Despite all the praise our building receives and the recognisability it represents, it is not an easy place to navigate through. Especially during the early years the Kunsthal was often criticised by visitors for its poor accessibility and occasionally unclear signposting. As the Kunsthal is a strong believer in the mantra that visitor-friendliness is not merely applicable to our programme, but to the Kunsthal visit as a whole, we came up with an ambitious plan that focused on the visitor journey.
In 2013, the first steps towards an even better experience for our visitors were made with a thorough renovation during which the entrance was moved to make the Kunsthal better accessible for disabled visitors and to improved access to the lifts. We also developed a new house style and website to simplify both offline and online visits to the Kunsthal and took on 28 visitor service volunteers. Following this strategic course, the Kunsthal has now drawn up a plan to improve the visitor journey. From 2018, this plan will be implemented in steps and will include investing in things like digitalisation, signposting in and outside the Kunsthal, customer friendliness, customer loyalty and improving accessibility for people with disabilities.
Eight step journey
The Kunsthal‘s visitor journey is divided into eight steps. From the moment someone decides to come to the Kunsthal until the moment they are back at home, sitting on their couch after an active day filled with culture. Literally nothing is left to chance. During the entire day, different types of visitors are taken into account. Senior citizens, young families and school children, able bodied and disabled people, people from the area of Rotterdam and people all the way from the other side of the world: every visitor should feel welcome. In order to optimize this journey, the Kunsthal‘s aim is to offer its visitors ‘the most memorable museum experience they will ever have’ and in doing so to attract more ambassadors and friends.
Our programming focuses on the different motivations of the visitors, collaborations with young talented makers in the city and innovative presentation forms. We are overjoyed that the VSBFonds has granted us a subsidy to start realising the implementation of this plan in 2018.
Palais des Festivals
In the same framework we have drawn up a plan to further elaborate on our ‘Palais des Festivals’ concept. With our varied, high-profile and innovative event programme, the connection between our diverse and often new visitors, partner institutes, young start-ups, strong brands and makers is allowed to fully flourish, enabling the Kunsthal to become a cultural centre, podium and network location all rolled into one. From 2018, the Kunsthal plans to expand its event programming and make it available all year round. its objectives will be to offer visitors the most memorable experience they will ever have in an art institution in the Netherlands and to appeal to, engage and connect with new and hard to reach target audiences.