The National Museums NI are a group of four museums, with the impressive achievement of being Northern Ireland’s premier cultural and tourist destination.
Each of their museums showcases a fantastic collection of objects, guiding visitors through folk history, transport, art and more.
During some pandemic downtime, they rolled out Ticket Tailor across all four sites, to help them with their entire ticketing journey. From selling tickets to checking in customers, it’s been great to see how successful the National Museums NI have been since reopening their doors.
We talked to Ian Cameron to find out how to run such a successful family of museums.
Thanks for talking to us today Ian!
To start us off, can you tell us a little bit about your museums?
National Museums NI are Northern Ireland’s premier cultural, learning, and tourist destinations. Our four museums are home to 1.4 million objects in the national collection.
Each of our museums offers a unique experience:
Ulster Museum tells the unique human story of this part of Ireland and houses a vast array of art, historical artefacts and specimens from the natural world.
Ulster Folk Museum allows you to discover town and countryside and experience what life was like over 100 years ago.
Ulster Transport Museum is home to one of the most comprehensive transport collections in Europe.
Ulster American Folk Park offers an exploration of the human drama behind emigration from the thatched cottages of Ulster to the new world homesteads of the American frontier.
Your ticket sales have been booming, and you’re doing really well since the pandemic restrictions lifted - Could you share any tips for your success?
As a National museum with four unique museums, we are a premier destination with a range of cultural & heritage experiences to offer.
Having the right people, systems and infrastructure in place to ensure that our customers can book a visit seamlessly and feel safe when they arrive is essential to our success as a key visitor attraction in Northern Ireland.
Have your events changed for the better due to the pandemic?
Like many organisations, we adapted to the pressures of Covid-19 very well. We went from 10% of our customers pre-booking to 95% pre-booking.
Some of our closure time was utilised to enhance the customer experience with new navigation installed through the Ulster Museum. Our offering was enhanced in the form of new exhibitions.
Having access to so much more customer information and feedback allowed us to assess our offering regularly and we consistently outperform ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions) benchmarks across many areas.
How has Ticket Tailor helped with your events, and what was it like to set up over four sites?
Ticket Tailor has been an essential cog in ensuring our customers can pre-book in a seamless manner. The simplicity of the customer booking experience across desktop and mobile is a key feature of Ticket Tailor.
Ticket Tailor was remarkably easy to set up. It took a couple of days to set up four sites with 30-minute timeslots from July through to September.
Customising Ticket Tailor to our event look, opening days, ticket types, pricing, payment method and order form was very simple. If I did have a query it was usually answered by a person within minutes using the live chat function prominently available throughout the Ticket Tailor system.
Our teams took to Ticket Tailor very well and even our more complex and esoteric requirements were addressed by the Ticket Tailor Team, usually on the same day.
What can we expect to see from your museums in the future?
We have our seasonal favourites across all our sites and we also have a number of new exhibitions such as Culture Lab, Intercomm Presents, Belfast Blitz display, Collecting the Past/Making the Future, Museum of Innovation & Willie Doherty to name a few. As our exhibitions constantly change it’s worth checking on our website for more information.
Thanks so much for sharing your ticketing experience with us Ian! If you’re itching to check out the museums for yourself, grab a ticket from their website.