Michele Stratton - Guest Blogger: Web Communications Specialist
Here at Conner Prairie, we love to connect with our guests. If you are a regular visitor, perhaps you recognize the blue-shirted staff, always ready to help with directions and answers to your questions. Conner Prairie utilizes surveys, comment cards, focus groups and other methods of inviting feedback and ideas from our guests in order to make your visit a phenomenal one. Our Guest Services department works hard to provide answers to your program and event questions, and other details to help you enjoy your day at Conner Prairie.
I work in our marketing department, in a typical office setting. However, one of the perks of working at Conner Prairie is the having the chance to go outside and walk the grounds. Hot or cold weather, when the outdoor grounds are open, I try to get outside several times a week. Not just for some fresh air or to pet a sheep in the Animal Encounters Barn, but also to observe our guests as they enjoy and explore Prairietown, Lenape Camp, Conner Homestead or the 1859 Balloon Voyage area. I take my observances back to the desk and incorporate them into my daily work.
The same approach is taken at special events. One of the best experiences was working at Headless Horseman and chatting with guests in the hayride lines, answering questions and directing them to the entertainment areas. It was a festive atmosphere and talking to the kids waiting in line was priceless – they have plenty to say about the Headless One! A benefit to being on the grounds, at an event, is observing how guests navigate their way around and hearing their questions (“Where is the nearest restroom?”, “Why isn’t the balloon flying?”). We take what we learn from watching and interacting with the guests to make the next special event an even better guest experience. Maybe we develop more signage for instance, or move an entertainment experience to another area of the park for better traffic flow.
Our focus and mission at Conner Prairie is to bring the past to life. One of the best ways to do that is to use 21st century means to reach out and talk with our guests and inform them about upcoming events. Whether you use the Conner Prairie website, Twitter, Facebook or our printed materials such as the seasonal Events Guide, please follow us, share your thoughts and feedback, and ask questions. You can even check in at Conner Prairie on Foursquare! In just several short months, (June 4 to be exact), we will unveil our newest exhibit, 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana. I’ll be out there, in the Civil War area, mingling with guests. We hope to hear your thoughts on the new exhibit before and after the grand opening and aim to make it a not-to-miss experience for you.