Visitor attraction research

Preparing for the future

Understanding current and potential visitor perceptions is central to the development of any attraction. New and old, none can afford to ignore customer views, especially when long term plans for their future development are being created.

National Coal Mining Museum for England

Preparations to draw up a new 10-year plan at this established attraction included a desire to understand current and potential visitor perceptions of the museum.

Two research projects were simultaneously undertaken with visitors and non-visitors: 

  • For the visitor research a quantitative survey captured their expectations, reasons for visiting and profile information as they arrived at the museum
  • This was then followed up a week later by a qualitative in depth telephone interview to explore and evaluate their reactions to the visit
  • The qualitative potential visitor research was also a two-stage process. Respondents for focus groups were recruited to specified criteria, including their willingness to actually visit the museum and take part in some follow up research
  • This initial research explored perceptions of the museum, barriers to visiting and the quality and effectiveness of marketing materials. Respondents were then asked to visit the museum with their families before Follow up telephone interviews then evaluated potential visitor views

Evidence-based decision making

The findings from both projects came together into one set of actionable recommendations. The results have since enabled the museum to make long term strategic planning decisions based on robust evidence. Immediate tactical changes to marketing and promotional materials and elements of the visitor experience were also implemented.

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