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Economics for Heritage Interpreters

The Heritage Interpretation Training Center

Heritage Economics: A Guide for Interpreters, Planners,
Site Managers, and Educators

Tuition $300.00 – 3 CEU Unit Credits

No matter how good an interpreter, interpretive manager, interpretive center director – interpretive site board member or any other interpretive managerial position you serve  – success (staying open and in business), or lack of operational success (closing) is based on an understanding of interpretive management economics.  Yet most interpreters receive little or no actual training in the complexity of economics of the interpretive profession.

It is the goal of this book to serve more as a manual to help you think about the planning, management and financial success of various interpretive operations – from predicting visitation numbers for a new (not yet built) interpretive center or museum, to the economics of individual interpretive programs.  How much an interpretive program costs to present and then calculating the benefits (tangible and intangible) from that interpretive program?
Each Unit will introduce you to different interpretive economic concepts and strategies you can try to use to determine and hopefully be able to prove to others the economic value of your interpretive programs and media communications.  

The way the course works.  

You’ll start with me sending you Unit one alone with interpretive resources and my new book on Heritage Economics.  
- There will be recommended reading assignments.
- There will be “homework” assignments for you to send to me for review.
- I will then send you Unit Two to work on, and so on.
- We can set up a SKYPE or ZOOM chat to talk about your particular issues or challenges any time you would like to talk.
- You can work through the course at your own speed – no time limits.
- When you have completed the course you will receive your Certificate of Completion and 3 CEU Unit Credits noted on the certificate.

A copy of John's new textbookk: Heritage Economics: A Guide for Interpreters, Planners, Site Managers, and Educators will be provided to participants as the main course textbook.

Here are the course Units

Unit One - Feasibility and Economic Analysis Considerations for a Proposed New         
                  Interpretive Center/Facility.

-Feasibility and Economic Analysis Considerations for a
New Interpretive Center/Facility.        
-Design load for visitor centers formula.          
-Parking rules of thumb – cars/busses.       
-Visitor Center Overhead and Operations Costs       
-What about exhibit costs?         
-But Wait – We’re Not Done Thinking Yet!

Unit Two – Visitors and Interpretive Economic Analysis.

-Visitors and Interpretive Economic Analysis.       
-Estimating real visitor numbers for new interpretive facilities, sites or attractions.  
-How many visitors are too many?  Carrying Capacity and Economics.    
-How Much is Too Much? Carrying Capacity of National Parks and Protected Areas  
-How does the Fire Marshal Determine the Maximum Occupancy of Rooms?   
- Parking rules of thumb – managing parking carrying capacity.

Unit Three –  Economics of Interpretive Exhibits - Introduction

- The Exhibit Economic Gamble.        
- Concepts for planning financially sustainable “Interpretive” Exhibits.    
- The psychology of the exhibit – exhibit “load” in exhibit planning.    
- The effect of exhibit content on visitor load factors.      
- Planning Interpretive Exhibits –Cost/Contact and Cost Effectiveness Outcomes.   
- Exhibits and drawing/attraction power.        
- TIME – How long exhibit projects may take – time is money and has a cost.   
- Cost/contact and cost effectiveness of exhibits review.      
- A final summary graphic in total exhibit coats for contracting a exhibit project.   
- Rules of Thumb for budgeting Museum/Visitor Center Exhibit Projects.    

Unit Four – Economics of Interpretive Exhibits – Contracting and Exhibit Rehab.

- A Template for developing a Request for Proposal for exhibit projects – your
 budget, time frame and interpretive company qualifications.     
- Some tips from a US Army Corps of Engineer project manager in managing
 an exhibit project…exhibit contracting - lessons learned.     
- Measure twice – cut once – Some exhibit pre-test evaluations to be sure the exhibits
 cost/content deliver cost benefits.        
- Exhibit evaluation for Children’s Exhibits -The Kirby Science Center Experience.  
- Exhibit rehab – and exhibit economics. Breathing new life into old, outdated, and
 just plain boring exhibits and exhibit galleries with a limited budget.   
- US Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center Exhibit Rehab Evaluation Strategy and
 Individual Exhibit Assessment Form Tools.

Unit Five - Economics of outdoor interpretive panels and wayside exhibits

-What do interpretive panels really cost (from idea to in the ground)?    
- Panel fabrication materials/cost/warranties       
- Panel pre-test evaluations strategies – mockups to fabrication.    
- Cost/contact and economic benefits to accomplish management objectives example.

Unit Six - The economics of presenting live interpretive programs and tours.

- What does a live interpretive program actually cost?      
- What is the actual cost for a live interpreter to present a guided walk or program.
- What is the cost/contact for a live interpretive program vs. cost benefits.
- Formulas for determining cost/contact and various types of “benefits”.    
- Economics for interpretive staff (parks, museums, heritage sites) to prove that they
 generate more benefits (tangible and intangible) than they cost (salaries).    
- Can interpretive services make a profit?

Unit Seven - The economics of heritage sites marketing plans and strategies.

- What is “marketing” anyway?        
- And Where’s the Visitor in all of this – EVERYWHERE!     
- Market creation – generating new market groups.      
- What should be in a Marketing Plan for Heritage Attractions?    
- New theories and concepts to be thinking about when developing your
 marketing plans and strategies.        
- Don’t even think of not pre-testing your marketing materials!

Unit Eight -The economics of mass customization and markets of one.

- Moving forward while standing still?        
- Here’s one example of how using new interpretive communications strategies
 (and improved experience based offerings) can create tangible benefits.   
- Interpretive communications and the experience economy strategies.   
- One size does not fit all in interpretive planning!        
- Mass Customization in interpretive communication planning    
- It’s long past time for interpreters to think about the concepts of Mass
 Customization and Markets of One in interpretive communications planning.  
- So let’s start with our Mass Customization Trail Interpretive Planning.   
- The Quest for Interpretive Communications Outcomes  

Unit Nine: Summary - Survival Economics for Heritage Interpreters and Organizations.

- Proving your value and benefits to your agency during economic downturns and
 keeping your job.
- Math and formulas to see how you’re doing.       
- Here’s a check list for economic employment survival thoughts.

If you would like to take this course you can pay for the course tuition via the PayNow button below and I'll send you Unit One and get you going.

Prof. John Veverka (John)

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