So, You Want to Create a Modern Tour? Part 1

Jake Young

Over the last couple of years, Hamilton Robson welcomed the opportunities to develop modern visitor attractions and tours. Having delivered two successful attractions (Game Of Thrones Studio Tour and Our Place In Space) within the space of a year, and now focused on delivering our third we can confidently say we are mastering what a high-quality visitor attraction looks like.

In this first part, I’m going to outline the key things we learned about our users along the way and how to cater to their every need. In the second, I’ll outline some of the more technical elements that are vital to successfully plan your modern tour project.

The Next Generation of Guests

Guests of premium tours and experiences arrive with expectations.

When helping to deliver a new experience for guests, we must consider that many technologies integrated into society today aim to deliver a memorable experience to the viewer or guest. Everything is trying for a piece of every person’s attention.

So, we ask ourselves what we can do to capture someone’s attention and give them a memorable experience.

Game of Thrones Studio Tour and Our Place In Space achieved this by taking advantage of a mix of technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Bluetooth Beacons and GPS.

It is safe to assume that most guests arriving at your experience will have access to a competent smartphone that can deliver features like those I mention above. We can take advantage by using their devices to deliver the tour experience. This opens a communication channel for us to continue the conversation about our experience beyond the time and day that the guest arrives- which means more opportunities to engage customers.

The challenge with this is the design of the tour app. We took a full-service design approach when delivering Game of Thrones Studio Tour app and Our Place in Space apps. By doing so, we were able to deliver experiences for guests that mattered and added value to their tour, before, after and when they arrived.

The level of creativity to utilise an IP (Intellectual Property) through these tools is massive. An example of this would be the AR scenes used at Game of Thrones to bring the characters from the show to life, right in front of guests. AR can give you a level of depth that you would otherwise be hard pushed to find.

The Next Generation of Tours

Tours in the next decade aim to connect the guests to the content directly and deliver a new sense of immersion not seen before.

So, what do we think are the key things to consider when planning your visitor attraction guide app?

  1. Accessibility

Firstly, the experience should cater to as many people as possible. This includes everything from language offerings to supporting those with additional needs like sight or hearing loss.

Every app we build takes accessibility options into account. Our goal is to always provide an experience that creates as little friction as possible for the most amount of people.

This way each guest can focus on the content they are there for.

  1. Content Awareness

Access to content should be frictionless and the tour should be ‘self-aware’ of the content that you have seen and have yet to see.

We can use this awareness to help guide guests through the experience at opportune moments or find unique opportunities to encourage guests to engage with content.

From this we can also get an understanding of the progress of the guest through the tour. If we track this over time, the engagement data alone will be able to inform future decisions for content and improvements.

  1. Physical Space Context

The device that a guest is using, whether it be their phone, or a rental device provided, should understand where it is within the tour space. Even if it at most this is to provide a more dynamic map of the space; the detail matters.

Spatial awareness gives us tools that can help improve the experience for the guests whether it is in real-time or to analyse data after the fact.

  1. (Native-Like) Integrated Interactions

Any interaction in the tour should be accessible by any other interaction or information point within the tour.

With this capability in the space, we can create personal experiences for every guest allowing them to become a part of the story you are telling.

In the next part of my blog, I will go into more detail about the technology behind this story and our successful apps. So watch out for that in the coming weeks!

Download Game of Thrones Studio Tour Now!

The Game Of Thrones Studio Tour app is available to download now on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Download Our Place in Space now!

The Our Place in Space app is available to download now on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.


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