It’s been said that after purchasing the land and building the facilities there’s only one thing left that can attract visitors and keep them coming back: interpretation. “Out of sight, out of mind,” is true. It’s easy and comfortable to do our research, present our programs, hear the good words from the visitors, and be … Continue reading Six ways to push the rope uphill: Interpreting UP the chain of command.
I just returned from meeting new friends and together, exploring new territory. It was a challenging but memorable experience and I have some new gadgets, a bucketload of pictures and wonderful memories to show for it. I’m very glad I did it even though the night I returned to a hotel after backpacking in the … Continue reading Is Maslow missing?
I was honored when Christen Miller, newly promoted to visitor experience manager for Virginia State Parks, and Geoff Hall, Chief Interpreter at Hungry Mother State Park, invited me to be the keynote speaker and lead several training sessions for their annual spring interpretation training. I enjoyed five days at beautiful Hungry Mother State Park in … Continue reading You might hear them gasp: ‘Ohhh – now I understand.’
How far can you see? Without an initiation point for exhibits planning, the first thing an exhibit firm gets from the client is something like the question children often ask: How far can I see? There are several ways to respond. A 6-foot person at sea level looking out to sea can see … Continue reading Exhibits 2: How far can you see?
Exhibit design is a fun thing. There is process, and there is no process, there are guidelines and there are no guidelines. Really, there is only what you want. What you want exists at several levels – what you want to say, what you want the reader to understand, what you … Continue reading Exhibit Design is a Fun Thing
I recently received a request for ideas to improve interpretation at ‘stations.’ You know, programs where multiple people have booths or activity stations and groups walk around and ‘drop in’ at the stations to learn what is there. This often happens to accommodate large school groups. The several busloads of kids are divvied into small … Continue reading Zoos, Stations, Plants, and Docents – Making Mini-programs Work
In my last blog I presented an interpretation strategy designed to identify audiences critical to the success of a site and give examples of interpretation programs to reach those groups. Those examples all involved personal interpretation. A interpretation plan would include non-personal interpretation: Exhibits, signage and publications. To be effective a site needs to employ … Continue reading From Personal to Non-personal Interpretation
Beyond philosophy: A Sample Interpretation Strategy There is a lot of philosophy, training and discussion about the character of a good interpretation effort. A lot of emphasis is placed on planning and delivering a program. NAI’s Certified Interpretive Guide training is 32 hours focused on the elements and character of a meaningful and memorable program … Continue reading Beyond philosophy: A Sample Interpretation Strategy
Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that … Continue reading Do you mean the big W?