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Build for the future to keep history alive — that’s the ambitious goal for the Independence Visitor Center. The visitor center team wanted to make the venue the go-to gateway to local destinations.
The team recognized that a great customer experience would be essential from the outset. Technology would be the key but it had to provide visitors with a personalized service. Three areas were prime targets for redevelopment – the theater, ticketing area and self-service information wall.
The new theater was to be an important starting point for visitors with a short narrative film introducing Philadelphia attractions. The ticketing area was to have a dual purpose – provide visitors with a personal service and act as a lecture area. The self-service information wall was designed to provide visitors with touch surfaces so they could select venues for more information. It also had to attract visitors through proximity sensors and gather data on visitor usage and interests.
A 42-foot digital wall with touch surfaces enables visitors to find out about local attractions. Special cameras detect passing visitors and change content to attract them to the wall. The cameras also collect data on the displays that attract most interest. The analytics interact with machine learning to optimize content in line with visitors’ interests. The new ticketing area provides spacious accommodation for personal service.
Technology has transformed a traditional visitor center to an informative, interactive 21st century orientation experience where visitors can find out about more than 100 tours and attractions throughout the region. The new center attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year. It has raised awareness of the city’s heritage and helps drive tourist traffic and revenue for the region’s arts, culture, historic, retail and restaurant destinations.
Visitors have the choice of personal service at the spacious information desk or self-service on the dynamic media wall.