Attracting visitors to holiday events at
historic sites and buildings
Research into different family activities over the h...
Recommendations
• You’re competing against the easy, known quantities of holiday shopping at the mall and
going to a holid...
Contents
Who conducted this research and why
Observations based on the results
Tips on printing this report
Methodology
Re...
Background
• The goal of this small research project was to shed some light on activities that families do
and their inter...
Background
• In 2012 we created a campaign that highlighted a different holiday event each day in
December.
• In 2013 we’r...
Observations based on the results
• Respondents: The sample size was small (50) and was predominantly female (43 women and...
Notable comments
“Make it fun while also educational. Drive attention to it and get the word out. Lots of times,
these eve...
“Favorite family activities over the holidays”
Survey responses: 50
Survey conducted online on October 25, 2013
Screening ...
Tips on printing out this report

Check the box, “Scale to Fit Paper.” This will ensure that
the slides, which are formatt...
Last December, did you and your family do something special outside of the house to celebrate the holidays?

Answer

Resp....
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
Rated fro...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
1: Going ...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
2: Holida...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
3: Attend...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
4: Attend...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
5: Going ...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
6: Going ...
Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities.
7: Going ...
Which one would you and your family be most interested in learning more about?

Answer
A1: Going to a holiday moview or
bl...
Tell us more. Why is that one of the greatest interest?

Longest responses
“We are visiting families and friends this year...
Have you ever been to a historic site or history museum at any time of the year?
Answer
A1: No
A2: Rarely

AtAt least
leas...
Have you been to holiday event at a historic site in your community or surrounding communities?

Answer
Yes

No
74%

26.0%...
If you heard of a holiday event at a historic site in or near your community, would you try to get additional details?

Ve...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
Rated from on...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
1: The event ...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
2: It is a cr...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
3: Lots of vo...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
4: You will l...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
5: The event ...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
6: Handmade c...
Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going?
7: It is part...
Where would you go first to get more information about a holiday event at a historic site?

Answer
A1: The newspaper

Othe...
What recommendations do you have for an organization creating a holiday event for you and your family to enjoy?

Longest r...
Materials to promote your history organization’s holiday events

There is no cost to download and use all of these holiday...
Lee Wright
Founder
Lee@TheHistoryList.com
Twitter: TheHistoryList
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Attracting visitors to holiday events at historic sites and buildings--Research on interests

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What can historical societies, historic sites, history museums, and other history organizations do to attract more visitors to their holiday events? What is the "competition"? What are they looking for? What will motivate them to find out more information? Where will they go to find more information? And what critical details should be included?

Research conducted on October 25, 2013 provides insights and recommendations.

Background: The goal of this project was to shed some light on activities that families do and their interest in learning about history-related holiday events, including those taking place at historic sites and in historic buildings.

This was undertaken by The History List, the largest list of history-related events going on across the country. The History List was created to help history organizations of all types and sizes attract more visitors, members, and volunteers. This is no cost to list history-related sites and events. More information is at www.TheHistoryList.com/getting-started.

Recommendations from the report:
- You’re competing against the easy, known quantities of holiday shopping at the mall and going to a holiday movie or blockbuster.
- Nearly half have never or rarely ever gone to a historic site or building at any time of the year. However, about half will find out additional information if they hear of a holiday event there.
- The first place they’re going to look for more information is online.
- Explain, in detail, your event. Include activities for kids as well as for older children and adults, and list this in your communications.
- Add details that explain that this is a holiday tradition and that they’ll learn more about the history of their community. If you have handmade gifts for sale, note that, too.

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Attracting visitors to holiday events at historic sites and buildings--Research on interests

  1. 1. Attracting visitors to holiday events at historic sites and buildings Research into different family activities over the holidays October 25, 2013
  2. 2. Recommendations • You’re competing against the easy, known quantities of holiday shopping at the mall and going to a holiday movie or blockbuster. • Nearly half have never or rarely ever gone to a historic site or building at any time of the year. However, about half will find out additional information if they hear of a holiday event there. • The first place they’re going to look for more information is online. • Explain, in detail, your event. Include activities for kids as well as for older children and adults, and list this in your communications. • Add details that explain that this is a holiday tradition and that they’ll learn more about the history of their community. If you have handmade gifts for sale, note that, too.
  3. 3. Contents Who conducted this research and why Observations based on the results Tips on printing this report Methodology Responses “Make this holiday historic!” Materials to promote your history organization’s holiday events • Contact information • • • • • • This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  4. 4. Background • The goal of this small research project was to shed some light on activities that families do and their interest in learning about history-related holiday events, including those taking place at historic sites and in historic buildings. • This was undertaken by The History List, the largest list of history-related events going on across the country. The History List was created to help history organizations of all types and sizes attract more visitors, members, and volunteers. • This is no cost to list history-related sites and events. • More information is at www.TheHistoryList.com/getting-started.
  5. 5. Background • In 2012 we created a campaign that highlighted a different holiday event each day in December. • In 2013 we’re making all of the materials freely available so that history organizations can promote their holiday events and gifts. • Read more here: http://www.TheHistoryList.com/the-holiday-campaign-for-history • Download the materials here: http://www.TheHistoryList.com/holiday-materials  Additional information is at the end of this report.
  6. 6. Observations based on the results • Respondents: The sample size was small (50) and was predominantly female (43 women and 7 men). We only included people with at least one child. The other characteristics, including education, household income, occupation, marital status, age, and location varied widely. • Going to the mall and to the movies were the most popular last year, and were thought to be the most enjoyable for the family this year. • Three-fourths have never been to a holiday event at a historic site or in a historic building. Including activities for kids was the single largest factor in generating interest in attending such an event. • Half said the were likely, very likely or definitely would get more information if they heard about a holiday event at a historic site or in a historic building. • About half (52%) said that the web would be the first place they would look for additional information. (Since the survey was conducted online, there was likely a bias toward this method.)
  7. 7. Notable comments “Make it fun while also educational. Drive attention to it and get the word out. Lots of times, these events go unnoticed or don't get enough exposure and folks just don't know that its taking place.” “Engage children don’t make them or even the parents as an after thought.” “There should also be events that everyone in the family can enjoy.” “List what activities there would be for all ages. . . . Are there places to keep my children warm if the weather is very cold? List all this in your ads.”
  8. 8. “Favorite family activities over the holidays” Survey responses: 50 Survey conducted online on October 25, 2013 Screening criteria • Survey language: English • Gender: Males and Females • Actual respondents: 7 males / 43 females • Age: 24 - 65+ years old • Ethnicity/Race: Any • HH Income: Any • Education: Any • Employment: Any • Career: Any • Relationship: Any • Parental status: One or more children • Location: United States
  9. 9. Tips on printing out this report Check the box, “Scale to Fit Paper.” This will ensure that the slides, which are formatted for a computer screen, print out correctly on letter-sized paper. Note: This is the print dialogue box that appears on Macs. There is a similar option for PCs running Windows.
  10. 10. Last December, did you and your family do something special outside of the house to celebrate the holidays? Answer Resp. (50) A1: Went to a movie 24.0% (12) A2: Went to the mall 28.0% (14) A3: Attended a sporting event 6.0% (3) A4: Attended a concert or other live performance 8.0% (4) A5: Attended an event at a historic site or in a historic building 10.0% (5) A6: Went to an art museum 0.0% (0) Went to a children's A7: Went to a children's museum or science museum 6.0% (3) Went to a religious A8: Went to a religious service 28.0% (14) A9: Another family activity not listed here 16.0% (8) A10: We didn't do anything outside the house 28.0% (14) Went to a movie Went to the mall Attended a sporting Attended a concert Attended an event Attended an event at a historic site or in a historic building Went to an art museum Another family activity We didn't do anything 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
  11. 11. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. Rated from one to five stars, with one being the lowest rating. 120 Mall Concert 20 Movie Sporting event 16 16 Event at art museum Event at historic site/building Event at children’s museum or science museum 100 80 36 14 30 60 18 22 20 26 18 12 12 20 12 40 8 14 18 34 24 28 22 0 Going to a holiday... Holiday shopping Attending a major a... ... Attending a holida... Going to a holiday... Going to a holiday... ** * 22 14 20 ***** *** 22 18 24 24 **** 14 40 20 18 16 18 10 Going to a holiday...
  12. 12. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 1: Going to a holiday movie or blockbuster movie Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 14.0% (7) 8.0% (4) 24.0% (12) 18.0% (9) 36.0% (18)
  13. 13. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 2: Holiday shopping at the mall Answer * ** *** *** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 18.0% (9) 14.0% (7) 18.0% (9) 30.0% (15) 20.0% (10)
  14. 14. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 3: Attending a major sporting event Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 40.0% (20) 14.0% (7) 16.0% (8) 14.0% (7) 16.0% (8)
  15. 15. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 4: Attending a holiday concert or dance performance Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 24.0% (12) 20.0% (10) 18.0% (9) 22.0% (11) 16.0% (8)
  16. 16. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 5: Going to a holiday event at an art museum Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 34.0% (17) 12.0% (6) 26.0% (13) 18.0% (9) 10.0% (5)
  17. 17. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 6: Going to a holiday event at a historic site or in a historic building Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 28.0% (14) 22.0% (11) 12.0% (6) 20.0% (10) 18.0% (9)
  18. 18. Looking ahead to this December, please rate how much you think you and your family would enjoy these activities. 7: Going to a holiday event at children's museum or science museum Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Resp. (50) 22.0% (11) 12.0% (6) 22.0% (11) 24.0% (12) 20.0% (10)
  19. 19. Which one would you and your family be most interested in learning more about? Answer A1: Going to a holiday moview or blockbuster movie 22.0% (11) A3: Attending a major sporting event 12.0% (6) A4: Attending a holiday concert or dance performance 18.0% (9) A5: Going to a holiday event at an art museum 2.0% (1) A6: Going to a holiday event at a historic site or in a historic building 4.0% (2) A7: Going to a holiday event at a children's museum or science museum Holiday Holiday shopping shopping at the mall 22.0% (11) A2: Holiday shopping at the mall Going to a Holiday movie or holiday blockbuster Resp. (50) 20.0% (10) Attending a Major sporting major event Attending Holiday concerta orholiday dance performance Going to a Holiday event at holiday an art museum Holiday event at Going to a historic site or holiday building Going to a holiday event at a historic site or in a historic building Going to a Holiday event at children’s holiday museum or science museum 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
  20. 20. Tell us more. Why is that one of the greatest interest? Longest responses “We are visiting families and friends this year in another states. Since my parents are looking forward to see the kids, it would be a good time for me and my husband to see a movie.” “My children. Love going to the children's museum and I think the whole family would like to continue enjoying the holiday festivities that the children's museum may be throwing.” “We love shopping and the mall presents lots of other things we can do at the same time like eating, going to a movie, doing a kid activity, etc.” “My son would love to go explore the stores and see what he could get for Christmas, and he also loves choosing gifts for others.” “Because my family enjoy going to the movies and it would be something that we could do together at an affordable price.”
  21. 21. Have you ever been to a historic site or history museum at any time of the year? Answer A1: No A2: Rarely AtAt least least once a once a year A few times A few times every every year “A few times a year” or “Several times each year” 14% Several times Several times eacheach year 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 2.0% (1) 10.0% (5) A7: Several times each year Every year or two 8.0% (4) A6: A few times every year A few times 28.0% (14) A5: At least once a year Rarely 24.0% (12) A4: Every year or two “No” or “Rarely” 48% 24.0% (12) A3: A few times No Resp. (50) 4.0% (2)
  22. 22. Have you been to holiday event at a historic site in your community or surrounding communities? Answer Yes No 74% 26.0% (13) No Yes 26% Resp. (50) 74.0% (37)
  23. 23. If you heard of a holiday event at a historic site in or near your community, would you try to get additional details? Very likely or definitely “Very likely or definitely will” or “Likely” 50% Likely Answer Resp. (50) A1: Very likely or definitely will 18.0% (9) A2: Likely 42.0% (21) A3: It's a toss up 26.0% (13) A4: Unlikely 10.0% (5) A5: Very unlikely or definitely not 4.0% (2) It's a toss up Unlikely “Unlikely” or “Very unlikely or definitely not” 14% Very unlikely Very unlikely or or definitely not 0 5 10 15 20 25
  24. 24. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? Rated from one to five stars, with one being the lowest rating. 120 Popular tradition Critical funding Lots of volunteers 12 12 10 18 Learn local history 18 Includes kids Handmade activities crafts for sale National campaign 100 80 26 16 18 44 26 20 18 *** 34 ** 22 40 16 20 44 24 24 22 14 20 26 20 16 14 20 12 12 8 14 14 2 0 The event is a pop... ***** **** 34 34 60 16 It is a critical s... Lots of volunteers... You will learn mor... The event includes... Handmade crafts It is part of a na... ar... *
  25. 25. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 1: The event is a popular annual family tradition in your community. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 26.0% (13) 16.0% (8) 20.0% (10) 26.0% (13) 12.0% (6)
  26. 26. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 2: It is a critical source of funding for preserving local history, programs, and exhibits. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 20.0% (10) 24.0% (12) 26.0% (13) 18.0% (9) 12.0% (6)
  27. 27. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 3: Lots of volunteers are involved in putting on the event. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 16.0% (8) 22.0% (11) 34.0% (17) 18.0% (9) 10.0% (5)
  28. 28. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 4: You will learn more about the history of your community. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 14.0% (7) 14.0% (7) 20.0% (10) 34.0% (17) 18.0% (9)
  29. 29. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 5: The event includes special activities for kids. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 2.0% (1) 12.0% (6) 20.0% (10) 22.0% (11) 44.0% (22)
  30. 30. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 6: Handmade crafts are available for purchase. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 14.0% (7) 12.0% (6) 24.0% (12) 34.0% (17) 16.0% (8)
  31. 31. Thinking about a holiday event at a historic site, how important is each of these in your interest in going? 7: It is part of a national campaign to raise awareness and support history organizations. Answer * ** *** **** ***** * ** *** **** ***** 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 Resp. (50) 14.0% (7) 8.0% (4) 44.0% (22) 18.0% (9) 16.0% (8)
  32. 32. Where would you go first to get more information about a holiday event at a historic site? Answer A1: The newspaper Other 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2.0% (1) A7: Other Facebook 52.0% (26) A6: Facebook Search on the web 6.0% (3) A5: Search on the web Local TV 8.0% (4) A4: Local TV Local radio 0.0% (0) A3: Local radio Local magazines 30.0% (15) A2: Local magazines The newspaper Resp. (50) 2.0% (1)
  33. 33. What recommendations do you have for an organization creating a holiday event for you and your family to enjoy? Longest responses “List what activities there would be for all ages. What activities would the historical place be showing, would that interest an infant? Are there places to keep my children warm if the weather is very cold? List all this in your ads.” “Make it fun while also educational. Drive attention to it and get the word out. Lots of times, these events go unnoticed or don't get enough exposure and folks just don't know that its taking place.” “Well-prepared. Have citizens from the organization on the board or planning committee. Be innovative and different. Engage children don’t make them or even the parents as an after thought.” “To get the word out by using flyers, newspapers, radio and if they can t.v advertising. It really helps. There should also be events that everyone in the family can enjoy.” “What Happened To The Traditional Dinner And Entertainment Courtesy of The Young Ones!! Holiday Plays Or Shows Are Tradition...We Eat, And We Celebrate!!”
  34. 34. Materials to promote your history organization’s holiday events There is no cost to download and use all of these holiday materials, which are part of the 2013 holiday campaign for history organizations and historic sites.  Read more here: http://www.TheHistoryList.com/the-holiday-campaign-for-history  Download all the materials here: http://www.TheHistoryList.com/holiday-materials
  35. 35. Lee Wright Founder Lee@TheHistoryList.com Twitter: TheHistoryList

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