2021 has proven a moment of recovery for cultural venues and attractions, which, emerging from a year of lockdowns, have sought new and savvy ways to re-engage visitors in-person and on-site. Many have led with innovation, demonstrating the kind of agility and resilience that Tiqets, the ticketing platform which connects visitors to cultural experiences, is celebrating with its Remarkable Venue Awards (RVAs).
Now in its fifth edition, the RVAs recognizes the best museums, landmarks, and attractions across six markets: France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, and the US. For the first time, the event will be hosted at the Tourism Innovation Summit (TIS) in Seville on November 10, with a free livestream for online audiences. ”It’s a really good opportunity, especially for museums and attractions, to get together throughout the three-day summit,” says Dominique Gunnink, Tiqets’ B2B Marketing Manager, of the platform’s partnership with TIS.
Set to be announced are the winners of seven categories, of which five, namely Best Museum, Best Attraction, Best Landmark, Best Onsite Experience, and Most Remarkable Venue, are selected based on customer ratings on Tiqets.com. The other two are application-based awards, Most Innovative Venue and Best Hidden Gem, and will be judged by a panel of tourism and cultural industry experts.
As the cultural and tourism sector rebounds, the nominees of this year’s RVAs bear out how the pandemic has shaped visitor preferences and behaviors. For one, Gunnink has noticed a greater number of parks being nominated, since “more people have been interested in booking attractions that are outdoor with open spaces compared to previous years.”
More so, the venues up for awards offer models for revitalizing audience experiences. From Casa Batlló’s new 10D presentation to the Titanic Belfast’s interactive exhibitions to the Mauritshuis’ imaginative platforming of its permanent collection — the ways in which these organizations have connected with visitors are bound to further propel and differentiate the industry.
In fact, apart from commemorating developments in the sector, Tiqets’ RVAs also has a community focus, encouraging an exchange of knowledge between venues. Last year’s event came accompanied by a series of webinars and e-books in which award winners discussed and shared customer-centric strategies and solutions. For industry players — winners or not — there are key learnings to be had. “I think there’s a lot you can learn here, especially when it comes to innovation,” says Gunnink. “It’s really important to stay new and relevant to customers, and find new ways to appeal to them.”