This chapter details the key ingredients for the successful operation of a visitororiented interactive discovery centre.


Chapter 2 demonstrated that the quality of the museum experience for any individual is determined by an interplay of personal, social and physical factors. Whilst not all of these are within the control of the museum, it is essential that wherever possible the same level of service is delivered consistently to a high standard in order to maximise the likelihood that every visitor's experience will match their expectations. This is of particular importance given that wordof-mouth recommendation to friends and family is such a significant factor contributing to the decision to make a visit. Unfortunately, visitors do not arrive in equal numbers throughout the day, throughout the week or throughout the year. This means it is more difficult to programme resources and activities to standardise service delivery: too many staff, and the centre is inefficient and wasting resources; too few staff, and it is more difficult to meet educational objectives, and there is increased risk of damage to exhibits. In short, operational decisions are inextricably linked to financial, marketing, staffing and educational programming decisions.