1. To keep up with the competition
The visitor attraction sector is growing, with 6.4million people visiting the British Museum (the UK's most popular attraction of 2015) last year. With all this traffic, it's no surprise that many attractions are spending increasing amounts of money on ensuring footfall. Competition is fierce and the battle to deliver the best visitor experience means more and more attractions are turning to AV solutions to give them the edge. To make sure your attraction is keeping up, incorporating AV solutions is a must.
2. To provide an 'experience'
Gone are the days when an artefact in a glass box will do. These days guests are expecting to be immersed in the experience of your attraction; they want to smell it, hear it, see it, feel it, get lost in it. Immersive environments created through audio and visual systems will ensure your guests experience full sensory immersion.
3. To prevent distraction
Accenture recently produced a report which found that 87% of consumers use a second screen device whilst watching TV. We live in a time where distraction is our biggest enemy, and holding people's interest requires more effort than ever. That which used to entertain us no longer does, and so we must find ways to keep our audience engaged.
(read a summary of the report here).
4. To make a visit memorable
We know it isn't just about footfall. Your attraction needs to do more than just get people in the door, it needs to leave a lasting impression. This brings us back to the experience; guests may visit your attraction for many reasons, but it's the experience that brings them back, it's the experience that makes your attraction a topic of conversation at the dinner table, and it's the experience that will capture the imagination of those they tell.
5. To move past physical limitations
Perhaps you feel stunted by the physical limitations of your building. No worries! The beauty of AV is in its ability to move beyond these limits. Even if all you have at your disposal is a tiny tin shed, with a few projection walls; an audio track; some programmed lighting; and temperature control, your tiny tin shed can become a beach in the Bahamas. Whatever your attraction and whatever the physical limitations, AV systems can turn your space into whatever you require.
6. To breath new life
Here at Piranha we're all about education, and as you well know, the best way to educate is to start young. The problem is that many children don't consider the idea of a museum or mine tour, a fun day out. Such attractions are seen as aged and out-of-date. Thankfully organisations like Kids in Museums are working to change this and make museums as accessible and engaging as possible. This is great news, but there is a definite argument for incorporating AV solutions to help breath life into these attractions too.
Ever tried to get a teenager to read a classic novel? It probably didn't go down so well. Put a chapter from that novel in an interactive video on a touch screen, and the chances of engagement rocket. We may not like it, but young people today are used to tech, they enjoy it, and they are used to turning to it for entertainment. So updating your attraction with audio and visual systems is a sure fire way to illicit more engagement from the young people we desperately want to encourage in their learning.
7. To make it personal
As pointed out in AV magazine, utilising this technology allows you to make the experience personal for you guests. Incorporating guest's own devices means the experience is no longer general and detached, but something they can really feel involved in, and the more involved your guests feel, the more they'll get from the experience.
8. Your guests expect it
In a society so full of technology, and with so many attractions adding AV solutions to their exhibits; it's likely that your guests are expecting your attraction to involve some level of tech.
A few years ago I went to a war museum with my cousin, he must have been around 7 at the time. As we approached a large glass box displaying a german officer's uniform, he began to hunt around for something. After a while he got annoyed and turned to me 'I can't find the button' he said. Whilst he really enjoyed the exhibit, he was looking for a way to begin the audio track that it turned out, didn't exist. Needless to say he was somewhat disappointed.
It isn't that the tech has become more important than the attraction itself, but that guests are more and more expecting tech to be part of the attraction; when it's missing, the attraction feels incomplete.