To survive in this new world of hands-free, virtual engagement, your venue needs the kind of audio tour that members and guests want to access even when they’re not at your site.
After 14 years and thousands of clients, here are the top 10 secrets our team at Guide By Cell has uncovered:
|#1 One Minute or Less|
Did someone say SQUIRREL? Keep the length of your audio clips at one minute or less. Your listeners live in a world of YouTube, social media, and constant notifications. Attention spans are short—your clips should be short too.
|#2 Tell Stories|
With minimal or no visuals, listeners can follow a story in their mind better than facts, dates, and statistics. Storytelling is one of the most effective methods to educate your audience. Just ask Harvard.
|#3 Use Unique Voices|
Staff and docents are great for live audiences, but recorded voices should be memorable. Let your artists speak about their work. Find a local who witnessed first-hand a historical event. Hire a professional voice actor. Better yet, ask a public figure or well-known celebrity to record your clips. Whoopi Goldberg, Glenn Close, and other celebrities are the voices for Central Park’s audio guide.
|#4 Multiple Languages|
¿Habla español? Does your audience speak another language? Open your audio tour to a wide audience by providing the clips in multiple languages.
|#5 Thirty Minute Sweet Spot|
Your guests will most likely be at your venue for one hour, on average. With 15 to 20 stops on your audio tour, one-minute audio clips, plus time for pausing in between, your audio tour should be done in 30 minutes or less. Studies show that the average visitor will only look at a piece of art for 15 to 30 seconds. Unless your venue offers a sit-down cafe or a movie, most people get "museum fatigue" after one hour.
|#6 Write a Script|
With one-minute audio clips, there’s no time for ums, ahs, and rambling. Staff at cultural venues generally consist of highly educated individuals. Ask your curators, docents, and tour guides for their input and write an engaging script with a logical flow before you record.
|#7 Repurpose Visitor Feedback|
Did your visitors like the tour? Allow visitors to record comments about their experience. Then, repurpose interesting comments as audio stops on your tour.
|#8 Use Mobile Technology|
In a COVID-19 world, audio headsets and wands touched by thousands of people are now a public health and safety hazard. And even with sanitary precautions, your visitors may still avoid them. Use the device everyone carries, their cellphone.
|#9 Record in a Quiet Room|
While not everyone has access to a professional recording studio, make the investment in a quality microphone and record in a quiet room. Background noise is distracting and unprofessional.
No visitor should leave your venue without knowing about your audio tour. Hand out audio tour brochures upon entry, include the audio tour on your website, and post signs along exhibits. If tickets are pre-purchased, send a welcome text or email with links to your tours.
Ready to create your audio tour? Contact a Guide by Cell representative for a free demo of our mobile audio tours today!