guideid.com (English) guideid.co.uk (English) guideid.nl (Nederlands) guideid.de (Deutsch) guideid.be (Nederlands)

Bring the museum to life!

Newsletter April 2016

"Our Real Gold" is the theme of the Museum week 2016 in the Netherlands, where Guide ID's HQ is based. This theme hooks into museums showing off their real showpieces. At Guide ID we truly believe that all visitors should not only get to see the showpieces but also hear the stories behind them. Every museum piece has its own stories, which can be told in many different ways. A great example of this can be heard at the Museum of the twentieth century, in Hoorn, The Netherlands. They have developed a great family quiz on the Podcatcher platform and use it to tell their stories in a very fun and interactive way.
More and more museums are offering the Podcatcher to all visitors via self-service. During our last seminar we highlighted this service and zoomed in on a few live projects. The new DNA tour at the Amsterdam museum was used as the main case study.
We are now working very hard to expand our vision, on getting all your stories told, internationally. Over the coming months we will be working on many international projects and we will keep you up to date.

Best wishes,

The Guide ID Team

Learn more

The year of the new audio tour

Newsletter February 2016

The term 'audio tour' is often associated with wrong and old fashion thoughts. People often think of large audio bats, audio that goes on forever, difficult to operate devices and a general service that costs lots of time and money. The thing is that this is no longer the case and defiantly not with the Podcatcher. We continue to develop the system with the philosophy of always using a simple and easy to use device for the visitors and museum, but always create an outstanding experience and tour by cleverly using interactive technology. You can read more about this in our 'Spotlight Projects’ piece or experience it during one of our Walk-ins.

Please do join us during one of our walk-ins or contact us if you have any questions!

The Guide ID Team

Learn more

Connecting people to museums

Newsletter June 2015

The first half year of 2015 is almost behind us. For us this was a busy period in which many new projects were launched. Not only in the Benelux and UK has the confidence in Guide ID grown, but we are seeing a growth in projects outside of this area. For example we just launched a project in Switzerland for a very famous chocolate brand. Within this chocolate experience the Podcatcher is your chocolate guide to everything.

Learn more

Connecting with visitors in 2015

Newsletter January 2015

2014 was a great year for Guide ID and the success continuous in 2015.

Some great projects we did in 2014 included Hermitage Amsterdam and The museum for fine arts Belgium. We are really proud of all the projects we did in 2014.

In 2015 we have more great projects and developments lined up. Projects soon to be launched include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Dutch foto museum.

The main new development for 2015 is MapMyVisit, which is now live. What is MapMyVisit? In short, its a tool for connecting with your visitors and generating more revenues via this connection.

Learn more

Keep it simple, but be creative

Newsletter October 2014

We have so much to talk about since out last newsletter, but as we like to keep things simple, I will keep it short.

A few things that are definitely worth mentioning are MapMyVisit, the many projects in Brussels and Amsterdam and all the events that are coming up like the Museum Congress 2014 in Holland.

Learn more

A busy summer

Newsletter June 2014

What a busy time it is! So many new and exciting exhibitions opening. At Guide ID we are proud to say that we are a part of quit a few of them!

Just in the last few months we have launched the Podcatcher for example at Hayward Art Gallery, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House. Over the next few months we will be launching at Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, Rivington Place, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and many more across Europe.

Learn more

Exciting new projects

News letter April 2014

The first quarter of the year is already behind us. How time flies! I find myself saying the same thing at the beginning of every month 'I can't believe its .... already'.

Every time I write a news letter I always spend hours racking my brain, trying to remember all that has happened in the last few months. In this quarter so much as happened that I had a long list within seconds and have had to pick and choose what to talk about. I hope you enjoy what I have chosen.

Learn more

A good start to 2014

Newsletter January 2014

At the beginning of the year we take a brief look back at 2013. A year within which we welcomed many new clients from different countries. We have also launched new and exciting projects with current clients.

Learn more

Research is becoming increasingly important in the heritage sector

Newsletter December 2013

Many of our clients are now using the online possibilities of the Podcatcher platform. They are developing their own tours, surveys, trails, quizzes, temporary exhibtion tours or even adding second languages.

Learn more

Autumn means change, for Guide ID as well!

News letter October 2013

Autumn is upon us and lots is changing. At Guide ID we will soon be launching 3 new Podcatchers and a new App. Besides this we have also recently become active in Ireland. You can read about what keeps us busy at Guide ID here in this newsletter.

Learn more

The holidays are over. It's time for something new!

Newsletter August 2013

For most people the holiday's are over, for us it is no different. Feeling relaxed and refreshed we have been back and hard at work for two weeks already. Read more about what we are currently working on, here.

Learn more

Summer is here and Guide ID is ready for it

News letter June 2013

Museum and heritage sites are getting ready for the summer season. This means that the visitor numbers will rise during the coming months, and so will the amount of Podcatcher users. We are well prepared for this, and shall be helping multiple museums during these busy weeks by providing them with extra Podcatchers for free, so that as many visitors as possible will be able to enjoy the tours.

Learn more

2016/04/15

Bring the museum to life!

Newsletter April 2016

"Our Real Gold" is the theme of the Museum week 2016 in the Netherlands, where Guide ID's HQ is based. This theme hooks into museums showing off their real showpieces. At Guide ID we truly believe that all visitors should not only get to see the showpieces but also hear the stories behind them. Every museum piece has its own stories, which can be told in many different ways. A great example of this can be heard at the Museum of the twentieth century, in Hoorn, The Netherlands. They have developed a great family quiz on the Podcatcher platform and use it to tell their stories in a very fun and interactive way.
More and more museums are offering the Podcatcher to all visitors via self-service. During our last seminar we highlighted this service and zoomed in on a few live projects. The new DNA tour at the Amsterdam museum was used as the main case study.
We are now working very hard to expand our vision, on getting all your stories told, internationally. Over the coming months we will be working on many international projects and we will keep you up to date.

Best wishes,

The Guide ID Team

2016/02/10

The year of the new audio tour

Newsletter February 2016

The term 'audio tour' is often associated with wrong and old fashion thoughts. People often think of large audio bats, audio that goes on forever, difficult to operate devices and a general service that costs lots of time and money. The thing is that this is no longer the case and defiantly not with the Podcatcher. We continue to develop the system with the philosophy of always using a simple and easy to use device for the visitors and museum, but always create an outstanding experience and tour by cleverly using interactive technology. You can read more about this in our 'Spotlight Projects’ piece or experience it during one of our Walk-ins.

Please do join us during one of our walk-ins or contact us if you have any questions!

The Guide ID Team

2015/10/10

Create something special, but keep it simple

Newsletter October 2015

Guide ID has been busy the past 6 months! A great number of new international customers have been welcomed to the platform including Guildhall, The Pendon Museum and The National Maritime Museum Greenwich in the UK and in Belgium, the Gallo-Roman Museum. In Germany we have welcomed the Focke Museum.

For the beer-lovers De Koninck Experience has just opened in Antwerp. In a variety of rooms with a mixture of themes visitors are informed about Antwerp as a beer city, Belgian beers and the complete brewing process. Many interactive tools and audio visual special effects create a 360° total experience. You can read more about this project further on in the newsletter.

I am extremely thankful to our clients for the confidence they have in Guide ID and hope that we can continue to have such a good relationship with them. We hope to meet and speak to you soon during the MA conference and exhibition on the 4th and 5th November in Birmingham or during one of the many walk-ins we have planned in London.

Frits Polman

2015/04/16

Connecting people to museums

Newsletter June 2015

The first half year of 2015 is almost behind us. For us this was a busy period in which many new projects were launched. Not only in the Benelux and UK has the confidence in Guide ID grown, but we are seeing a growth in projects outside of this area. For example we just launched a project in Switzerland for a very famous chocolate brand. Within this chocolate experience the Podcatcher is your chocolate guide to everything.

August and September will see the launch of Pendon Museum in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and The Dental Museum in London. Pendon Museum help visitors to appreciate life in rural England in 1920s and 30s. It does this through a series of model dioramas. As the museum is almost entirely run by volunteers developing the Audio Tour will help the Museum open more frequently and with less staff. This will also allow the experience to be more family friendly. The Dental Museum is located in the heart of the West End in London and they will be showcasing an in-depth tour of Dental History.

More and more museums are signing up for MapMyVisit; this is great news! This unique expansion to our platform which we launched in 2014, is turning into a huge success. Both museums and visitors are enthusiastic about MapMyVisit. More on MapMyVisit can be found here.

Everything combined, it has been a great start to 2015. The client list is always growing and we are thankful to our loyal customers who are still confident about our products. We will continue to invest in these great relationships. For Guide ID the customer and their visitors are always number one!

Our team has also be strengthened during the last few months with Wendy Altena (Helpdesk and Logistics) and Cuno van der Feltz (Marketing and PR). We wish them both the best of luck and fun with Guide ID.

We will be having a Walk-in at the Black Cultural Archives on the 21st July, spots are extremely limited so if you wish to take a Tour of “Staying Power” Exhibition using the Podcatcher please do e-mail here or check our other walk-in dates.

Frits Polman

2015/01/23

Connecting with visitors in 2015

Newsletter January 2015

2014 was a great year for Guide ID and the success continuous in 2015.

Some great projects we did in 2014 included Hermitage Amsterdam and The museum for fine arts Belgium. We are really proud of all the projects we did in 2014.

In 2015 we have more great projects and developments lined up. Projects soon to be launched include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Dutch foto museum.

The main new development for 2015 is MapMyVisit, which is now live. What is MapMyVisit? In short, its a tool for connecting with your visitors and generating more revenues via this connection.

MapMyVisit is now officially launched and the first sites have started using it. We have more projects lined up and are just working on the final details. Since the introduction we have received only positive feedback on MapMyVisit and it seems to be something that museums and galleries have been waiting for. More details on MapMyVisit further on in the news letter and on our website.

Interactive projects is something Guide ID has always done, but since the development of the 'Collecting IDentifier', many doors have opened. Football Hallelujah, at the Amsterdam Museum was the first project to use it and this exhibition was a great success. So much so, that the Podcatcher and collecting IDentifier are traveling with the exhibition across Europe, starting in Basel at the Historical Museum. They will be launching their own version of the interactive tour soon. We talk more about this later in the newsletter.

A new trend that we are seeing and hearing about is that when it comes to audio guides the focus is more on the audio than multimedia aspects like video and images. This is something we have always believed in and why we keep things simple with the Podcatcher audio device. The visitors focus and energy should go into experience the actual site, the artworks and objects. Not into understand difficult technology or looking at screens on devices. We talk more about this and how is matches our platform later in the newsletter.

We hope to get to or continue to work with you this year and wish you much success for the whole of 2015

Frits Polman

2014/09/25

Keep it simple, but be creative

Newsletter October 2014

We have so much to talk about since out last newsletter, but as we like to keep things simple, I will keep it short.

A few things that are definitely worth mentioning are MapMyVisit, the many projects in Brussels and Amsterdam and all the events that are coming up like the Museum Congress 2014 in Holland.

We are really excited about the launch of MapMyVisit as we feel that it really is the future for interpretation, revenue generating and visitor services. MapMyVisit will create a legacy for the collection, a connection between you and your visitor and it will help you increase visitor numbers and revenues. We speak more about this further on in the newsletter.

Brussels and Amsterdam is where Guide ID is the hottest right now. We will soon have our third live project in Brussels, with Auto World just extending their contract, Royal Museums for Fine Arts Belgium using the Podcatcher for the first time during the Constantin Meunier exhibition and Halle Gate soon opening with a highlights tour. In Amsterdam we have almost lost count with Hermitage on their second project, Nieuwe Kerk soon launching there second project and Amsterdam Museum launching a new Podcatcher project for the exhibition 'Football Halleluja'. There's more about all our projects further down in the newsletter.

The 'Football Halleluja' exhibition in the Amsterdam Museum is a special one for us as it uses almost all elements within the platform. Not only do they have a regular audio guide, they also have a special family tour with a built in quiz and they are using our new collecting IDentifier for information tagging. Read more about this innovative project in the rest of the newsletter.

We also have some great events coming up. The next one is almost upon us, the Museum Congress 2014. During this Conference we will be presenting MapMyVisit on our stand and during our workshop on the Friday, which we have organized together with the Amsterdam Museum. We will be brainstorming about how you can optimize the use of MapMyVisit so you and your visitors get everything out of it. Soon after the conference we are also organizing a seminar at the Amsterdam Museum on the 27th November, and we have a seminar planned at Royal Museum Greenwich later in the year.

Last but not least we would like to welcome the latest addition the the UK team, Lee Goodwin. We are delighted that he has joined our team and we wish him much success!

Frits Polman

2014/06/23

A busy summer

Newsletter June 2014

What a busy time it is! So many new and exciting exhibitions opening. At Guide ID we are proud to say that we are a part of quit a few of them!

Just in the last few months we have launched the Podcatcher for example at Hayward Art Gallery, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House. Over the next few months we will be launching at Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, Rivington Place, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and many more across Europe.

We have also been spending more and more time speaking with current clients to find out how we can improve ourselves as a company and how we can improve the platform. Based on this feedback we have come up with some great new ideas for the future, which mainly will have to do with the legacy of collections and connecting with visitors. This was good news to us as we have just launched MapMyVisit at its first site as a pilot and will be launching it at more sites across Europe over the coming months.
There will be more details on all of the above further on in the newsletter.

As always we are open to feedback and are happy to supply you with more information on any subject you want. Just send a quick email or give us a call! We can send you a short general presentation to show your colleagues or if you want more detailed information we are always happy to meet you and give you a live demonstration. And don’t forget that you can always ‘try before you buy’ with Guide ID, by doing a 6 month trial. Just ask your Business Manager about it.

An extra opportunity to see the platform or speak to us will be this week during Open Culture 2014. 25-26 June, The Kia Oval, London. Stand 27!

2014/04/15

Exciting new projects

News letter April 2014

The first quarter of the year is already behind us. How time flies! I find myself saying the same thing at the beginning of every month 'I can't believe its .... already'.

Every time I write a news letter I always spend hours racking my brain, trying to remember all that has happened in the last few months. In this quarter so much as happened that I had a long list within seconds and have had to pick and choose what to talk about. I hope you enjoy what I have chosen.


Probably one of are most exciting projects in the UK was launched a few weeks ago, The Battle of Bannock Burn. We have a special feature on this further on in the news letter, which also talks about our latest project in Germany, Botanisches Museum and a new project with Hermitage Amsterdam.

On the technical side there have also been some great developments, how about all the great tours that are now in the App and the new features for showing video, and selecting content from a map. Another new tool within the platform is a tool for children's tours. You can add points to quizzes and have high-scores for children, which is great way of stimulating learning. A third and maybe most important developments is 'Map My Visit', a new marketing tool for developing an email database and increasing revenues per visitor. Find out more about all three of these developments in our 'latest developments' article.

If after reading the news letter you are interested in hearing more, please never hesitate to contact us. Something to already think about, is a trial, for which we have a great 0 risk solution. Learn more about the trial further on in the newsletter.

As you can see, we have been very busy and these are just a few examples of was has happened in the first quarter. We hope you have been just as busy and that you have equal success over the coming months!

Frits Polman

2014/01/22

A good start to 2014

Newsletter January 2014

At the beginning of the year we take a brief look back at 2013. A year within which we welcomed many new clients from different countries. We have also launched new and exciting projects with current clients.

Besides our walk-ins where new and current clients are always welcome, we were also at the M+H Show in London, the Museum congress in Den Bosch and we organised our own symposium in the Kröller-Müller museum. In 2013 we also launched the new Podcatcher line and improved the Podcatcher App. The App is now compatible with both IOS and Android. Read more about the App in the article below.

Together with are content partners we are working hard on the tours that we will be delivering in the first quarter. We are proud to be working with the Hermitage Amsterdam, the James Joyce Centre in Dublin, Castell Coch in Cardiff, the gardens of Appeltern and the city Archives Amsterdam.

Not a client yet, but interested in the Platform? Please contact us and ask about the trial offer. With no financial risk you can trial the Podcatcher platform including the App for 6 months. Further on in this newsletter we will explain more about the trial.

To sum up, our year has started well, and we wish you all a very successful 2014!

Frits Polman

2013/11/15

Research is becoming increasingly important in the heritage sector

Newsletter December 2013

Many of our clients are now using the online possibilities of the Podcatcher platform. They are developing their own tours, surveys, trails, quizzes, temporary exhibtion tours or even adding second languages.

Not all clients are using the analytics to its full potential. The analytics is the online module that shows all the data collected from tours and research results from surveys, 24/7. Being able to show results and evaluation details is becoming more and more important within the sector. These results can be very important for when you want to request funding. And also to show the results of evaluation after funding budgets have been spent. The Podcatcher platform offers you the possibility to research and evaluate what your visitors think, and show you how your current services are rated. Read more about this in the Research and Analytics article.

Besides research, another important trend is being able to offer equal or similar services to hearing impaired visitors. During the Museums Association Conference in Liverpool this was a popular topic and we got good feedback from visitors who came and took the David Hockney tour which uses the Podcatcher, and offers hearing aid loop possibilities. We also have a text reading tool in our new App. Contact one of our Business managers for more information.

New projects will soon be launching, for example the Fries Museum, the Zeeuws Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, Wellington Arch – English Heritage and Bristol Museums – M-Shed. Besides new projects, current projects will also be adding new tours. For example you will soon be able to enjoy a new children’s tour at “our lord in the attic”, in Amsterdam and the Michel Coxcie tour in Museum M, in Leuven.

Recently Guide ID and the Podcatcher platform have been a part of two different national articles, read more further on in the newsletter.

I hope you enjoy reading this news letter and the articles below.

Best wishes,

Frits Polman
Managing Director Guide ID Europe

2013/03/25

Developing a new website

New developments mean a new website

I think everybody goes through the same procedure when developing new things within an organization. First you create lots of new and exciting things, but then realize that you website and other communication methods are not up to date. Over the last 12 months we have developed many new tools within our platform and have now finally launched a website to match so that our message and concept are clear.

Our new website has the same idea behind it as everything else we do. Easy and simple for everybody to understand and enjoy. We have tried to create a website that explains just enough for everyone to understand what it is we do and how we do it. But also to make it very informal and easy to contact us with any questions.
The main idea behind our platform is to help museums, galleries and any kind of heritage site save time and money, but also to help simplify things. It makes it possible that you only need one tool for Visitor Guiding, Visitor Research and Visit Marketing. And also everything stays easy and simple to use for your staff, yourself and all your visitors.
Please take a look and let us know if this is clear and if you understand what it is we offer. Any kind of feedback or questions are welcome. All of the Business managers are happy to read and reply to emails, take phone calls or even setup meetings during walk-in dates to give you a live demonstration.

2013/02/26

Temporary exhibitions

Is it about the heritage or making money?

Perhaps the biggest challenge when organising a temporary exhibitions in the balance between spending budget on interpretation services and finding ways to create more income. And also doing it on a short timescale. In this article I would like to explain how I think you can avoid this struggle and make it a win-win situation for you and the visitors.

I spend lots of my time speaking to museums and other types of heritage organisations about the continuous struggle between wanting to offer the best visitor services possible within budget and finding ways to create more budget so you can offer better services. In most cases a compromise is made and not all services get offered and not all opportunities to increase budget are taken.

Another factor is time. Most interpretation enhancing services require time and budget to setup, and because its “only a temporary exhibition” are not implemented. This same time issue also leads to revenue opportunities not being maximized.

I think that the problem lies with “short-term thinking”. If you do put the extra effort, time and budget in to do it once, it will never happen. But in the long-term it will pay for itself, free more time for future projects and end up creating more budget for future projects.

Plan 1 hour in your agenda to take a look at what’s on offer. Many professionals in the heritage world have an old fashion idea about what’s on offer, how difficult and time consuming it is to implement and that’s it’s really hard to create extra income. Have a quick Google, I think you will be surprised. We ourselves offer a model which has a very low investment and a clear return with extra income, including tools for research and marketing.

Lately we have worked on temporary exhibitions at Kelvingrove art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery and Museum het Valkhof.

Many thanks for reading this week’s article I hope you enjoyed it.

If you would like to hear or see more you can always visit a walk-in , call us or email to salesteam@guideid.com

2013/01/24

Audio tour by The Royal Dutch Palace

Detective in the Golden Ages

Amsterdam - Shall Maria with the red curls and the mayors son Jacob de Graeff be able to save Boris Pvertsz, who has been sentenced to death? That's the big question in the new audio tour, which was written by children's books author Simon van der Geest for The Royal Dutch Palace, for children from the ages of 9 till 12.

The exciting story happens in the 17th century when the palace was still used as the Town Hall of Amsterdam. The lead character is the 13 year old Jacob. As the son of Cornelis de Greaff, one of the 4 mayors of Amsterdam, he is a apart of the rich and elite of his time. A huge difference to the poor circumstances Marie has to grow up in. When her cousin Boris is wrongly accused of stealing, she rebels against the City Guards and asks Jacob for help.

Simon van der Geest wrote this story especially for the tour. in 2011 he won an award, the Golden Pen, for his book "Dissus" and is also well known for his other children's books "yellow grass" and "Spinder". Is was trusted to Van der Geest to make a tour a more attractive experince

Original article

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2013/01/15

Year of the App?

A new year, full of new, interesting and exciting questions?

Happy new year everyone. I hope everybody had an amazing new year. Now everybody is back to work, the first big questions for 2013 are starting to arise. The one I have heard the most so far is; Will this be the year of the Apps? My answer is...

No, but also yes. I believe that lots of Apps will be developed and implemented across many museums, galleries, zoo’s and all other types heritage sites, but that the low pick-up rates will stay the same.

I think you should offer an App, but I would not spend any extra money or time on it. Talk to your colleagues around you who already offer an App and ask them how much it is actually used by visitors. Or reply to this news update and I will send you some data from our current App projects.

So to sum up my answer. No because I don’t think the pick-up rate will increase much and yes because I think you should offer an App and I think lots of sites are going to develop one. To match these thoughts I have decided to offer the following in 2013;

As always you can use our platform for everything from simple audio tours up to next level interactive audio tours. This can still be done with no upfront investment and you can still change your content daily. But now you will receive the matching free Guide ID app with it from day 1.

Like last year, I will be traveling the country to demonstrate and talk about our platform, so please do not hesitate to reply so we can setup a meeting during one of my Walk-in days. We are also still looking for location who want to use the platform for a year, free of charge as a showcase.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/12/18

Merry Christmas!!

2012 an important year for us!

First of all we would like to thank everybody for all the comments and reactions to our news updates. In 2012 we have spoken to lots of interesting people within sector. We would also like to wish everybody a happy Christmas and a happy new year. Hopefully we will speak to and see everybody in the 2013. We have lots of exciting new plans for 2013 and are still looking for museums and other heritage sites to partner up with.

Guide ID has been through some major changes this year. We have entered 4 new countries, introduced a new evaluation and visitor research tool and launched our matching Podcatcher App to the platform.

Other new tools are the new website which will be launched in January and our visitor marketing which like all elements is another part of the complete Podcatcher platform. To show off all the elements in 2013, we are looking for new showcase locations in different cities across the country.

By being a showcase you form a partnership with us. You will get to use all elements of the platform including the interactive guides and visitor research, and we gain a new location where other prospects can go to experience the platform live and meet with me.

If you are interested in becoming one of our partners in 2013 and would like to know the exact criteria then please email me back and I can explain things in more detail. Together we can decide if such a partnership is of interest for both parties. And of course you can always email me for any quick questions you might have.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/11/27

VIP in Museum?

How to get a VIP into your Museum, Gallery or Heritage site?

Having a VIP in your Museum can have great benefits. It can generate more visitors, new visitors and repeat visitors. Another thing it can do is create more learning and interpretation possibilities. The third aspect which it will improve is interaction between your visitor, your staff and the actual heritage of the location.

I can hear you thinking “what kind of VIP will do all of this for us". The answer is a "Visitor Interpretation platform" that is suitable for all visitors, is easy to use and is simple to implement for you and your staff.

These three elements are important because time, staff and money are often an issue. But by having something that is so easy to use will save you time, by having something suitable for all visitors you do not need lots of staff available and because it’s so simple it can be implemented with no investment.

We at Guide ID really think we have developed a unique platform that will solve many issues and will help with the many plans you might have for creating more interpretation and more interaction with visitors. Because we have always based our developments on museum and visitor feedback, we are always looking for more feedback and ideas on new tools to improve the platform. And make it even more efficient.

“We are very satisfied with the Podcatcher platform and its services. It is simple and efficient” – Kröller-Müller Museum

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/11/05

Who are my visitors?

How do I find out who my visitors are?

Museums spend millions every year on interaction, interpretation and marketing without even knowing who their visitors truly are. Also, and maybe even more important, museums do not know what their visitors want and do during a visit? By performing detailed research on a daily basis museums can find out who their visitors are. I think two types of research are necessary, first of all collecting general daily data on where visitors are in the museum and secondly more detailed information by asking them the right questions. Now I bet you’re thinking, great idea, but how do I find the time and money to do this? The answer is; You do not always need money and most of the work has already been done for you.

What we can provide is an easy to use tool, that visitors understand and enjoy using, and also is easy for yourself and your staff to implement. The tool to use is our “Podcatcher Platform”. It combines a really fun interactive guide, which collects all the visitors usage data on a daily basis and is ready to use for surveys which visitors answers at the end of the tour.

“Our visitors and staff enjoy Podcatcher because it’s easy to use. The live visitor feedback is what convinced us" - Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

Over 80 museums chose to use the Podcatcher in the last 3 years. These museums chose to offer their visitors an extra free service, and collected the data and got visitors to answers questions about the museum and to tell them who they are.

By combining the general data and survey results you get amazing live visitor feedback results. All these results are available online 24/7 as easy to understand reports.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/10/24

Latest UK Garden tour

Bexley Heritage Trust launches “Podcatcher Interactive Guide”

An interactive guide is a great way to bring things to life and to get visitors involved. Bexley heritage trust, Open productions and Guide ID have developed a really interesting and interpretive Guide of the Hall Place Gardens. What really makes this project unique is the combination of a really diverse target group and a really simple product, which is suitable for every single type of visitor.

The interactive guide really tells the story of the gardens and the ABC buttons give the visitor the chance to customize their own tour. For example, visitors can select clips from an interview with head gardener, Chris Riley. This brings the gardens to life, creates great interpretation and gives visitors some really fun facts.

"The gardens at Hall Place are hugely popular with our many visitors, from their fascinating history to their colourful seasonal displays. We are looking forward to bringing them alive with the Guide ID Podcatcher platform, which features our head gardener, Chris Riley. We chose the Podcatcher because it is simple to use for us and our visitors" - Caroline Worthington, Chief Executive.

Guide ID is really proud of this project and is excited about the other two locations within the Bexley trust, Hall Place and Dansons House. These locations will also be launching the Podcatcher in April 2013.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/10/09

Guide ID expands even further

Guide ID Podcatcher platform now available in Germany and Scandinavia

Have you ever thought about introducing an audio guide at your museum? But found it all a bit complicated, time consuming and expensive. These are issues that all museums have on which Guide ID did research in the Netherlands and United Kingdom. Based on this research, museum and visitor feedback, and years of experience, Guide ID has developed a platform which solves all these issues and offers a simple solution for creating more interpretation and interaction for your visitors.

This vision has helped Guide ID to become market leader in the Netherlands and to enter the UK market with success. And now we are planning to do the same in Scandinavia and Germany.

The fact that the main priority is to offer as many features as possibilities and make sure that everything is kept simple and easy, is what makes museums love the Podcatcher platform.

In the UK we are continuing with this vision en want to gain even more experience so we can improve our concept even more. And make it even better suited for UK museums and other heritage sites.

I am certain that our platform offers possibilities for every type of museum and that however complicated your plans and ideas are, we have a simple solutions to offer you.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com. For Scandinavia, please contact Tom Lohuis.

2012/09/25

AHI 2012 Conference

Guide ID Podcatcher platform during AHI Conference

On the 17th, 18th and 19th of October the AHI 2012 annual Conference will take place in glorious Shropshire. Guide ID, like most years, will be attending with a stand and will add some information to the delegates bag. I think the conference is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, museums and other heritage sites. I will be at our stand during all of the networking moments. I have prepared a special “starters” offer, which makes it possible for all locations to directly start offering an audio guide with no upfront investment. This will include all of the platforms elements like the brandable handsets, content and scripting for a complete tour and use of the live analytics and visitor feedback system.

But for us it is about more than that. Guide ID has a great passion for creating a bond between heritage sites and their visitors. We also enjoy taking on the challenge of creating more interpretation and interaction with your visitors, within every type of heritage site that is out there. These challenges only get more fun every time we start working a new one.

Take a look on our website to see a few example of the 80 museums who went before you during the past three years and across Europe.

Parts off the conference will take place outside of the networking area within the hotel. I will be focussing all my attention on our stand and will be able to demonstrate our audio guide platform, our app, our online web-player, the live analytics and our interactive tools for controlling exhibitions and playing interpretive and interactive games.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our Business manager UK, then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/09/11

The three biggest mistakes while creating an audio guide

Adding an audio guide to your visitor services is a great idea. Visitors love being entertained, inspired and educated during a visit. And most museums are always trying to create more interpretation and interaction with visitors. An audio guide is a great way to do all of this, if it is done correctly...

These are the 3 biggest mistakes museums often make.

Mistake 1; Making the content to complex.
An audio guide should be a story which is told whilst a visitor is walking around. It should not be a voice that is telling you what to do, where to go or educating you on a intellectual level. It should be fun, contain the most important facts and inspire a visitor to think about and interact with the objects.
Keep it simple, but make it a feature.

Mistake 2; Making the story too long.
The story should not be one long dull voice that just goes on and on. It should be the few most fun and interesting facts about the object or space. If you have lots to tell, which most museums do, then just break the story down into levels and use the correct type of handset to create levels which give your visitors the choice of which part of the story or subject they want to hear.
Let them customize their own story, on the spot.


Mistake 3; Not evaluating the tour.
When a story is written, it’s the best story you and the script writer think is possible for your visitors. But the only thing that matters is what you visitors think of it. So find a way to evaluate the story and use this visitors feedback to update the story so that it maximizes the entertainment and interpretation value for a visitor and the museum.
The visitor must enjoy it, not you.

Guide ID has made these mistakes in the past themselves, but now uses this experience to create the best stories possible. It has also created an audio guide platform with multiple elements which give you the opportunity to work with the best writers and studios. We also provide the correct equipment so you can keep things simple, easily make changes daily if necessary and get visitor feedback on a daily basis.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our UK Business manager then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/07/23

Kelvingrove Art Gallery choses Podcatcher

Audio Guides

Audio guides are one of the biggest hypes at the moment. If a museum or heritage site does not have one, visitors are disappointed. But just having an audio guide, does not mean you are meeting and satisfying visitors expectations. Research has proven that visitors want something that is easy to use, they understand in an instance and gives them some information on the site and objects.

Guide ID has just started its latest project at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, in Glasgow, using this theory as a basis.

Want to see how simple it really is then watch this demonstration video of two visitors at the Kröller-Müller museum and learn more about the possibilities...

On average visitors have about one minute to understand how an audio guide handset works. This is the amount of time it takes for a visitor to receive the actual audio device and starting the tour. If within this time a visitor does not understand the device, it will have a negative effect on the visitors experience because they cannot access the information they want. Or they miss things because they have to spend time working out the device.

This is often the case with high-tech multimedia devices. The average target group for a museum is 50+ and this group does not have lots of knowledge on high-tech devices. They just want and need a simple device which they can understand straight away and that is very user friendly.

“We chose the Podcatcher platform because our visitors and staff understood how to use it within seconds, so visitors can use all their energy for enjoying the exhibition, objects and audio guide”
John Ferry, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our UK Business manager then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/07/09

How to re-use content and turn it into an audio guide.

Create an audio guide in one week.

Writing or finding content is often the most time consuming element of creating an audio guide. Curators will often think they have to write it all from scratch or find a script writer to help them do it. 95% of the time this is not necessary. You probably have more content than you think already. If you have human guides, just get what they already tell recorded. If you have an exhibition or museum catalogue, use those text as a start for the audio guide. Also lots of other documents will have already been written and which are basically content as well, it’s just never been seen as content and therefor forgotten. At Guide ID we offer you help and tips to write your own content from your catalogue or book and create a new audio guide within one week.

Content is an issue for most heritage sites who want to create an audio guide or other interpretation element. Often there is no issue after all, it’s all about searching in the right places and working with the right people. An audio guide should be kept simple, visitors on a day out just want to learn a little bit about your location and its objects. Based on many surveys which have been held in multiple museums in multiple countries, audio guides are often found to be too long or too intellectual rather than too short and simple. You should keep it simple, focus on your best objects and the information you already have. You can always have layers in the content that are more in-depth or intellectual, but offer visitors the choice.

Creating the ideal guide is not something that is done in a day, but it also does not have to take months either. Start of simple with the information you have, you will be surprised how good the guide will already be. Use things like a catalogue, website information, curator notes and any other internal sources of content you already have. Break this information down into the most important and interesting parts and you already have an audio guide. We will help you with this process and creating an audio guide can be done in days.

Guide ID has developed a platform which is perfect for museums with these issues. You can just send us your catalogue or any other random content, let us know which objects you want to be a part of the tour and we can create the audio guide scripts for you. This is an ideal way to create an audio guide for a temporary exhibition.

You can create the script for the audio guide yourself with our online tour editor. It is a simple and easy to use online program which you can access from any computer with internet. Blocks are used to plan the tour and different levels are used to split content into smaller batches of information. Using the ABC buttons on the audio device or App, visitors can make choices. So you can introduce them to the object and then offer them three options of information. They choose which one or ones they want to hear and they customize their audio guide on the spot.

Creating an audio guide becomes a matter of days instead of months. Just start with the basic guide, use the survey and analytics options within the platform for visitor feedback and edit the tour based on what visitors want or what the analytics system is telling you. This means you can start with no upfront investments, you can start quick, you keep it simple, you create the ideal audio guide with your visitors and you manage the content yourself.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our UK Business manager then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/06/19

Increase visitor interpretation, interaction & education?

Funding issues?

Many Museums and other heritage sites have issues with funding for visitor services that are aimed at interpretation, education and interaction. Museums often say that it is a continuous battle between wanting to offer all the visitor services there are and finding a way to fund them.

Why not change the way you are thinking? Try adding a visitor service which enhances a visitors experience, educates them, interprets objects and creates an interaction during their visit, all whilst increasing your income.

Guide ID has developed a platform which does this. The online tour editor can be updated daily, this gives you the flexibility to have daily or weekly changing audio messages. You will be able to use this to promote other elements within your organisation that generate revenue for you. For example, you can add promotional messages about special offers in the shop or café, a message about up and coming events like new exhibitions or tours and ask visitors for a donation. These short audio messages can be recorded in house. This will not only increase revenue is these areas, but also create return visitors.

The Guide ID financial model is also based on not having any large upfront investments, that would require special funding. You just pay per tour that is used by a visitor. If you rent the tour, you can cover the fee within the amount charged to visitors. Or you can give the tour to all visitors and raise you entrance fee by a small amount to cover the fee per tour. Another option, if you do not have an entrance fee, is to use the flexible promotional messages to create extra income to cover the tour fee.

At the end of the day it means you can add a great visitor service which pays for itself and even creates a new revenue stream. So no upfront funding needed. The upfront costs like studio recordings or branding can even be covered within the fee per tour or can be billed at a later date, whatever suits your organisation. Which means you can start at any time of the year and budget for it at a later date.

All of the above can be done with the Podcatcher audio devices and the free matching App. The rest of the platform elements are not charged for, they are just a part of the platform. So you get all the hardware, software, analytics(visitor/tour feedback) and support for free.

Click here, to hear an online audio sample.

Click here, to see when the next UK walk-in / showcase is.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our UK Business manager then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/06/04

Should every museum have a children’s tour?

Enlarge your target group

Some exhibitions are aimed more at adults than children. This does not mean you can’t attract children or families. You always want to make your target group as large as possible, don’t you?. Developing an audio guide especially for children is the perfect solution. This can turn any exhibition into a unique experience for adults and children.

But most important of all it can create an unforgettable experience for a family. A visit to a museum should be interesting and fun for everyone, but some things are just not interesting to children and vice versa for adults. That’s why they should be able to visit your museum, walk around together, but have an experience tailored to each of them. Guide ID offers a flexible platform and has the experience to help you. The matching App is temporarily free as well.

Guide ID has lots of experience in creating different kinds of audio guides for children. Even though Guide ID lets you write your own content online, we can still help you create a customized tour, like a children’s tour. In the past Guide ID has helped developed many children’s tours using different ideas to make it fun, for example trails to follow throughout the museum, multiple choice questions and answers about the museum objects with high scores at the end of the trail/quiz, or even a combination of both.

Children don’t want to hear loads of information. They just want to hear a few fun facts about the object or answer a fun question. By turning it into more of a game or quest, they will enjoy it more and it will give parents the opportunity to do what they want. But even more important, they will learn a lot as well. Even if your museum is already aimed at children in can enhance the visit. Or why not make a special adults tour? There are lots of ways of being creative, as long as the system you use is flexible enough.

The Guide ID platform with its online content management system, is perfect for museums who want lots of different types of tours and want to be able to change things on a daily basis. Once you have all the hardware and software in place, making a new tour only requires a script and a small investment of about £500 for studio recordings. Guide ID will cover the rest of the upfront investments. After that you just pay per visitor who uses or purchases a guide.

All of the above works exactly the same within the App, which you temporarily receive FREE within the Podcatcher audio guide platform. An additional advantage is that you only have to make changes once, the online tour editor will update the Podcatcher, the App and any website integration, with one click of a button and daily.

Click here, to hear an online example of a children’s quest/quiz.

Click here, to see when the next UK walk-in / showcase is.

If the dates or locations do not suite you, email our UK Business manager for more information or to make an appointment for him to visit you: mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/05/22

App or audio device?

HOW ABOUT BOTH ?!

The biggest hype in the Museums and Heritage world at the moment is Apps and mobile integration. Mobile devices like phones and tablets are becoming a huge part of people’s daily life. So when people visit a museum, gallery or castle they will already be using their mobile device for multiple purposes. So museums should offer a platform for visitors to keep using their device during their visit. But don’t forget the visitors who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use their smart phone. The Guide ID platform has been developed to cover both types of visitors. It offers an audio guide for all visitors, with or without mobile devices.


Preview the audio device for non App users? Click here.

There is so much you can offer a visitor on their mobile device. The main attraction would be for them to be able to do an audio tour, but also to be able to offer them route information, to play games, to see images or video, post messages on social media, leave behind information for after visit marketing and cross selling, to order products from your shop, communicate special offers or future exhibits. The options are endless and give museums the opportunity to create a strong and long-term connection with their visitors.

This should all be done, but one key factor should not be forgotten. What about the many people who do not have a smart phone or do not want to use it? Most museums, galleries or castles main visitor target group are people over the age of 50 who do not have a mobile device. And what about visitors who just want audio so they are not distracted. The museum objects are still the main reason people visit, and should be what people are mainly focused on during a visit.

All museums or heritage sites will have both types of visitors. You will need to offer a platform which satisfies the needs of all visitors.

Guide ID has developed a platform that gives you the opportunity to fulfil the needs of all your different types of visitors. The platform offers content to visitors in three different ways. A simple audio device, a FREE matching App and an online based audio guide.

All three systems have been designed to be very user friendly, for you and for your visitors. For example, all three elements of the platform can be updated from one online content management system which you can access from anywhere, at any time. You only have to change your content once and your tours will be updated the next day.

Funding issues? If you can arrange the content, we will do the rest. We just split revenues.

If you would like more information or would like an appointment with our UK Business manager then please contact us or send an email to mitchellbrown@guideid.com

2012/04/05

People's History Museum launches Podcatcher audio guide

Simplicity was the decisive factor

On the 16th April the People's History Museum in Manchester will launch their Podcatcher audio guide, powered by Guide ID.

People's History Museum : ”We chose the Podcatcher audio guide because of its simplicity for everyone. It’s simple for us to create a tour online and its very simple for our visitors to use”.

Guide ID has a unique approach to audio guides. Our main principal is that we keep it simple for you and your visitors. This is reflected in the audio device itself and the fact that everything in based online. You can create your own content and tours, and it is accessible anytime anywhere. Another unique aspect is the “pay per tour” financial model, which means you do not need to invest any large sums of money upfront, you just pay for the tours that are used by visitors.

Have any questions? Or want to experience a Podcatcher audio guide yourself?
Contact us by email or telephone (020 3384 6838).

2012/01/30

Measure to gain knowledge

Which target groups use the audio tour? And how often? In what language? What is the most popular object in the museum? These are extremely relevant questions for a museum. The Podcatcher accompanies the museum visitors throughout the exhibition. Simultaneously, the Podcatcher registers the behaviour and the profile of the museum visitors. Very useful information for the museum.

The Podcatcher answers a great many relevant questions posed by museums with the Analytics module. The Podcatcher gathers data from the visitors. This data can then be analysed by the museum with the aid of the Analytics module.
The Podcatcher already starts to gather this data at the issuing point. A great many museums have adapted their audio tours for different age categories. The same applies to languages. The audio tours are distributed at the reception desk on the basis of age and language. The Podcatchers register this distribution in order to subsequently determine the profile of the visitors with the aid of the Analytics module.

The Podcatcher works with a scanning system. Scanning the IDentifier next to the object activates the audio tour playback. The Podcatcher is well known for its flexibility. Visitors can determine their own route through the museum. There is a chance that some objects will attract very little attention, while people may be standing in line to catch a glimpse of other objects. The Podcatcher can tell the museum exactly which objects these are. It measures the frequency with which the audio tour sections are listened to for each object. This enables the Podcatcher to measure the popularity of all objects in the exhibition. And this is how the museum knows what people do or do not like to see. This data is extremely useful for the creation of subsequent exhibitions.

In addition, the Podcatcher can be used for quantitative visitor research. Ask your visitors about age, gender, education and evaluate satisfaction in relation to the tour, content, exhibitions and the museum. This allows you to measure the satisfaction of your visitors, and then use this to underpin your story for subsidy providers and sponsors.

So the Podcatcher can measure your tours, in addition to being an audio guide. This gives the Podcatcher significant added value for museums!

2012/01/23

“The Podcatcher gives the visitors freedom of choice!”

One of the clients of Guide ID is the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. The audio tours for the Podcatcher are developed by Josien Beltman. She started working as a member of the educational staff and a tour guide in 2008. Josien was given the task of selecting the audio tour supplier.

The Rijksmuseum Twenthe had already decided that there had to be an audio tour. A good choice, if you ask Josien. “A device with a small screen is also very nice,” she says, “but the danger of this is that attention will drift away from the main task.” The Podcatcher makes a combination of looking and listening possible.
Josien chose the Podcatcher. Over the years, Josien has developed a great many tours. “My first tours consisted simply of a piece of text”, she explains. But the Podcatcher can do more. For example, with the Podcatcher it is possible to create a menu for the visitors. The Podcatcher gives visitors more in-depth information on a piece in the exhibition with a push of a button.

This is why Josien decided to take a different approach to the audio tour for the Abstract USA exhibition. She started this audio tour with a brief introduction with the most important points. This is a menu for visitors who require more information. The scan system also makes it possible for people to decide whether they want to view an exhibit or not. “The Podcatcher gives users freedom of choice!” according to Josien.

Currently, Josien is working on the audio tour for the Ladies & Gentlemen exhibition. In this exhibition the Rijksmuseum Twente presents British portraits from the 18th century. Josien is bubbling with ideas for this audio tour. The idea is to allow the ladies and gentlemen in the exhibition to speak for themselves. “We let the characters tell their own stories!” explains Josien. And the choices enable visitors to decide whether they want to hear more from this person. Thanks to the flexibility of the Podcatcher and the creativity of Josien this once again promises to be a pleasure for the eyes and the ears! See you in the Rijksmuseum!

2012/01/16

Less is more

A simple audio tour boosts comfort for the visitors and reception desk staff.

The more complex the device, the greater the risk of faults. This is also the case for an audio tour. Simplicity is a must for optimum functionality. That is what typifies the Podcatcher. The Podcatcher is known for its simplicity.

Loose wires, knots in the headphone cable and complicated option menus – none of this promotes comfort during an audio tour. After all, the idea is for visitors to be able to experience the exhibition without disturbance, without being distracted by technology or devices. A satisfaction survey amongst visitors of the Singer Laren revealed that the Podcatcher meets the wishes of the visitors.

Simplicity for visitors
The Podcatcher system is very simple. IDentifiers are placed next to each of the exhibits. Scanning these activates the playback of the audio segment.

You use the Podcatcher in the same way as a mobile Phone, to your ear. Earplugs or earphones are not necessary. A major advantage according to the visitors. They regard audio tours with headphones as unhygienic and unpractical. In contrast, the Podcatcher allows you to interact with visitors, so that you are not isolated from your partner. And this is very convenient, because a visit to a museum is frequently a trip that you want to experience together.

Simplicity for reception desk staff
Besides the visitors, the museum staff also benefit from a simple audio tour. Everything must run smoothly at the distribution point. If the system is too complicated the reception desk staff become concerned about handing something out that they do not understand. A short and concise explanation of the operation of the audio tour is a must. In addition, it is essential that the distribution involves the minimum number of actions. This will prevent long queues and enables reception desk staff to enjoy issuing the tour.

In terms of an audio “less is more”. A simple audio tour promotes comfort for both visitors and reception desk staff.

2012/01/09

Boost your income, rent out a Podcatcher

No financial investment, but there is extra income!

A new year, new opportunities and new plans. 2012 is a year in which museums are being challenged to find new sources of income. The 200 million Euro that the Cabinet is fishing out of the culture purse must be found elsewhere.

These cuts have greatly encouraged museums to think in commercial terms. After all, money has to be earned. Guide ID understands the situation of the museums and has therefore created a special price model for them...

No financial investment, but there is extra income.
It works as follows. You write the texts and we provide the voice, the studio recordings and sufficient Podcatchers. You then actively rent the audio tour out at the ticket kiosk. We subsequently divide the proceeds of the renting operation. It is that simple!

The tour can be expanded later. You can add more languages, or a special children’s tour, such as in the World Museum. The content can be changed 24/7 with the online Tour Editor. There is also permanent access to the online analytics, with which you can monitor the behaviour of your visitors.

Added value for your visitors
An audio tour adds value to your museum. Visitor research has revealed that an audio tour is essential for visitors. The same research showed that the Podcatcher is ideally suited to the wishes of the visitors.

Visitors are prepared to pay for an audio tour! Would you like to boost your income? Call us in order to discuss the possibilities.

2012/01/02

2012: even more convenience for an even larger public

The good resolution of Guide ID is to continue to improve ourselves!

To start, we wish you a wonderful 2012! And good resolutions are part of a New Year. The good resolution of Guide ID is to continue to improve ourselves. Our mission “convenience for everyone” is therefore as follows for 2012: EVEN MORE convenience for an EVEN LARGER public...

In recent months, Guide ID has devoted a great deal of work to its own iPhone App. The point of departure was what you can expect from us – convenience for everyone!

An App is a small application that you can install on your smartphone. Our App activates content by means of QR codes. The barcode system was developed in Japan many years ago. It was discovered that it was so handy that it is used for a multitude of purposes all over the world today. For example, it is an ideal system for use in museums.

The QR codes are placed next to the works of art. It is an extremely user-friendly and simple system. As with the Podcatcher, all you need to do is scan. The App on the smartphone then translates the bar code and plays the relevant section of the audio tour. Extra content in the form of photos can also be offered with this App.

One central system for flexible content
Using the App makes the audio tour even more attractive for an even larger public! And it all stays simple for museums. The Podcatcher and the App are supplied with content by a single system. There is one tour editor with which the content for both the Podcatcher and the App is developed.

We are launching the iPhone App in the first quarter of 2012, so that museum visitors can enjoy an audio tour through their own headphones. Naturally, for visitors without a smartphone there is still always the Podcatcher. After all, Guide ID delivers convenience for everyone!

We look forward to a surprising, innovative and comfortable 2012!

2011/12/27

Nico Dijkshoorn audio tour at Kröller-Müller museum

The tour offers a fresh new perspective on art and on famous pieces from the collection.

From 13 January 2012 the Kröller-Müller museum presents a new audio tour, written and recorded by Nico Dijkshoorn (in Dutch).

The tour will be added to the regular tour (Podcatcher) and is guaranteed to offer a fresh new perspective on art and on famous pieces from the collection. Humorous, sometimes abrasive, but also surprisingly personal and always with a conspicuous eye for detail.

Sweet Summer Nights
The idea originated during the Sweet Summer Nights of 2010. Nico Dijkshoorn recited some of his own work but also spontaneously poeticized on a number of artworks in his field of vision. The Kröller-Müller museum and Nico Dijkshoorn remained in contact after the festival evening and eventually it was decided to make a personal audio tour, with poems and short texts, for 25 works on permanent display.

Nico Dijkshoorn and the Kröller-Müller museum
Nico Dijkshoorn is a celebrated columnist for publications incl. Voetbal International, HUMO and Metro and is resident poet for De Wereld Draait Door. The collaboration dovetails nicely with the Kröller-Müller museum’s vision, which aims to show that art is inspirational, provocative and intriguing.

The poems and texts can be combined with the regular (art historical) tour, whereby you can constantly choose between the different forms of information.

From 13 January 2012 all go visit the Kröller-Müller museum!

2011/12/19

Wisdom from the Podcatcher

Education in the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam

The Podcatcher plays an important role in providing information to young museum visitors. Esther van Pamelen, head of education at the Wereldmuseum, explains how she uses the Podcatcher as an educational tool.

In the Wereldmuseum, important lessons are taught about ancient and modern cultures. You can admire objects that seem to come from a completely different world. Extra information is a must. The Wereldmuseum uses the Podcatcher to tell the young visitors the story behind these special and exotic objects.

A separate tour for every age group
There is an audio tour especially for the very youngest. They are guided on their tour by the friendly spirit of the museum. ‘I am a spirit’, says the voice in the Podcatcher, ‘so you cannot see me. But you can hear me’. This audio tour is used primarily by families. This means that mum and dad and the children can all thoroughly enjoy the Wereldmuseum.

The audio tour for teenagers is used mainly for school visits to the museum. Two tours have been developed for teenagers. A version for the top level of the VMBO and the bottom level of the HAVO/VWO, and one for the top level of the HAVO/VWO. These take account of the attention span of the teenagers. This is generally somewhat longer amongst HAVO students than amongst VMBO students. This is why the audio tour for the latter group consists of short and simple texts. The objects that are covered by the audio tour are selected on the basis of visual attractiveness. “Although a great story in an audio tour can even make a pebble an enormously important object”, according to Esther van Pamelen.

The text on the Podcatcher is spoken by a young person. The students are given information on the objects in the exhibition by their contemporary. This story is followed by a number of multiple choice questions. Answering these questions helps the students to remember what they have just been told.

What do the students and teachers think?
What students think about the Podcatcher is often a mystery. ‘Visitors in that age group frequently say that they do not like museums anyway. They are not “cool”’, jokes Esther. In any case, the teachers are extremely enthusiastic about the Podcatcher!

Many teachers are only aware of the old fashioned audio tours, with headphones, with which students would wander around the museum in isolation and that made it impossible to talk to them. That is not the case with the Podcatcher. ‘The teacher does not constantly have to be waving, signalling ‘Hallo! I am talking to you!.’ The Podcatcher works just like a mobile phone!’, explains Esther, 'and that makes it ideal for educational purposes!’

Besides the Wereldmuseum there are other museums that use the Podcatcher for education. If you would like to know which museums these are, please call...

2011/12/12

5 tips for a better audio tour.

Use our experience to enhance your audio tour

More and more museums choose to develop an audio tour themselves. Would you like to do so too, then read the following tips to improve the results...

Tip 1: Target the largest audience.
The audio tour has the greatest chance of success if it targets the largest audience. For example, suppose you have 30,000 annual visitors, of which 5,000 are children and 25,000 are adults. Of the adults, 80% speaks English, the other 20% a different language. You should start with an audio tour targeting your English speaking adult visitors, increasing the chance many visitors will take the audio tour. You can always expand the number of languages at a later time, or add a children's tour.

Tip 2: Use short texts.Visitors like to stay in control of the audio tour. Therefore it is better to have a 30 seconds introduction followed by several options than one tedious 2 minute text. Write your texts in the present tense. This will result in a lively text and makes the visitor more involved in the story. Make sure the story has a direct relation with the object you are describing. The interaction between the physical object, the exhibition and the audio tour should provide a unique experience.

Tip 3: Use professional voice artists.
Using professional voice artists has multiple advantages. The voice artist has experience in choosing the right tone of voice, making the audio tour lively from beginning to end. If you use a celebrity's voice more visitors are inclined to take the audio tour and it will make their experience more intense.

Tip 4: Keep it simple and easy
If cashiers find handing out the audio tour too complicated, all your effort is lost because they will not hand out the audio tour to your visitors. That is why you have to make it easy for cashiers. Visitors should be able to operate the audio tour without extensive explanations. The audio tour must enhance the experience and may not create distraction.

Tip 5: Make sure it just works.
Nothing is more frustrating than having visitors come back with defective equipment. Make sure you choose robust equipment, not consumer MP3-players or mobile phones. Those are often fragile and quickly break down in a public environment. Empty batteries or unintuitive controls also frustrate your visitors, which is the last thing you want.

These are only 5 tips. For more, just call us...

2011/12/05

People are pleased with the Podcatcher.

Results of visitor research at Singer museum and the Wereldmuseum

The visitors of musea, zoo’s and castles, are the end users of the Podcatcher. That is why their opinion is important for Guide ID. Therefore a survey has been carried out at Singer museum (Laren, NL) and the Wereldmuseum (Rotterdam, NL). The outcome: people are very pleased with the Podcatcher!

“The Podcatcher increases the delight of visiting a museum!” according to a gentleman at Singer Laren. He and others point out the benefits of the absence of earphones. “Usually, my wife and I both walk around with earphones in our ears. Isolated, and both in our own world. The Podcatcher makes interaction possible.”

Ease of Use
The survey research focused on the physical features of the Podcatcher, such as ease of use, the weight and the design. The Podcatcher is seen as very user friendly. The easy method of scanning the IDentifiers is mentioned a lot. “The possibility to choose your own route, is excellent”, tells a couple at the Wereldmuseum (Rotterdam, NL). One seems not always aware of the weight of the Podcatcher: “..this device is simply as light as a feather”, according to a female visitor. Especially for the elderly, this is a very relevant advantage. Although design does not seem to be a pre, one points at the fine looks of the Podcatcher. The custom design of the museums is seen as a beautiful addition.

How to improve?
What should be changed about the Podcatcher? An elderly woman pointed out that the sound should be louder. She was not able to fully hear the audio tour at the exhibition. Showing her the volume button solved her problem. Henceforth, Guide ID aims to improve communication about this feature, in order to prevent a situation like this.

A woman at Singer museum (Laren, NL) doubts the hygiene of the Podcacther. “Everybody holds the device to their ear.” In order to guarantee the hygiene, Guide ID provides a tissue-box with the Podcatcher. This can be used to clean the devices.

Focus on the object on display, not the device
Most visitors use the mobile tour simply to get additional information. The Podcatcher seems to perfectly fit this desire. The lack of a screen is not seen as a shortcoming. “Without a screen, I am able to focus on the actual art. I’d rather see movies and pictures at home, behind my own computer”, according to many respondents.

The public is very pleased with the Podcatcher. Knowing this, we, Guide ID, are very pleased as well.

2011/11/28

We started bloggin’!

Read tips & trick, customer reviews, new features and more...

It is time for Guide ID to start a blog. More often, we are in conference with customers or prospects about the lock, stocks and barrels in our branch. About the possibilities, the threats, the do’s and the dont’s. We started this blog to share the mind of Guide ID and her customers.

A new article will be published, every Monday. This might concern new possibilities among the Podcatcher platform, the usage of smartphones, advices of customers about educative tours or simply a comment on relevant news articles on the web.

We wish you happy reading!