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From self-guided tours to event organisation: Goosechase

Interactive experience platform, Goosechase, helps organisations to engage their communities and encourage participation around the world. With a track record for working with tourist attractions, universities and corporations, Goosechase is now turning its attention to the museum space.

There is no doubt that museums have woken up to the role that fun and games can play in driving visitor engagement. Whether it’s on-site or online, the very best cultural institutions understand that, in a world of games consoles and YouTube, smartphones and streaming services, their offerings can no longer simply revolve around displaying art and artefacts.

Of course, creating exciting and immersive cultural experiences to delight and entertain is easier said than done. Often, the reality of creating an exhibition or experience is more resource intensive and costly than is feasible for museums – where budgets can be limited and in-house technical expertise isn’t always available. So, being able to reach for off-the-shelf solutions or work with service providers who specialise in community engagement can be of huge benefit.

Goosechase is one such provider. What started out as an app to facilitate scavenger hunts in Waterloo, Canada, has quickly become an innovative platform trusted by a range of organisations around the world. With customers across 44 countries and Missions created in 10 languages (so far), Goosechase is now a trusted name in its field

As Goosechase has spread its wings over the last decade it has found applications in everything from staff onboarding and campus orientation to corporate team-building events and festivals. In that time, Goosechase has also worked with museums, galleries and other cultural venues to create unforgettable visits that deepen experiences and enhance educational features.

In working with the likes of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Goosechase has been able to support traditional programming with an array of Missions and challenges. These tasks and tests are designed to help users experience collections in a more personal and intimate way.

From interactive, gamified experiences around specific exhibits to scavenger hunts that encourage visitors to track down particular pieces of art, Goosechase has helped the Detroit Institute of Art to engage visitors of all learning styles and inclinations.

So, how does Goosechase work?

In the words of Goosechase, the interactive experience platform is designed to “marry real-life activity with app functionality to allow people to reconnect with the world and people around them.”

The company has created an easy-to-use and customisable platform that museum professionals can use to incorporate interactive experiences into their exhibits. This can be done by utilising one of the many “ready-to-go Missions” within the Goosechase platform or by creating new, bespoke tasks.

Extensive technical experience isn’t required to utilise the platform. It’s easy to use, quick to set up and museum visitors aren’t required to create an account to use the app – it can be as simple as scanning a QR code at the museum entrance to get started. And because visitors can play games and complete Missions as a guest without any data being requested or stored, it’s well suited to schools programming where data protection is a particular concern.

A museum’s Goosechase account can be regularly updated to feature seasonal exhibits or appeal to specific visitor groups. And thanks to automated functionality, visitors can reuse the app again and again.

Goosechase can also be utilised by museums to develop self-guided tours tailored to different demographics or learning groups. Having worked extensively with theme parks, tourist attractions and university campuses in the creation of tours, Goosechase already offers all the functionality one might expect from such a tool – with some fun and friendly additions that one might not.

An intuitive dashboard provides museum teams with insights relating to user activities and visitor behaviours. Or, as Goosechase put it, “Keep an eye on your flock.”

 

Participation, competition and driving repeat visits

One of the lessons Goosechase has learned from its origins in scavenger hunts is the impact of participation activities. Whether it’s encouraging users to take photos of their experiences, checking in at specific locations, answering quiz questions or leaving comments about interactions, all of these engagement activities serve to generate a greater sense of community and collaboration. These are integral to creating a feel-good factor during any experience.

The element of competition within game scenarios can also be an asset to a cultural institution looking to create memorable experiences. Competition and the creation of leaderboards for Missions and challenges also serves to nurture that sense of community and even drive repeat visits.

Crucially, the gamification of interactive museum experiences speaks to audiences – particularly younger visitors – in their own language. The generation of digital natives coming through are familiar with competitive software platforms, using them regularly for school homework to sporting pursuits.

As Goosechase Founder and CEO, Andrew Cross explains, “Our goal is to make the world more fun, playful and human by helping organisations to create delightful interactive experiences for their communities. Like museums, we’re all about connecting people helping them to embrace art and culture. And we understand that good tech in the museum space should help to enhance the physical experience – not get in the way of it.”

You can find out more about Goosechase by visiting the website here. And museum professionals with tickets to the Museums, Games and Play summit can watch a short presentation from Goosechase’s Founders Andrew Cross and Alyshahn Kara-Virani about the platform and its capabilities for museums.

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