cyclists

Understanding Our Markets: Ways of Segmenting

This is the third piece in a series of instalments about social science for interpreters, and interpretive planners, and visitor experience professionals. Find the first instalment here.  There are many ways of understanding our audiences and segmenting them into groups. Do these look familiar to you? Demography: What life stage are your visitors (age, family and marital status)? What is their education level? What is their […]

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panel with bad comma

Of Commas and Wurlies

Here’s an interpretive panel on the outskirts of Adelaide, Australia: Let’s address the obvious, first. What on EARTH is a wurly? Let’s ask Wictionary. wurly (plural wurlies) An Australian indigenous shelter made from small branches with leaves still attached. Phew, I’m glad that’s out of the way. Now, before we get all shirty about the use of jargon in interpretive panels, we should look at the possibility that this was a conscious choice. Perhaps the […]

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Segmentation, Profiling and the Role of Free Will

Editor’s note: This is part two of a series, Understanding Our Audiences, intended for anyone who does planning in the interpretive or visitor experience sectors. You can find the first instalment here.  It all sounds like marketing-speak. In fact, it’s pure old-school interpretation. Market segmentation is based on the idea that your behaviour and your tastes are predicted, to some extent, by your life stage (age, […]

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crowd at pyramids

Quantifying Sparkle: Standards in Personal Programs

Defining Standards for Personal Interpretive Programs I’ve had the opportunity, over the last few years, to do a great deal of traveling. I’m up to 54 countries and counting now, though my time in each has been tantalizingly brief. And as I travel, I manage to attend quite a few interpretive programs. I think it’s interesting to see the different interpretive styles and standards out […]

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Oriental garden lizard

Sri Lanka: Nature In The City

When I see on my itinerary that I’ll be visiting a destination for one short day, I start to feel a bit of pressure to make the most of it. This week, I was to visit Colombo, Sri Lanka for my first time—my only taste of this storied island nation. What to do, what to do? As it turned out, my options were narrowed considerably […]

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Proofread twice, print once…

Bit of an interpretive whoopsie at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney. I really sympathize: if you draft or design interpretive panels for a living, sooner or later you’ll send something to the print shop with a big old mistake in it. Always, always, always have somebody else proofread your work. sentence (ˈsɛnt(ə)ns) a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and […]

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man looking at camera, mumbai

Mumbai: Just Go!

The city of Mumbai, India has a bit of a public relations problem. Tell anyone you’re going to the former Bombay and their eyes widen. “Are you sure? Are you ready?” they ask, as if you were about to venture into the rainforests of Borneo unprepared. Mumbai has a certain reputation, and it’s not entirely deserved. The traffic is legendary, as are the crowds. Yes, […]

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fishing nets, Kochi India

Discovering Kochi

Welcome to Kochi, jewel of southern India and my gateway to this strange and sultry nation. Everything is a bit different when you’re traveling by yourself, and I’m currently going solo. My partner Tom went home a little early when it was looking like our visas had fallen through and we wouldn’t be able to disembark in India. So walking alone out of the port […]

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girl at temple

Morning in Mangalore

It was 6:00 am and the temperature was 29C—and climbing—as we pulled into the smallish coastal city of Mangalore, India. I had been reading up on the city, planning my visit, and all indications were that this was a not-too-touristy working town, known for its spicy seafood and not much else. It sounded perfect to me: the seafood didn’t tempt me much (I’ve just gotten […]

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