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Marketing and Visitor Services Mini Series: Interpretive Docents - Throw Them in the Pool
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Marketing and Visitor Services Mini Series: Interpretive Docents - Throw Them in the Pool

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Marketing and Visitor Services Mini Series: Interpretive Docents - Throw Them in the Pool Marketing and Visitor Services Mini Series: Interpretive Docents - Throw Them in the Pool Presentation Transcript

  • Interpretive Docents: Throw Them In The Pool Presented by Joe Lomicky, Visitor Programs Coordinator, Longwood Gardens
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  • Volunteers Formerly, volunteers were adequately trained but not easily identifiable.
  • Volunteer Formerly, volunteers were adequately trained but not easily identifiable. We assessed the program…
  • When asked about their experience, volunteers stated: It’s fun (for me). Gives me something to do. Learn about plants. Enjoy talking with guests. Like being at Longwood Gardens. All of these statements, although good, are about the volunteer.
  • Uniforms and interpretive training were added to the program. Volunteer visibility and guest interactions increased dramatically.
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  • We saw that when staff were working, there was a natural draw.
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  • How do we capitalize on this natural curiosity?
  • We threw our interpretive docents in the pool.
  • And other “Employee Only” areas. How was this accomplished? Through training and building staff connections.
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  • Our old style of training.
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  • Our new training.
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  • Hands-on training gives our volunteers knowledge and experience.
  • We assessed the program again: It’s fun (for me). Gives me something to do. Learn about plants. Enjoy talking with guests. Like being at Longwood Gardens. Love watching guests go “Wow!” Part of a team. Leaning how Longwood Gardens operates. Interpreting. Ensuring guests understand Longwood Gardens.
  • Program’s Beginning Visitor Programs Staff Volunteers Guests Recent Past Hort. Vis. Prog. Staff Staff Volunteers Guests Today Hort. Vis. Prog. Staff Staff Volunteers Guests
  • The Docent Steering Committee provides feedback from both guests and volunteers.
  • The Outcome: Staff interaction extends beyond training. Personal connections and camaraderie develops. Full investment from all stakeholders. Trust is established. Volunteers now interpret in unique locations, not just convenient locations.