boy in traditional dress, new caledonia

The Art and Science of Visitor Experience

Visitor experience is 70% art and 30% science. When I was a young park interpreter, we rarely had access to audience research. In fact, I don’t much recall anyone talking about it: if you were in the heritage tourism sector, you simply did your work (exhibits, activities, orientation, amenities) as best you could, based on what you thought it should look like. We didn’t spend much […]

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Careers in Interpretation: What’s Next for You?

  Dear Don:  I’m a museum geek who’s trying to figure out what’s next, and I’m hoping you may have some sage words to impart. What floats my boat is bringing stories to life, sharing ideas, and generally getting folks stoked to be there, be it through exhibitions, education programmes, tours etc. Now I’m trying to figure out how to make that happen, and I […]

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hiking, west coast trail

The West Coast Trail: An Adventure

In July of this year I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hike the West Coast Trail in style, with Irie Adventure Tours. I went as a correspondent for Toque and Canoe, Canada’s award-winning travel blog, and it was everything I’d hoped. Read on: Don Enright’s West Coast Trail Adventure

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sunlight, west coast trail

Here’s what’s keeping me (mostly) out of trouble

So a tenor is in bed with another man’s wife. The husband walks in on them and shouts, “Oh my god! What are you doing?” The tenor jumps up and says, “Well, I’m doing Rigoletto, then Traviata, then I’m doing Aida…” So in the spirit of “Oh my god, what are you doing?” I have added a portfolio section to this website, so you can […]

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Harlequin ducks

I’m on Miss 604: The Harlequin Ducks of Stanley Park

I had an opportunity this week to submit an article to Miss604.com, on behalf of Stanley Park Ecology Society. It’s always a pleasure to volunteer for SPES, and it’s exciting to appear on Rebecca’s (Miss604) blog; she has a huge following. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s the link: The Harlequin Ducks of Stanley Park  

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brown pelican, teetering

Hearts, Minds, and Positioning Statements

Positioning Statements: Simple, Not Easy Sometimes, life takes you in odd and unexpected directions. If you’d told me twenty years ago that I was going to be spending my days helping heritage sites do market research and audience segmentation, I probably would have cut myself. It really isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Target marketing is not the kind of thing I wake up excited about […]

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peacock

To script or not to script? An interpreter’s dilemma

A great presentation requires a great script. We’ve been talking a lot lately about the decline of classical stand-and-deliver interpretation, and the rise of experiential, inquiry-based or dialogue-based programming. I think it’s a healthy dialogue. For decades, sage-on-the-stage programming was the default interpretive medium. You took an interpreter, put her in front of an audience, and made people listen to her. Simple. But it wasn’t always effective. […]

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scary Halloween image (church in Rome)

Is Your Halloween Program Off-Theme?

Surely we can accomplish more with a valuable new audience then just jump out of a dark corner and go “boo.” Are you planning a thematically vapid Halloween event? Are you busily training volunteers to jump out at people from behind half-closed doors? Are you dusting off your wacky grave stones and firing up your howling-and-cackling sound systems? And are you completely ignoring your site’s history and […]

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