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Reimagining the Museum ­Experience Tools for Participatory Planning

Elliot Felix is a director at brightspot strategy. He designs services, spaces, and organisations to enable better work and learning experiences.

Antonina Simeti is a senior consultant at DEGW, an AECOM company. She works with cultural, academic and corporate institutions to understand work and learning and improve organisational performance. She brings insights on the relationship between the creative economy, city and community to the strategic planning process.



The role of art museums is changing. Visitors expect more active participation, a more customised offer for their needs and interests and a more social and technology-rich experience. There is also increasing competition for leisure time and funding among a diminishing population of museum-goers. The museum experience can no longer only be about quietly seeing works of art: it must be about the interplay of seeing, hearing, playing, meeting and socialising. How do you help museums to explore new approaches to visitor experience and visitor services? We recently worked with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) to re-imagine the experience of their visitors – both on-site and online – and to enable the museum to mean more to more people. We led museum staff through three exercises – scenario planning, storyborrowing and experience role-play – in order to enable them to understand aspirational visitor experiences and the implications for services such as ticketing, visitor orientation, social and educational event programming, membership programs, and marketing initiatives. This article will walk you through the tool used, provide recommendations for successful facilitation and illustrate how a participatory planning process

can help cultural and other types of institutions plan for the future. Scenario Planning How can you plan for the future when things are changing? By using a 2x2 matrix of course! Although scenario planning is based on this simple matrix, it is a powerful tool for developing different potential futures and understanding how different drivers of change interact. Pioneered by military think tanks in the 1950s and later adopted for business strategy, scenario planning can be applied to solve many types of problems1. Scenario planning is best done in a long workshop early in the planning process, bringing together diverse

Touchpoint Vol. 4 No. 1  

Touchpoint Vol. 4 No. 1 takes an in-depth look at the centuries-old focus on customer experience in the hospitality, tourism, food and leisu...

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