ASVA recognises excellent visitor experience provided by The Battle of Bannockburn Experience
14 Nov 2014
The Battle of Bannockburn Experience has won the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions “Best Visitor Experience” Award 2014. Recognising excellence in the visitor experience provided by ASVA member organisations throughout Scotland, the award was presented at ASVA’s ‘Game Changer’ conference on 13th November.
Entries for the award, sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia, were received from visitor attractions across Scotland, all of whom were then visited by members of Britannia’s management team to see if they were delivering what they promised in their entry forms. Following this initial assessment, a shortlist of 3 attractions was drawn up. The 3 finalists, which also included Iona Abbey and The Museum of the University of St Andrews, were then visited by the judging panel comprising; Bob Downie, Chief Executive of The Royal Yacht Britannia, a senior member of the VisitScotland Quality Assurance team and a Scottish Tourism Alliance Board Member.
Entries were assessed on all aspects of the visitor experience provided, including the warmth of welcome, the approach taken to gathering and using customer feedback, the steps taken to continuously improve the visitor experience, and monitoring of performance standards for front line staff.
Commenting on The Battle of Bannockburn Experience’s win, Chairman of the judges Bob Downie said: “The Bannockburn Experience demonstrates perfectly how heritage attractions can bring history alive with great passion. With very little in the way of written information, the visitor journey relies on the spoken word, sound effects, 3D graphics and the ‘battle game’ experience. Visitors are able to handle weapons whilst standing in the middle of the battle and the 3D element is key to helping them feel immersed in the battle. Focusing on the stories of individual people at the character stations is a highly engaging way for visitors to get a real sense of how the battle would have affected people in 1314”.
Clair Walker, Visitor Services Manager at The Battle of Bannockburn Experience, commented: “By using sensory and interactive exhibits to lead visitors through the story, our aim is to create an enjoyable and memorable learning experience for people of all ages.
“We are proud to be able to offer visitors the chance to experience Scotland’s past as never before. Standing shoulder to shoulder with life-sized 3D warriors in the middle of a 360 degree screen, they are immersed in the chaos, excitement and horror of battle in a contemporary and relevant way. By using gesture recognition, they can also interact with digital characters who share their personal stories, which adds an emotive element to the experience.
“In the Battle Game, visitors play out the battle for themselves on a 3D map of the 1314 landscape. As things heats up and they have to make decisions that affect an entire army, there is a real sense of the pressure and intensity that the soldiers on the ground would have felt 700 years ago.
“But the overall visitor experience is about more than graphics and special effects. From the warmth of the welcome to the quality of the food we serve in the restaurant, we aim to ensure that everybody who visits us has a fantastic time, from the moment they come through the door to when they leave”.
ASVA Chairman David O’Neill said: “This was an outstanding entry, with staff at the attraction really striving to ‘go the extra mile’ in order to give visitors a truly great experience, and is all the more creditable as it is the first year that the newly re-vamped attraction has been open to the public”.