WIFI Technology and the Museum Experience
National Museums is a group of world-class Museums and galleries with diverse venues attracting in excess of 3 million visitors each year across seven major sites.
Their collections are among the most important and varied in Europe. Having played a pivotal role in the North West for over 150 years and by seeking out new opportunities and taking an innovative approach, the public offer remains fresh, relevant, challenging and competitive.
Enhancing the experience of the visitor is a priority for National Museums and Wi-Fi technology plays a vital role in contributing to this factor. Smart phones, Ipads, Iphones and Wi-Fi capable devices are carried by many people of all ages. Surrounded by priceless and unique works of art And museum pieces generates a massive amount Of interest. Visitors have a natural thirst for more Information and in making information accessible at the touch of a button, enhances the overall Museum experience.
The beauty of providing visitors with the ability to
connect to the internet allows them to really seize the moment.
There’s only so much written information that can be displayed in each exhibition area and the Internet opens up a raft of interesting facts without the need to generate huge amounts of print; therefore driving cost down. The use of QR codes also assist in making information highly accessible. Knowledge hungry visitors are supplied with all the information they wish for and on many occasions, they go on to share photographs and snippets through social networks with friends and family; in turn this contributes to further awareness and footfall.
Wi-Fi also forms a major part in the educational process as well as freeing Museum staff to assist visitors with other general enquiries.
After piloting the service at the largest site in Liverpool, National Museums were really impressed with attention to detail paid by Evolve. Mindful of the exhibitions and allowing staff to continue with their normal day to day operations, Evolve engineers worked quietly and efficiently in the background, ensuring that nothing was disturbed and aesthetics remained
un- affected in any way during and after installation.
Many of the buildings in the National Museum Portfolio are listed, therefore it was important Evolve worked closely with planners to ensure that all the requirements and necessary consents where obtained before any work commenced.
National Museums were looking to increase foot fall by offering Free Wi-Fi. This objective was clearly met to an extent that the footfall was too high for the museum to manage.
We were asked to offer any suggestions that could better balance the usage. We proposed implementing timed access to the Internet at specific venues to encourage the foot fall during quieter periods, whilst maintaining ODM Intranet access for information. The IT director of the museums embraced this option as an excellent balance of user experience and management of foot fall.