If you represent a museum, gallery, or cultural/heritage site, then it’s likely you’re often thinking about how to better engage your visitors, improve their experience, and attract more of them. But are you thinking about how mobile audio could help? Here are three things (the 3 P’s) about mobile audio that you may not be thinking about, but should be:
1) It’s personal! Can you think of anything that people keep with them more than their smartphone? And, that they use as often? Or rely on as much for so many things that are so important to them? Probably not. For a lot of people anyway. In its relatively short existence, the smartphone has quickly become the one indispensable thing that people use alongside anything and everything else that matters in their lives. In other words, it’s VERY personal. And this is a HUGE opportunity for you. When people visit your museum, gallery or cultural/heritage site, chances are, that at some point, they are going to want to use their smartphone to enhance their experience, and share it with others. It’s just natural. So, let them, and give them more reasons to do so. By providing your visitors with mobile audio tours that are available to them on their own smartphones, you get to share your stories with them, the way you want them to be told, time and time again, so that your visitors can connect more deeply, more emotionally, and more meaningfully with your organization, your object collections, your points of interest and your mission. When your visitors can use the device that is the most personal to them, as a means for experiencing the stories that are the most personal to your organization, the connections that will result can only be more personal too. And with those kinds of connections, I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine your visitors having a more enjoyable experience, telling others about it and coming back for more.
2) It’s parallel! Have you ever walked into an exhibition and seen an expansive array of items on display that you wanted to learn more about, but then quickly grew tired of it all because you spent more time reading labels than actually engaging with what’s on display? With mobile audio, your visitors can actually engage with what you have on display, rather than spending all their time reading about it. Audio is unique, unlike text, video and photos, in that you can experience it in parallel with whatever else you are experiencing. With mobile audio, your visitor is free to roam, while at the same time listening to all the interesting stories and information about your exhibits, without being tethered to a particular location where your labels are mounted. And, have you thought about your visitors whose first language may not be the one you’re using? So there again, with mobile audio, you have an opportunity to create parallel layers of audio in as many languages as there are languages spoken by your visitors. No wall space limits to worry about, nor huge printed multilingual labels or stacks of brochures offered in multiple languages. Instead, with the parallel nature of mobile audio, you can liberate your visitors to explore your exhibits more broadly and intimately, while engaging them in whichever language is most comfortable for them.
3) It’s prompt! Remember the guided tour you paid for, when all you really wanted to do was break free and look at whatever you wanted in whatever order you felt like? You probably ended up sticking with the guided tour though, because you paid for it, and because you didn’t want to miss that one great story that’d make all the waiting around worthwhile. With mobile audio, your visitors promptly get the stories they want, when they want them, simply by tapping the screen of their smartphone. No more waiting for the group, a slow or overly verbose tour guide – and not even for your doors to open. With mobile audio, regardless of the availability of your docents and tour guides, or the business hours of your organization, you can provide your visitors with an opportunity to listen to the tours they want, in any order they choose, as many times as they want, no matter where they are in the world – promptly, on demand, on their own smartphone.
One last thing, in addition to the 3 P’s above, that I want to remind you of, is that in today’s increasingly digital world, people are actually seeking out and placing a higher value on that which is authentic. So if you’re able to create mobile audio where the person speaking is the actual person who IS the expert, or IS the source, or IS the creator, no matter how well-spoken they may or may not be, their words, unscripted, in their own voice, with their unique manner of speaking, will carry significant weight with your visitors and is yet one more important benefit you’ll have when leveraging mobile audio.
Hopefully these insights have given you reasons to think about mobile audio a bit more, and a bit differently now. With this greater context, your organization can plan accordingly, put resources into place and actions into motion that will help you leverage mobile audio in ways that will more than meet your organizational goals and your visitors expectations. If we can be helpful to you in this regard at CultureSpots, it would be our pleasure, so don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.
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Thank you, be well, and enjoy!
Founder, President/CEO of CultureSpots