A Student View of workshops in The Manchester Museum

As you may remember from earlier posts, we have been working with Tameside College on a series of Travel and Tourism Workshops.  One of the students was kind enough to write this post for our blog.  If you are interested in having these workshops for your groups, please either comment below or contact us.

It was a cold morning in Manchester, and the whole group met outside McDonalds. We set off down Oxford Street with a coffee in one hand and a McMuffin in the other could we survive the walk down Oxford road before they ran out? Supplies were getting low and then we were greeted by the Japanese crab at the museum and we finally able to get our breath back.

Our tutor popped into the museum to register our arrival and Cat appeared like magic from her downstairs office. After brief introductions Cat lead us to the conference room which was flooded with sunshine and made that long walk worthwhile.

Image, Students working on their tasks

We settled ourselves into comfy chairs and listened to Cat tell us about the museum and its relationship with the university and the people of the North West. Cat introduced us to those technical Latin words and she asked us what they meant to us, these words didn’t mean much to us in this context but when she rephrased them it was a “Eureka” moment and it all made sense.

We were then given our tasks which were related to different types of customers that visit the museum, which were learning families and self developers we then got into our groups and discussed what we were to do next. Some groups decided to take a service journey which is treading in the footprints of these types of customers. Other groups decided to speak to the customers and staff to find out more primary data.

Once we gathered our information we returned to the conference room and began to brainstorm our ideas for a presentation in front of senior museum management team. We were then free to get lunch and some people went to wander round the university facilities such as the refectory whilst others took the opportunity to take in the fresh winter weather.

On our return we had time to make final preparations for our dragons den style presentation. We were then introduced to the dragons who were senior management of the museum. Some of us got a little bit nervous about the prospect of presenting our ideas in front of people whose job it is to run and manage the museum, however they were very nice and approachable and we could see that they were interested in what we were doing.

Our presentations consisted of ideas on how to improve the customer service at the museum and covered observations such as the first impressions of the entrance and the general layout of the museum, how approachable the staff were, and how they accommodated for the different types of customers.

Image, Students presenting their ideas to The Museum Dragons

After each group presented the dragons gave their feed back to each group, and then left the room to deliberate which group had the best ideas. At this stage we were very apprehensive on who was going to win the competition. They then came back in the room, and at this point the room fell silent with tension. Once the dragons had discussed each presentation each dragon chose a group who they thought had the best ideas. They then each gave their group feedback on why they thought their presentation was good. Finally it was time to announce the winner, everyone was excited to find out who was the winners and what the mystery prize was.

The winners were group 3 whose presentation was aimed at families. Their ideas consisted of interactive boards, buggy spaces, parent, child and disabled parking, lost child points and procedures and also prices in the café. Groups 3 had got their market research by talking to the primary school that was visiting the museum at the time; they asked the children what would make the museum more exciting for them. Group 3’s prize was 25% off at the museum shop, they were very happy with the prize as they had already seen things they had wanted to buy.

Overall the day was a change to our theory based college day. It was a really enjoyable day and are all looking forward to returning in the future.

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