liveARCH's first workshop
liveARCH in Scotland March 14th - 18th, 2007 liveARCH went to Scotland for their 2nd meeting. This visit encompassed the first workshop of liveARCH on the theme of 'Dialogue with the Visitors' and a one-day conference 'Cultural Heritage Interpretation'. The latter was held as part of this Meeting, with a range of speakers explaining how archaeology and history are presented to the public in a number of countries. Scotland emphasised issues relevant to the dialogue with visitors, such as understanding who are our visitors and what they expect, want and need; the key messages we are all trying to impart to the visitors and the methods that we use to do this. The goals of the Meeting revolved around the theme of the Dialogue with the Visitors and benchmarking.
The 2nd liveARCH Meeting (SC '07) provided both theoretical knowledge and practical experience when working out one's own communication strategy and dealing with visitors on site. Some partners started in 2008 experimenting with using live interpretation besides of their guided tours and programs because they got acquainted with it in Scotland, others improved their live interpretation work according to new insights gained.
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Name The Scottish Crannog Centre
Country Scotland
The Dialogue with Visitors
Themes

Training workshop:
The Dialogue with Visitors

Coordination:
The Scottish Crannog Centre, Scotland
Description
A training workshop on the dialogue and rapport between living history centres and their visitors, focusing on understanding visitor needs and expectations; interpretation and presentation skills; and visitor engagement. This will be a training workshop involving staff of the co-organisers and external specialists working in small groups.
Workshop themes will include:
▪   Attitudes (for example: behaviour, codes of conduct, language skills, answering tricky questions);
▪   Presentation techniques (for example on didactics, psychology);
▪   Training in dialogue and acting, including role-playing;
▪   Dealing with different visitor groups (for example: different ages and genders, ethnic groups and people with disabilities and cultural diversity);
▪   Activities for children and school visits.

The objectives
The objective is to build competence among the partners and their staff in relation to presenting history to the public.
Further, we intend to:
▪   Improve the quality and share best practice for centres and museums who aim to present history and archaeology actively to the public;
▪   Improve staff understanding of the visitors and their ability to interact with them, recognising factors such as age, gender, cultural background, special interest levels, and disability: Who goes to living history centres and why?;
▪   Improve staff knowledge of the key messages/themes to impart to the visitors, recognizing factors such as authenticity, and historical discrepancies: What do we want the visitors to learn?;
▪   Improve staff confidence and performance, concentrating on training methods of interpretation, presentation skills, and role playing: How can we engage the visitors to help them learn?;
▪   Improve the measuring and recording of visitor satisfaction at all similar centres with comparable visitor surveys and feedback forms: Who makes repeat visits to living history centres and why?

Involvement of the co-organisers
The co-organisers will each participate actively and one will be organising this workshop.

Target group
Selected staff of the co-organisers.

Indicative timetable
March 2007

Expected results
▪   Enhanced professionalism of living history centres;
▪   Improved quality of staff performance and self-confidence;
▪   Improved dialogue and rapport between staff and visitors;
▪   Increased visitor numbers and repeat business;
▪   The establishment of a wide-ranging competence network across Europe;
▪   The final result will be a written report edited by the Scottish Crannog Centre and published accordingly.