Ready for reopening? We can help.

May 12, 2020

Cities and states throughout the U.S. are beginning to push to reopen businesses and public institutions. It’s time to make sure your institution is prepared.—We can help.

To feel comfortable in public spaces, visitors and staff will require new safety standards upon reopening. Considerations range from how to properly sanitize touchable surfaces to re-thinking visitor throughput and timing strategies. Below are a few tips to help make the reopening process a success. Our team is here to support you at each step of this planning process.

Let’s work together to plan for a successful, and safe, reopening. Get in touch with us at [email protected], or contact your Project Manager.

 

Identify High-Contact Areas

Take a step in your visitor’s shoes. Walk your visitor journey and identify every area where hands come in contact with touchscreens, exhibits, infrastructure, and materials. Create a schedule for disinfecting surfaces at regular intervals. For reference, many commercial grocers are disinfecting their checkout counters every ten minutes. While multiple cleanings per hour are not realistic for every surface in your facility, pay close attention to high-contact areas such as debit/credit card readers, elevator call buttons, and water fountains. Disinfect them regularly. Station staff members (where efficient) to perform high-contact tasks like holding doors and calling elevators to eliminate as many touchpoints as possible. 

 

Protect Touchscreens and Surface Media

Be careful—some cleaning solutions can damage your equipment! All touchscreens and surface media monitors have a sensitive film that must be treated with care. Be sure to contact your manufacturer for suggested disinfectant protocols, or connect with your Project Manager at G&A.

Install Antimicrobial Film

To avoid the need to disinfect your touchscreen and surface media monitors directly, consider covering the screens with a protective film—such as the NuShield Antimicrobial Film. It can be cleaned with alcohol or bleach cleaning products. The adhesive that attaches the film to the display is silicon-based and can be easily removed and replaced if needed. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions for the best cleaning agents, as well as what to avoid. Also, take into consideration the screen’s edges—protect the edge or use a covered reveal so there’s less chance of delaminating.

A capacitive stylus should work “through” the protective film on either infrared (IR) based touchscreens or capacitive (PCAP) touchscreens. If the stylus is not capacitive it will only work for infrared touchscreens (film or no film). 

 

Go Contactless

Provide a disposable stylus for touchscreens

While probably not an ideal long-term solution, for the next phase of re-opening, we recommend the use of styluses for touchscreens (IR or Capacitive touch-types), one per guest. Visitors should discard their stylus at the end of their visit. 

Consider something like this Capacitive Stylus—an inexpensive option at $0.25 per stylus. It will work with the protective film described above.

Provide alternative audio solutions 

One alternative to handheld wands or installed headphones is to integrate a 3.5mm audio jack so visitors can plug in headphones (their own or museum-supplied).  

Another personal audio solution is a product called Listen Everywhere. They are one of the top manufacturers of assisted listening products on the market and are in many museums today.

Go Cashless

We encourage venues to make the switch to a cashless operating model (where possible) to reduce contact between guests and staff. While the venue may see an uptick in card processing costs as a result of the move, those costs are often offset by saving on staff-time—eliminating the need to reconcile cash each shift and the services to transport, store, and deposit cash.

Contactless Card Payments

The magnetic-stripe “swipe” was already becoming a thing of the past before COVID-19. The EMV-chip “dip” is more secure, but no more sanitary. “Tap to pay” contactless card payment is the future of contactless transactions. Talk to your point-of-sale vendor about upgrading card processing hardware to enable contactless tap payments. Your guests will thank you!

 

Re-Think Visitor Throughput & Timing

In a post-COVID world, museums must reconsider how visitors will move throughout the space. How many people can be in an area at a time? How can you space visitors throughout the experience to maintain 6 ft of social distancing at all times? What does social distancing mean for ticketing and staffing? Our team will support you through this process.

Our Approach

Every space is different and requires a unique strategy to account for social distancing. Key considerations include: the number and type of interactives, each gallery’s square footage and layout, the length of time visitors spend in each space, and the right pacing and flow of people as they move throughout the museum as a whole.

Our strategic planning and exhibit teams will analyze these factors and develop a customized report. It will consider how many people can safely be in a space together, how many tickets you can sell throughout the day—including a timed-ticketing strategy, as well as specific tools to help you implement this strategy.

Lastly, our team will develop a new financial pro forma to account for the changes this new strategy will have on your operating model. Do you need to staff more people, or stay open for longer hours to account for the slower pace of visitors through the museum? This is a transparent process that will provide you and your stakeholders with a solid understanding of the new course of action and potential impacts on the budget. 

 

Moving forward. Let us help.

We’re moving into uncharted territory. As businesses and public institutions approach reopening, so many unknowns still exist. We can only provide informed predictions on how the public will respond. 

Despite all these variables, one thing is for certain. We will be your trusted advisor to ensure necessary safety, operational, and financial protocols are in place leading up to reopening, and beyond. And when you reopen, we’ll be by your side to observe, analyze, and adjust as needed to ensure your guests and business are positioned to thrive. 

Ready for help? Get in touch with us.