In 2016 at the Berkshire Museum, interpretive planning was undertaken to examine how to re-position the visitor experience. As a first step, we conducted 400 interviews with community members (potential and actual visitors) and learned that the visitor experience was no longer compelling enough to be a top-pick for locals or tourist when planning activities or a museum visit.  The competition between musuems is high in this region;  the Berkshires is home to some magnificent musuems and the Berkshire Museum was just not considered one of them. Thorugh audience reserach and meetings we facilitated with countless stakeholder groups, staff, memers and Board of Directors, suggested that different expereinces, content and stories were desired than those offered in the museum. We heard again and again that folks felt things were dated. The story was tired.  The entire museum needed a refresh and reframing. The interpretive focus needed an adjusment in order to create an experience that will compel people to visit, leave a lasting impression, and create relevance between guests and the stories the re-made museum will tell.  Without the benefit of audience research, interpretive planning would be done in vain—with no real idea of what visitors wanted and needed.

 

CLICK to see pages from the interpretive plan

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