Following a number of years of campaign and product development, the Family Friendly project has undertaken a full strategic review. With the development of an audience focused approach at its heart, a series of venue-based case studies explores how to create a family friendly venue, increasing and improving family provision, collaborative marketing, and taking the family friendly concept into tourism and cross-sector areas.
The whole experience is more important to the family visitor than to others: an unhappy child will result in an early exit from a venue, perhaps never to return - ditto a stressed parent. Providing for families therefore has to be approached holistically. The following elements have to be considered core needs: comfort, facilities (hard and soft - i.e. availability of high chairs and appropriate menus - nappy change and cleanliness), interpretation, orientation, layout, atmosphere and feedback.
Commitment to families has to run throughout the organisation. This should begin with staff’s acceptance of and involvement with family audiences, and run through to an empathy requested from visiting companies, artists and curators. Commitment also has to be demonstrated by making provision available throughout the year, not simply at holiday times.