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Titanic Study Exchange

Museum Name

Southampton City Council Arts & Heritage

Museum Contact

Steve Newell, Customer Services Manager (Commercial)

The Project

Following a visit by members of the Titanic Belfast team to Southampton City Council’s SeaCity Museum, Steve Newell, Customer Services Manager (Commercial) for Southampton Arts and Heritage, undertook a two-day return visit, funded by a Hampshire Solent Museum Development Training Bursary. Steve explored the attraction and its public operations, guided by key members of the Titanic Belfast team, including the operations director and retail manager. Steve also visited Nomadic, a charity-based operation who have reinstated the only surviving White Star ship after a £8 million project, to exchange ideas about events, education and retail activities. He also explored smaller related attractions such as the Titanic dock and pump house and city open-topped tour bus service.

Dates

September 2013

What were the Project aims?

  • Develop working relationship between SeaCity Museum and Titanic Belfast
  • Improve knowledge of running similar venues, including retail, catering, and visitor income aspects
  • Gain ideas for attracting visitors and increasing income, efficiencies and savings.
  • Explore comparable learning element information to further develop the self guided tours at SeaCity
  • Develop links for potential collaborations on loans and shared artefacts

What was the impact of the project?

  • Learning about seasonality of visitor patterns at a comparable attractions has led to changes in visitor targets and projections.
  • Benchmarking of retail offer and ideas for new stock lines: these are now being investigated.
  • Ideas for introducing chargeable elements of the education offer and are being developed.
  • Partnership with tourist bus providers are being explored.
  • Ideas and contacts from the Belfast visit have been shared with relevant Southampton colleagues for follow up for partnership working and benchmarking.

What went well and what didn’t go well?

Well:

Fact sharing about:

  • Visitor targets
  • Audiences
  • Income figures
  • Opportunities

Didn’t go well

Nothing, it was a smooth process.

Top Tips

  • The reason it was smooth was due to the contact that I had made at Belfast to arrange the itinerary, and the information that flowed from the application process within the MDO.

  • Ensure you go with your venue's information to share with your host venue.

  • Take copious notes.

What are your plans for the future?

  • Look into other suitable opportunities to gain valuable benchmarking information.
  • To ensure that the relationship that was fostered is kept current.

Overall Cost of Project

£360.00, funded by the Hampshire Solent Museum Development Training Bursary scheme.