Sydney, NSW Australia

Visit dynamics

The Leisure Budget

The leisure budget is a combination of TIME, ENERGY and MONEY.

People visiting a discretionary venue will leave when the first item in the budget is used up. In places like zoos, museums, galleries, gardens and historic sites, properly placed rest areas can increase visitor satisfaction and extend the time on site.

Barriers to Visiting

Choreography of a visit

Potential visitors are often discouraged from visiting a place because they don’t know how to access the venue or the precinct. I have encountered a new museum where visitors couldn’t find the entry door. A precinct where people believed it was hard to find parking when, in fact, there were hundreds of spaces. I call these situations “not knowing the trick” for accessing the venue.

This problem needs to be identified and overcome by clever design, marketing and developing a strong flow of personal recommendations by visitors..

A place can appeal to some group members but not others. This can lead to a discussion that results in the group choosing to visit a third option that, while not quite as appealing to each group member, is a satisfactory compromise for everyone. Some places can be more negotiable than others.

Discretionary visits to a place tend to have a series of steps and timing that characterise each kind of visit. Places designed with an understanding of how a visit will unfold offer a much more satisfying experience for visitors. For example, placing rest and refreshment stops at the right places in major museums helps combat “museum fatigue”

Every place is made up of “behaviour settings”. These are areas in which the physical infrastructure, combined with formal and informal rules, facilitates or inhibits what people might want to do. To make the point—it is hard to play a four-handed poker game in a movie theatre. The seats all face the front, the management turns the lights out, and people nearby shush conversation.

Placemaking and place design achieve the best results when they take into account the match between all three elements of behaviour-setting design and user aspirations.

To learn something of our approach to visitor forecasting, click on “To Visitor forecasting”.