article on organizational values in the heritage sector. Part one is here.  A values exercise is a way of defining your ethical approach to the prickly, unpleasant issues that are likely to rear their heads in the future. Your values become your moral compass and the pillars of your daily […]

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bridge, paris

Organizational Values in the Heritage Sector

In the heritage sector, values and brand are ultimately one and the same. If your mission describes what you do as an organization, both your values and your brand describe how you do it. That may sound strange: brand and values sound like two very different areas of concern. But I’m going to suggest to you that in the heritage sector, the two are inexorably […]

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man gazing right

Twenty(ish) Good Questions About Your Markets

What benefits are they seeking when they travel to an attraction like yours? This article is part of a series, Understanding Our Audiences, on market segmentation for interpretive planners and other visitor experience professionals. You should probably start at the beginning, here.   Here are some things you probably need to know about your visitors in order to identify your market segments. Note that these are not […]

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woman in traditional dress, Kota Kinabalu

Spray and Pray: The Fear of Excluding A Market

The point of market segmentation is not to make visitors unwelcome; it is the opposite. This article is part of a series, Understanding Our Audiences, on market segmentation for interpretive planners and other visitor experience professionals. You should probably start at the beginning, here.  Managers and boards of directors are sometimes reluctant to focus their investments in a handful of target markets (some businesses focus […]

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Five Filters for Qualifying a Target Market

How do you know if a given audience segment has potential for you? This article is part of a series, Understanding Our Audiences, for interpretive planners and other visitor experience professionals. Here is the beginning of the series.  Every so often, someone in your organization will say, “Hey, we should really be serving Market  X!” How do you know if Market X has potential for […]

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sculpture face-to-face,Oslo

Making Standards Your Own

This is the third instalment of a presentation I made at the Montreal NAI/IC Conference in May, 2015. You can find part one here. Be prepared for a little conflict when embarking on a standards exercise. There are a few strong lessons I learned from the evaluation project, and I have applied them since to other initiatives. First, be prepared to open a can of […]

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surfers at long beach

Values: The Key to Market Segmentation

Values are the most important criterion of all. This is the fourth instalment in an ongoing discussion on social science for interpretive planners and visitor experience professionals. Part one is here.  The last few years have seen a real shift among market researchers away from simple demographics toward psychographics: identifying segments of society by their identity-based social values. This is based on the idea that different groups of […]

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trout lily

An Interpretation Conference, Tweeted

Last week, I attended the International Conference on Interpretation in Montreal, co-produced by Interpretation Canada and the National Association for Interpretation. It was a very good conference. In case you weren’t able to attend (or were there and want to re-live it), here is the conference in its entirety as communicated by the Twittersphere. Enjoy.  

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delphine lalaurie house

New Orleans: Once More With Five Feelings

Editor’s note: I’m thrilled to host this new post by my friend and colleague, Doug Heaney  The Top 5 Feelings You’ll Have in New Orleans by Doug Heaney Recently, my partner and I found ourselves in New Orleans to catch a cruise down to the Western Caribbean. And as much as we enjoyed the cruise part of the trip, the time we tacked on pre- and […]

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