Breathe life into all forms of cultural heritage interpretation through engaging, well researched, authentic, character based storytelling.
Interpretation is an important element in improving the visitor experience at all cultural heritage sites, visitor centers and museums. It can be used creatively to produce better cultural heritage experiences for all visitors.
People need stories that fire their imagination. It has been shown that the more people and their stories are built into the experience the higher the visitor’s satisfaction level.
Good story based interpretation can achieve the following;
- Make a visit worthwhile, meaningful and memorable
- Bring the past to life so that it resonates with visitors
- Shed light on the present and give meaning to the past
- Make the experience of ‘being there’ richer and more relevant
- Increase understanding and engagement
- Illuminate what is special about a place
How to Interpret successfully
All cultural heritage sites, visitor centres and museums are different. A core message requires distillation. The core message should then form the basis of an individually tailored interpretation plan focused on event and character based storytelling.
Principals of story based interpretation
- A simple and interesting main message
- Relevant and accessible content
- Provide appropriate opportunities for visitors with different levels of interest
- A range of communication methods
- Give visitors something to do
- Encourage group interaction
- Don’t be too serious – interpretation is not just about providing learning experiences
Story based interpretation will draw on emotions, create atmosphere, encourage imagination and provoke questions and debate.
(Information derived from the excellent Failte Ireland Heritage Interpretation Manual – Sharing our Stories )