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The Florida Aquarium
Guest Experience Study
Case Study: The Florida Aquarium
In a Nutshell:
A Different View was retained to deliver a Guest Experience Study for The Florida Aquarium. Based in Tampa, The Florida Aquarium welcomed over 890,000 visitors in 2022 and is known for its conservation programs. Our project with The Florida Aquarium was designed to help inform their future development plans, support future growth and exceed the needs and expectations of their guests.
- Extensive market research and segmentation
- Observational studies
- Guest tracking study
- Operational data analysis
- Interpretive messaging and content review
This multi-layered approach gives The Florida Aquarium the ability to make evidence based decisions and develop future plans with confidence.
The Florida Aquarium located in Tampa, FL, is rated among the best aquariums in the USA. It spans 250,000 square-feet and is accredited by the AZA. Its inspiring vision to ‘Protect and restore our blue planet’, drives its passionate team.
The Florida Aquarium called on A Different View to help provide insight to “ensure robust future growth that exceeds the needs and expectation of our audiences”. A Guest Experience Study was undertaken using our new proprietary Experience Mapping™ research methodology.
In order to do this, we took a deep dive into the motivations, behaviours, psychology, and decision-making process that guests have, to fully understand what makes them tick, what experiences they enjoy and how The Florida Aquarium can build a relationship with them to the fullest extent possible. In addition, new experiences and concepts were tested to help provide an overall experience map and by different age groups and life stages. Finally, having explored conservation messaging with The Florida Aquarium team, content was tested through our programme of research.
We started our process with a variety of collaborative workshops with the leadership and education teams, garnering important information to inform the project. This included extensive conversations around everything from conservation messaging to mission-related outcomes, operational challenges and physical restraints, educational and guest services protocols.
Quantitative and qualitative work was undertaken which included guest surveys, observational studies and visitor tracking. Our research findings were able to identify motivations for visiting, guests’ peak experiences, obstacles to engagement, gaps in experience, dwell time, views on conservation and how guests wish to engage with the aquarium.
We also trained volunteers to collect data for the observational studies and guest tracking studies, which validated the quantitative work already in process.
Messaging and content review
Our observational studies tracked guests to determine the depth of engagement with the content and experiences provided. These studies helped inform how to deepen engagement and to communicate conservation messages better.
Testing new ideas
Our quantitative work also tested, new concepts and informed which would resonate for each segment. This will inform future experience design.
The results were fantastic and key recommendations were made that can now lead the The Florida Aquarium into their future planning efforts. This multi-layered approach informs their process for making data-driven decisions as they develop future plans that support continuous improvement.
"Working with A Different View has been exciting, constructive, and enlightening. Their process and expertise have been invaluable, providing data and insights that inform our plans to exceed our audiences’ expectations. The team was also a pleasure to work with, remaining flexible and adapting where needed. We are thrilled to continue working with them". Debbi Stone, Senior Vice President of Engagement & Learning
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