What do the students, young tourist guides, experts think?
In the second phase of audience development work we organized workshops with students from the College of Toursim and young tourist guides where we presented our project and discussed today and future tendencies in tourism sector and cultural heritage presentation. What attracts new audiences, what influence new technologies in presentation of cultural heritage and how much they are used by cultural institutions and tourism sector, also how would they use them in the example of the town of Topola. So, it was a very insightful workshop which provided us with the knowledge of not only the point of view of consumers but as well as of people facilitating the process of consuming the content. And most important of all, students fillmed and shared some Topola stories with us.
Also, the second phase of audience development process included interviews with curators and historians not living in the town of Topola but experts on the subject, as well as visits to exhibitions dealing with the history of Topola and using both new and old ways of heritage presentation in order to better understand the point of view from the outside and their experiences in audience response. And of course, to find out more interesting stories they discovered during their line of work and research.
So upon reaching all the age groups from the youngest one, highschoolers and seniors in the first phase and students, young guides, experts in the second, we were able to sum up some of our impressions.
Audience development Ups: Great communication and help from the municipality and Tourist Organization and Cultural Centre but also from history teachers who were very enthusiastic and interested in the project and thus facilitated all the communication with school groups but also with senior citizens hard to reach.
The audience responded best to the presentation of good practice examples in using new technologies in heritage presentation. This feedback was positive with all target groups: children from elementary school, high school, students as well as seniors. We got this confirmation from target groups themselves as well as teachers and professionals working in the public sector. So, we realized that the audience reacts best to concrete examples of what you wish to accomplish and the possibility of active participation and trying out new things.
Audience development difficulties: Digital communication with seniors, pensioners, lack of infrastructure and computer literacy and availability of internet connections. Solution was found with the help of public sector i.e. Tourist Organization of Topola and Cultural Centre which enabled us to reach and contact this target group which provided very valuable material. Also, children under 18 had to have their parents’ permission to be filmed, so even if they were willing to share some stories on the spot i.e. workshops, they couldn’t be filmed without prior approval, so you need to be well informed about all target groups and their particularities in advance.