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#ReopenRun – visitor point of view and behind the scenes interviews

As attractions start to open, join Angie and Cece as they explore New Zealand, one of the first countries to reopen, to see how various venues are operating post lockdown for COVID-19 – capturing the visitor point of view plus leadership interviews behind the scenes.
Has your venue reopened? Join us with the hashtag #ReopenRun.

#ReopenRun introduction

To understand the context of the health, economic and regulatory environment these venues are opening into, get a quick download on New Zealand’s COVID-19 approach and results. New Zealand achieved elimination with a hard and fast lockdown and at the time of filming is at ‘Alert Level 2’, whereby businesses and schools operate, but distancing, capacity, contact tracing and other health measures are in place.

Auckland Museum

We’re at Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira for reopening day and witness the pōwhiri (welcome ceremony). The Museum are using a virtual queue system for capacity and line management plus contact tracing, along with visitor wayfinding controls plus restrictions for exhibitions and interactives. We talk to David Reeves, Director Collections and Research about adapting cultural practices for COVID-19, accessioning during a pandemic and going digital with audience engagement.

Sky Tower

Sky Tower is an observation deck and bungy experience nestled in the Sky City entertainment precinct, complete with restaurants, bars, a hotel and casino. We were impressed by Sky City’s branded health and safety campaign and excellent signage. Plus, we go behind the scenes to talk to Sky Tower Manager William Surya, before taking a leap off the side of the Tower with AJ Hackett’s bungy team!

Rainbows End

Angie and Cece head out to Auckland’s largest theme park, Rainbows End. Chief Executive Officer Karen Crabb explains the thinking behind compulsory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, the intricacies of bag checks at a distance, a move to contactless payment and new safe ride procedures for guests.

Eden Park Stadium

Angie and Cece head to Eden Park, New Zealand’s national stadium and home of the All Blacks. Chief Executive Officer, Nick Sautner shares with us the joy of seeing a near 40,000 tickets sold ahead of the opening game of the new post COVID-19 rugby season as New Zealand stadiums are first in the world to welcome near sell out crowds.


For the kid in all of us, Cece climbs all over MOTAT to explore every inch of its visitor experience across two sites after a staged reopening, navigating a split ticket and multi site contact tracing. Plus, we talk to Sarah Somerville, Public Programmes Manager about offer repricing, education programs, older volunteers, touch interactives … and MOTAT’s genius drive in movies!

Auckland Zoo

We visit Auckland Zoo who are celebrating near normal visitation just a couple of weeks into reopening. Virtual queues are no longer needed and the physical distancing signage has gone, but we talked to Phil McGowan, Head of Visitor Experience & Business Performance, (accompanied by a few cheeky Kea) about operational measures the Zoo transitioned through, staff and visitor feedback and visitation trends for this outdoor venue in their first holiday weekend. Plus, Cece gets up close with the Zoo’s pride and joy.

SEALIFE Kelly Tarltons

SEALIFE Kelly Tarltons is an underground aquarium on Auckland’s waterfront with a rich history, where the team have done an outstanding job of communicating expectations to guests and optimizing capacity using visitor journey flow. Cece gets up close with a few feathered friends on the ice and catches up with General Manager Dan Henderson on the Aquarium’s operations over lockdown and lessons learned from the Merlin Entertainments family.

Auckland Art Gallery

When New Zealand reopened, not all venues decided to open straight away, with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki being one of those. As the Gallery announced its reopening for 13th June, Cece gets an inside peek at what awaits its visitors and discusses leadership considerations and the future of blockbuster exhibitions with Director Kirsten Paisley.


Auckland Library

Cece heads into the Auckland Library Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau to ask what happens to books when we return them, to hear about how librarians have been checking up on the elderly during lockdown and to peek into the Library’s basement! Plus, hear about resource balancing for librarians on reopening, physically distancing shelves and continuing online innovation with Rhion Munro, Team Leader – Unique Experiences.

Stardome Observatory

On the eve of their reopening, Stardome Chief Executive, Victoria Travers, talks to Cece about cultural, celestial and community considerations around reopening – plus the practicalities of planetarium theatre timed seating, prioritizing school tours and dealing with touch exhibitions.

LIVE: Reopening benchmarks

This session was broadcast on Tues 23 June, 4PM EST.

With many venues around the world reopening, visitation levels are not what they used to be. Join Angie Judge, Chief Executive, as she presents findings from Dexibit’s big data analytics solution. Discover how your venue’s performance compares to other reopened attractions, regional trends, trends by attraction type and what to expect as reopening continues.

LIVE: Ask us anything

This session was broadcast on 3 June, 4PM EST.

Angie and Cece answer the FAQ we get from our #ReopenRun. From capacity management, protective equipment, creative signage, and cleaning schedules to hand sanitizer – they talk about it all!

Want to learn more about Dexibit?

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