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Ylva French Founder, Ylva French Consultancy


he cultural attractions sector is now in serious competition with com- mercial attractions and provides visitor experi-

ences that equal and surpass many commercial attractions. This dramatic transformation has been

driven by the expectations of visitors, who are better educated and more qual- ity conscious. They’re also keen not just to experience, but also to learn, and to encourage their children to learn. Visitor services have been the big-

gest and most important change in most museums and galleries. We’ve moved on from a situation where the objects were king, to a customer- focused welcome instead. Facilities have been vastly improved, including toilets and cafés, as well as interpreta- tion and interaction.

French has been running her consultancy since 1988 In the future, the semantic web

(an extension of the World Wide Web that enables people to share content beyond the boundaries of applications and websites) will fi nally arrive to the museum sector and we’ll have won- derful opportunities to explore world heritage online. Visiting in person will be just as popular and growing popu-

lations and increased tourism will put enormous pressure on museums, gal- leries and heritage attractions. This will result in more timed ticket entry, not just for blockbuster exhibitions but for all sorts of attractions, to maintain the quality of the visitor experience. Social media and technology will continue to change – who knows what will be next.”

In the future, the semantic web will fi nally arrive to the museum sector and we’ll have wonderful opportunities to explore world heritage online

Bob Rogers Founder and CEO, BRC Imagination Arts


hen BRC was estab- lished in 1981, there wasn’t an attrac- tions industry as such. There was an

amusement park industry with coast- ers, fl at rides and arcade equipment, but the market for ideas, storytelling and Disney-level technology that we associate with the industry today sim- ply wasn’t there – we made it up as we went along. The industry took off in the 1990s with breakthroughs in technol- ogy and in the expanding exchange of ideas due to the efforts of organisa- tions such as Attractions Management and IAAPA. By contrast, it’s a big industry now.

There are hundreds of fi rms and thou- sands of individuals ready to deliver the technology and skills necessary to create world-class attractions.

CHANGES We used to dream about the kinds of experiences we’d like to create for our

AM 2 2012 ©cybertrek 2012

guests, but couldn’t because the tech- nology didn’t exist. Today, the limit isn’t the technology, but your imagi- nation. The technical breakthroughs we’re seeing today are going to create astounding experiences in the next few years. There are things in our shop that we can’t wait to show the world. Another big development is that the people who work in this industry are smarter, better educated, more knowl- edgeable, more creative and every bit as driven as the industry pioneers of 40 and 50 years ago. Thirty years ago, we had the excitement of just beginning. Today, we have dedicated professionals who are passionate about new ideas and new possibilities. Looking ahead, there is a danger

that we’ll become too set in our ways. At the recent IAAPA, Disney Legend’s Marty Sklar and Jack Lindquist talked about the value of ignorance and how people who don’t know what they can’t do are more inclined to try the improbable and achieve the impossible.

Rogers founded BRC Imagination Arts 31 years ago

Periodically, you should try to forget what you know and start over. We should focus on the quote by Henry David Thoreau [American author, poet and philosopher]: ‘Do not tell me what is new; tell me what is never old.’ Using timeless wisdom and fresh imagination, we need to seize the new and drive it towards the great new guest experiences that are just now becoming possible.”

Read Attractions Management online 25

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