Podcast: The Data Diaries


People first retail, your team are your true champions with Will Sullivan, The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art

Will Sullivan, Head of Visitor Experience at the Metropolitan Museum of Art shares insights on how to blend retail and visitor experiences together. Sometimes, ’where can I find the gift store?” is the most important question you’ll answer at your visitor attraction. Through understanding the 360 holistic visitor experience via data and strategies to align retail arms with your attraction’s mission – you create impactful memories that your visitor takes home forever.

Learn more about Will Sullivan.

Visitors, their experience and the value of museums with John Falk

John Falk is recognized as one of the most influential museum professionals of the past hundred years. Director of the Institute for Learning and Innovation, and Sea Grant Professor of Free Choice Learning at Oregon State University. Falk formerly held a number of senior positions at the Smithsonian and has authored over two hundred scholarly articles and chapters in the field, as well as more than two dozen books, including ‘The Museum Experience Revisited’ – he is the leading globally authority on free choice learning, being the learning we do when we have choice and control over what, where and when, like we do in museums.

We ask John about how visitor experience has changed over the years, including due to COVID, why people visit museums and how institutions contribute to enhanced wellbeing.

Learn more about John and his work: www.instituteforlearninginnovation.org/

How visitor attractions can use design thinking to execute rapid change

In 2021, visitor attractions who are able to execute rapid change are the ones who will thrive in recovery while facing changing market demands and visitor behaviors.

Daniel Jordan, Senior Product Designer at Dexibit, discusses how attractions can innovate and adapt quickly through a 5 step design thinking process – applicable for strategic and operational decision making processes.

Recommended by Daniel: resources on design thinking in museums – https://designthinkingformuseums.net/

Reflections on the year that was 2020 and the strategy ahead for generating demand

Rob Baker, Director of Marketing and Creative Strategy at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reflects on two reopenings in as many years, after the Museum’s temporary closure for a significant renovation before COVID-19. Rob covers how MoMA has positioned and communicated with a primarily now local audience during the crisis while engaging the world online with viral and newsworthy moments like its comedic take on Kim Kardashian’s birthday trip. With a fast tracked digital transformation of the visitor experience now driving advance online bookings, we hear about how the call to action in MoMA’s marketing has changed. Plus, hear Rob’s expectations and plans for the year ahead as the industry navigates rebuilding demand once vaccine rollouts are in progress and tourism begins to heat up.


Get in on the action by tweeting your favorite Kardashian inspired piece from MoMA’s collection: https://bit.ly/36XMIxA

The role of empathy and data in capacity management

In this value packed episode, we talk to Herman Marigny and DeAnna Wynn from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) about their partnership between visitor services and information technology, particularly around capacity management both pre and post COVID and their visitor centered decision making, mixing empathy and data to ensure safe and happy visitors.


Learn more about NMAAHC: nmaahc.si.edu/

Reflections on reopening with the Recovery Room’s Rachel McKay

We head to London to chat to Rachel Mackay, author of the Recovery Room, recently named Blooloop Top 50 Influencer and Manager of the Palaces at Kew for advice on leading front line teams through reopening and recovery.


Check out Rachel’s blog at the Recovery Room.

Priorities for visitor attractions navigating reopening and recovery

Angie Judge (Chief Executive, Dexibit) and Jack Szeltner (Account Executive, Dexibit) digs into the big topic of how visitor attractions are navigating recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

Angie uncovers what reopening visitation benchmarks we’re seeing, what strategies and tactics different venues are deploying and and how everyone is approaching the challenges of reopening, recovering and returning – or at least settling – into a new normal.


Join Dexibit’s free visitation dashboard for visitor attractions: dexibit.com/pricing/free/

Put your seat backs upright: the economics of travel and tourism for visitor attractions

Tune in to learn about the future of tourism for visitor attractions from a global expert and leader with a foot in each camp. Ben Baldanza sits on the Board of Directors for both Six Flags theme parks and Jet Blue airline, having spent a decade as CEO of Spirit, Ben is also an Adjunct Professor of Economics with George Mason University and is a cohost on Airlines Confidential. Ben calls for the tourism industry to work together, explains what to expect in market forces and consumer behavior under COVID-19, discusses price theory in the face of changing demand and emphasizes the role of data science in navigating recovery.

Tune in to Airlines Confidential at airlinesconfidential.com.

For Dexibit’s full coverage on Leading in Crisis, see dexibit.com/covid19

Leading adaptability through change

Claire Spencer AM, CEO Arts Centre Melbourne reflects on how the ACM values and focus on people has carried her team through the crisis so far, along with shareable resources on building resilience and industry efforts to help colleagues deal with the trauma of COVID-19.

– For mental health resources for the arts sector, see www.artswellbeingcollective.com.au
– The ACM guide to change and adaptability bit.ly/36j64LW
– Supplementary resource on health care for arts workers bit.ly/2ZfVWlB

For Dexibit’s full coverage on Leading in Crisis, see dexibit.com/covid19

A chat about capacity management

Pip Gilbert, VP Product at Dexibit, joins us to talk about everything capacity management including crowd control, queueing, managing health and safety, and how it relates to keeping your visitors happy so that they have a great experience at your attraction.

Learn about the relationship between capacity and visitor happiness, the importance of setting expectations, the pros and cons of advance passes and other ways you can manage capacity at your venue.

Dexibit’s scenario simulation tool, free for visitor attractions during COVID-19
What are you waiting for? Ways to improve queue management
5 ways to measure a queue at your visitor attraction

Privacy in a Pandemic

We talk to leading global privacy expert Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum about philosophy, nudity, liberty, bluetooth, pregnancy, immunity passports and surveillance.

Plus… the practicalities of privacy ethics and legalities in the age of COVID-19 for visitor attractions, such as managing visitor health, temperature checks, symptomatic staff and more.

Follow the Forum’s work at fpf.org.

Post pandemic psychology

Victoria Alogna, Ph.D. Psychology and Data Scientist at Dexibit, discusses the science behind visitor behavior and what attractions can expect when reopening.

Understand how people respond to crises, the importance of maintaining trust with your visitors during this time, and why we should be wary of surveys where people rate their likelihood to visit attractions in the future.

Global voices: Europe – We’re all stronger together

Julia Pagel, Secretary General, Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO); David Vuillaume, Director, German Museums Association and Aleksandra Berberih-Slana, President, Slovenian Museums Association join us in our global voices series to share how COVID-19 has impacted attractions in Europe.

Julia, David and Aleksandra are encouraging museums across Europe with the message ‘We are stronger together’. They stress the importance for European venues learning from each other (particularly as some countries reopen, such as already occurring in Germany), the role of digital in the crisis and the financial challenges ahead for some European cultural institutions despite public funding, especially for those where that funding is now at risk. Plus, insight highlights from NEMO’s recent survey of COVID-19 impacts in Europe.

The Network of European Museum Organisations: www.ne-mo.org
German Museums Association: www.museumsbund.de
Association of Slovene Museums: www.sms-muzeji.si

Global voices: UK – The power of pragmatic but imaginative thinking

Maggie Appleton, President of the Museums Association reports from the United Kingdom on the impact on the tourist pound across the four nations, for the need for pragmatic but imaginative thinking and for sharing and using data to scenario plan for the future.

In her role as the Chief Executive of the Royal Air Force Museum, Maggie also comments on what comparisons can be made between the COVID-19 crisis and war time and talks to the practicalities of reopening at a museum level.

Follow the Museum Association’s work www.museumsassociation.org and on Twitter @MuseumsAssoc

Global voices: Africa – safe, serene, silent and slow

Africa is traditionally known for sun, sea, safari and sand. Sabine Lehmann, consultant at Curiositas and President of the Board and Executive Director for the African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AAVEA), coins a new phrase for what African attractions will be known for in the near future: safe, serene, silent and slow.

Sabine discusses how attractions in emerging economies are managing the crisis, the shift to focusing on hyperlocalized tourism, what global attractions can learn from their African counterparts and more.

Follow AAVEA’s work www.aavea.org.za
Follow Sabine on Twitter @CityBowlKid

Global voices: New Zealand – Living Kiwi values during times of crisis

Phillipa Tocker, Executive Director of Museums Aotearoa, joins us in our ‘global voices’ series to share how COVID-19 has impacted attractions in New Zealand, their response and what global attractions can learn from Kiwis.

Phillipa talks about how COVID-19 has impacted attractions and tourism in smaller markets like New Zealand and the unmistakable acts of manaakitanga seen during this time, a Māori concept of showing care, respect and hospitality to others.

Follow Museum Aotearoa’s work on www.museumsaotearoa.org.nz

Global voices: Australia – Strengthening communities, reopenings and advocacy

Alex Marsden, National Director of the Australian Museums and Galleries Associations (AMAGA) joins us in our ‘global voices’ series to share how COVID-19 has impacted Australian attractions, their response and what global attractions can learn from their Aussie neighbors.

Alex discusses the added challenge for attractions during this time following the Australian bushfires, the role of cultural organizations in rebuilding and strengthening communities, the importance of supporting indigenous artists, what attractions reopening looks like in Australia and more.

Follow AMAGA’s work on www.amaga.org.au

Lessons from Christchurch

Jenny Harper, former Director at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū in New Zealand recounts a beautiful story of resilience and hope from the other side of a crisis – nearly a decade on from the Christchurch earthquake of 2011 which took 185 lives and injured thousands more. Jenny speaks of getting back to basics, the importance of communication, working with art in ‘outerspaces’ and the need for community, family and love in the face of adversity.

For listeners outside of New Zealand, see context of the Christchurch earthquakes.

The artwork referenced in this episode is by Martin Creed, work no 2314, 2015. Neon. 146.8 x 4600 cm. Commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation, gift of Neil Graham.

Crisis, compassion and creativity

We talk with Christy S Coleman, Executive Director at Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation on dealing with difficult decisions, including furloughs and redundancies.


2020: Not the future we planned, but here we are

Elizabeth Merritt, Vice President, Strategic Foresight & Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums at the American Alliance of Museums joins us to discuss what the future looks like for museums and attractions in the face of COVID-19.

The case for shutting down almost everything, and restarting when coronavirus is gone
Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

COVID-19 Webinar: Visitor attractions leading through crisis

Brought to you by Dexibit, together with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), IAAPA and Blooloop. Discover approaches and strategies attractions can implement into their COVID-19 response. To access the webinar slides go to dexibit.com/covid19