liveARCH’s first workshop

March 14th - 18th, 2007
liveARCH went to Scotland for their 2nd meeting. This visit encompassed the first workshop of liveARCH on the theme of ‘Dialogue with the Visitors’ and a one-day conference ‘Cultural Heritage Interpretation’. The latter was held as part of this Meeting, with a range of speakers explaining how archaeology and history are presented to the public in a number of countries.
Scotland emphasised issues relevant to the dialogue with visitors, such as understanding who are our visitors and what they expect, want and need; the key messages we are all trying to impart to the visitors and the methods that we use to do this. The goals of the Meeting revolved around the theme of the Dialogue with the Visitors and benchmarking:

  • Develop awareness and familiarity with other partners to gain insight into the facilities at each museum, and what periods are represented and how they present their collections and reconstructions to the public;
  • Examine existing methods of acquiring visitor feedback and develop a standard visitor survey questionnaire to allow greater comparability between partners. While some questions provide useful marketing data, all partners agreed on the importance of gathering qualitative data in an attempt to learn more about the needs, wants, and expectations of our visitors.
  • Gain insight into various forms of live interpretation, inspired by the basic principles of ‘provoke’, ‘relate’ and ‘reveal’, and into well-tested techniques which could be tried (if not already being used) by the liveARCH partners.
  • Collate all the data and start developing an Interpretation Toolkit.

The 2nd liveARCH Meeting (SC ’07) provided both theoretical knowledge and practical experience when working out one’s own communication strategy and dealing with visitors on site. Some partners started in 2008 experimenting with using live interpretation besides of their guided tours and programs because they got acquainted with it in Scotland, others improved their live interpretation work according to new insights gained.