Bristol Museum M Shed Case Study
Bristol Museum has a number of sites and with the current squeeze on resources, everyone is focussing on how to get the most out of each facility to provide the best experience at the most cost effective price. Zak Mensah, the Bristol Council Head of Transformation, is driving the change for innovative solutions.
Located in the centre of Bristol in the rejuvenated dock area, the M Shed exhibition gallery is located on the top floor of the building, 3 floors up from the ground floor reception and not naturally easy to stumble across for the average wandering visitor. The project scope was to reduce the overall cost of exhibition to the service and to encourage as many visitors as possible to purchase tickets in advanced, preferably via the web on smartphones. In addition, staff needed to continue to have controlled access to the space based on their credentials.
The challenge for the team at All Right Now was to coordinate across a number of stakeholders and partners. The key stakeholders were:
- Bristol Museum Business Development and Building Services
- M Shed front-of-house staff
- Vennersys, the ticketing software providers
- The staff Access Control suppliers
- Bristol Council IT department
The solution comprised the following key components:
- A Fastlane turnstile from the UK manufacturer IDL including remote operation capability with integrated access control for both customers and staff including disabled (DDA) access
- Online ticketing solution for e-tickets and onsite EPOS (Venpos Online) from Vennersys
In any multi-layered solution it is important that all the components work seamlessly together from the users’ perspective. These solutions involve a number of complex elements working in sync to provide what is a fairly simple objective: electronically controlled access to a given space.
The IDL Fastlane Turnstile was chosen for its industry leading technology, the fact that it is a UK based companyand it looks. Fitting in with the surroundings in terms of both look and feel was important in an Arts space and the corian top could have been custom made to match the flooring. Important also was not drilling into the flooring so the turnstile was placed on a special floor protector. Finally, disabled or DDA access is of course vital and this one turnstile caters for everyone through the one entrance.
Staff have their own access control on the turnstile which also has a next generation barcode scanner designed to read smartphones and modern QR codes. The ticketing provided by Vennersys needed to integrate with the turnstile and provide customers with a seamless experience. We all know from supermarket auto-checkouts how frustrating scanners can be and this proved to be the key step in the process. The parameters for a barcode scanner are many and variedsuch as ambient light, read range, the speed with which the ticket is presented and other variables which working in a live environment present. Unlike most access control environments, the key driver here was that the turnstile is unattended and most users would only use it once which increased the requirement for accuracy substantially.
Working closely with our software partners, Vennersys, the in-house staff, getting feedback from customers and using the in-depth industry experience from the team at All Right Now we worked hard to tweak the solution and get to the point we have now. The most important part of this was the collaborative nature of the discussions. Everyone was just focussed on finding the best solution which is a testament to everyone involved. Simon Kniveton, MD, Vennersys:
It has been a pleasure to work with our partners at All Right Now on this innovative project for Bristol M Shed exhibition gallery. Vennersys has been providing ticketing retail and visitor management software solutions for over 25 years, and collaborated closely with All Right Now to provide the perfect solution. Our product, Venpos online, adopts the look and feel of our customers’ websites to offer a seamless online experience for their customers, and includes ‘print-at-home’ tickets to facilitate fast-track entry at the turnstiles. We are very much looking forward to the next phase of this project, and rolling this out as a tried and tested solution to other similar exhibition venues.
Perhaps the last word should go to Zak Mensah from Bristol Museum:
We’re very pleased with our new installation and i’m especially pleased with how dedicated All Right Now has been to guide us from our first meeting through to customer care post install. All Right Now listened to our challenge and was very supportive in helping us arrive at the right solution. All Right Now didn’t shy away from telling us about the likely challenges and limitations. Between us we worked out the best approach for our museum context and were prepared to further develop the system after launch. Even post launch All Right Now hasn’t left us on our own and has been helping to resolve the small issues we encountered when the system had time to bed and reveal teething issues. The install went smoothly and we’re delighted with the system. We will be using ARN for our next rollout.
Zak Mensah, Head of transformation, Bristol Council. Read Zak’s full article here.
We’re excited about the next phase of the project at the main Bristol Museum and Art Gallery which will be installed in time for the new exhibition which openes October 22nd 2016. Watch this space as they say!