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

  1. 1. Interpretive Docents: Throw Them In The Pool Presented by Joe Lomicky, Visitor Programs Coordinator, Longwood Gardens
  2. 3. Volunteers Formerly, volunteers were adequately trained but not easily identifiable.
  3. 4. Volunteer Formerly, volunteers were adequately trained but not easily identifiable. We assessed the program…
  4. 5. 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.
  5. 6. Uniforms and interpretive training were added to the program. Volunteer visibility and guest interactions increased dramatically.
  6. 11. We saw that when staff were working, there was a natural draw.
  7. 13. How do we capitalize on this natural curiosity?
  8. 14. We threw our interpretive docents in the pool.
  9. 15. And other “Employee Only” areas. How was this accomplished? Through training and building staff connections.
  10. 20. Our old style of training.
  11. 22. Our new training.
  12. 24. Hands-on training gives our volunteers knowledge and experience.
  13. 25. 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.
  14. 26. 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
  15. 27. The Docent Steering Committee provides feedback from both guests and volunteers.
  16. 28. 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.

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