It’s nice to have something stay the same and never change. But staying still for the sake of it isn’t always a good thing. Macaroni and cheese on its own is delicious, but adding in trendy truffle oil takes it to a whole new level. Recreating Ghostbusters with an all-female cast is pretty awesome. And Betty White on Twitter is a beautiful thing.
But these examples are only effective because they work. The blending of old with new must have a clear purpose to accomplish in order to be successful.
Possibly The Most Traditional City in the US
Called “The Revolutionary City,” Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the United States. The restored 18th Century capital city of Williamsburg Virginia includes live action, theatrical performances, historical buildings, and nearby resorts, sports clubs, and a water park.
So when Colonial Williamsburg wanted to incorporate ticketing technology, they had to proceed with caution.
From the actors wearing colonial garb, to the functioning blacksmith workshops, to the horse and carriage rides, authenticity is the backbone of Colonial Williamsburg. No technology is even allowed inside the gates.
Colonial Williamsburg’s traditional ticket windows were having trouble keeping up with the pace and the city’s ever-changing schedule. Different buildings and attractions were open at different times, which made keeping track of things difficult. They wanted a self-service solution to sell tickets and provide information that was quick and easy…and didn’t take away from the traditional experience.
“Technology for technology’s sake wasn’t an option at Colonial Williamsburg,” said David McCracken, Livewire Digital’s president. “The solution would incorporate cutting-edge technology, but it also simply needed it to work. It was important not to take away from the overall feel and flavor of the attraction.”
Blending Traditional with New-Age
Colonial Williamsburg already had been using Livewire’s technology… virtual eConcierge tourist center kiosks installed in 2011. Colonial Williamsburg liked these kiosks and wanted to expand their capabilities to add ticketing functionality.
In March, they installed ticketing kiosks around the outside of Colonial Williamsburg (no technology inside, remember!) The interactive kiosks allow guests to buy tickets right at the gates or to purchase them online and print at the kiosk. Each self-service machine includes a touch screen, credit card reader, ticket printer, and barcode scanner.
The ticketing kiosks make it convenient for everyone. As we found with the Stratosphere Casino [READ MORE], guests want to have the freedom to purchase tickets at a variety of times. The wide range of operating hours gives customers flexibility in purchasing their tickets. In addition, some events, like carriage rides, must be purchased the day of, so these self-service kiosks make purchases extremely convenient.
The speed of the new kiosks makes it easy for guests to focus on Colonial Williamsburg. The technology is fast, intuitive, and simple…which keeps it from being a distraction.
When you incorporate technology in the right way, it’s not showy or flashy. It just enhances what you already have. If technology can successfully be incorporated in one of the most traditional attractions in the country, think of what the right technology could do for your business.