Creative Concierge offers frontline tourism/hospitality staff first-hand knowledge of the cultural/tourism offer, to enhance the visitor experience.
A partnership between V&A Dundee and Dundee Tourism Action Group, Creative Concierge is a new approach to engaging frontline staff who interact with visitors to the city. It aims to raise awareness of the tourism/cultural offer with those who interact directly with visitors and to encourage the promotion of all the city has to offer – managing the visitor experience effectively.
Creative Concierge arranges a series of events at cultural/tourism venues across the city, giving them exclusive access to exhibition previews and curator talks, behind the scenes tours at museums/ visitor attractions, food & drink tasting events etc. - ensuring that frontline staff have all the information necessary to share with visitors to enhance their trip – as an old fashioned hotel concierge would do.
The programme launched in September 2018 for the opening of V&A Dundee, the city’s newest museum, providing staff with an overview of the museum by the Museum Director and the importance of tourism to the city by the Council Leader; a VIP, curator-led tour of the first exhibition, Ocean Liners, & the Scottish Design Galleries, the permanent exhibition. This was their first opportunity to experience the museum and to understand its attraction for visitors.
Over 400 people have engaged in the past 12 months with V&A Dundee exhibitions; the new Medical Marvels exhibit at Dundee Science Centre; previews at Dundee Rep Theatre; Research your Roots, ancestral tourism at Dundee Central Library.
Staff time is required to create, collate, share and deliver the Creative Concierge events. The communication plan focuses on digital channels.
No new funding is required as the organisations/venues being promoted offer the exclusive event or activities on a complimentary basis.
Evidence of success
Over 400 people, from different sectors have participated in Creative Concierge events in the past 12 months .
14 events have been hosted by 6 venues: V&A Dundee, Dundee Rep Theatre, Dundee Central Library, McManus Galleries, Dundee Contemporary Arts, and Dundee Science Centre.
Proposals are in place to expand the offer to engage experiences (e.g. walking tours, food & drink offers, maritime trail).
Local organisations are now "bought in" to the process and regularly ask to organise events.
Events are often hosted outwith core working hours so it can be difficult to engage staff, on their own time, to participate. By making the events fun and offering something exclusive, you are more likely to engage people.
You may have to offer different messaging to different key groups.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Creative Concierge programme is easily transferable to cities, towns and regions looking of offer their visitors unique and engaging experiences – arming frontline staff them with knowledge which is useful in their interactions with visitors to the city.
Engaging the cultural/creative tourism offer in the process is key and ensuring that they are aware of the potential benefits e.g. increased visitor numbers, guerrilla marketing opportunities and ensuring more people are aware of their offer.
A tourism or economic development partner will be useful in supporting the development of the programme, making contact with frontline staff (e.g. through hoteliers associations, taxi companies, tourism organisations themselves) and promoting the Creative Concierge events.
Dundee will be undertaking a series of evaluation activities related to Creative Concierge in 2020 and will make the information available to all.