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Designing Family-Friendly Experiences

Published: 20 Mar 2024

Unlocking Family Engagement

With an average of £485 per household spent on days out in 2023 (an increase on 2022 and predicted to grow again in 2024), you will want to make sure that your venue is getting its share and by providing a family-friendly offering you can tap into this staycation spend.

How do you make your venue fun and engaging so that it is somewhere families want to visit? And how do you keep them returning, as well as making sure they leave good reviews, which in turn attracts more families? One answer is to create a tailored digital offering that provides an experience that a family can all enjoy together.

Before we go any further though… if digital interpretation is completely new to you, have a quick read of our introductory articles: Are you ready to go digital? and Creating Great On-Site Experiences.

It is important that any form of digital interpretation is grounded within the existing experience. Why not use this half term to review your existing offering from a family perspective? You could start by observing how your younger visitors interact, or not, with your attraction, measure dwell times and take note of any bottlenecks or parts that get completely overlooked. Using this information, our in-house team of experts can work with you to create a unique, family multimedia guide.

So how can digital interpretation help to engage this particular audience?

Bringing the Experience to Life:

  • For some sites this can include hands-on exhibits or role-plays and re-enactments but for others, resources such as space, staff and time might be limited.
  • Content can take many forms – the most important thing is to identify what works for your audience and your site. By working closely with you during the planning stage, we not only get to know the story you want to tell, but can also determine the most effective way to tell it.
  • We love tech, but it is never our starting point. Whether your site or your collection is the star, we can help you decide whether to focus on specific elements, or use a continuous storyline that weaves its way through your space would be the most effective narrative.

Igniting Their Spark:

  • In an age dominated by technology, heritage sites and attractions are continually exploring innovative ways to engage their visitors, especially children. One such opportunity is providing multimedia guides designed specifically for families to explore together, combining education with entertainment.
  • Unlike guidebooks or signage, multimedia guides can incorporate both visual and auditory elements, presenting stories in a dynamic and interactive way that makes the experience more enjoyable and memorable.

Great Storytelling

  • Who’s best to guide the families on their tour? Character led tours (real or imaginary, filmed or animated) can add a real sense of fun. Maybe Wren Dorothy Thompson at Bletchley Park, Molly, a steam punk character at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life or even Brian the Lion at Westminster Abbey will give you some inspiration!
  • Layered with sound effects, music or even interviews with experts, we can help you explore a variety of unique ways to bring your story to life. Visitors of all ages appreciate when you surprise and delight them. Taking them beyond what they might expect will give them an experience to remember.

The ATS team love receiving a brief for a family tour. It’s their chance to unleash their inner child and have fun incorporating characters, props and even theatrical performances to make sure the visitor experience is entertaining and memorable. Take a look here for more examples of our work – roll VT!

Five Reasons Why You Need To Invest In Digital Interpretation For Families

  1. Providing a way to bring the experience to life and making it more memorable will encourage repeat visits.
  2. Satisfied families are likely to leave positive reviews and share their experiences on social media. This can lead to increased publicity and visibility for your attraction, further driving visitor interest.
  3. By engaging the children, families will get the most out of your venue, representing better value for money for them and potentially leading to increased revenue from gift shops sales and food and beverage purchases.
  4. Attractions that offer family tours can cater to a wide range of ages, from young children to grandparents. This inclusivity can make the attraction more appealing to a broader, multi-generational, audience, potentially increasing visitor numbers.
  5. By advertising your family tour offering on your website and social media platforms you can differentiate yourself from the competition, guaranteeing you get your share of the staycation spend.

Great storytelling (and a flair for the creative!) is at the heart of what we do and the expert team at ATS can advise on the best way to bring your story to life for your younger visitors. So please get in touch and we can discuss how ATS can help with your next project!

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