Destination development – Ironworks Experience

Destination development group 2. Photo: Private

Written by: Paula Sánchez, Caroline Andersen, Mariken Andersen, Stian Andersen og Mohamad Abdul-Rahman Aziz, Destination development group 2, autumn 2019, University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø.

Ironworks Experience

Introduction

For this work, we chose to focus on Ulefoss’ industrial history. Their industrial history is relevant for Norway as it is one of the oldest industrial operations in the country. More specifically we are going to use the ironworks as a museum where visitors could buy tickets to either explore the museum by themselves or sign up for an organized tour. We are going to include other aspects to this tour to make it a unique experience.

How it came about

During the brainstorming phase of this project, we had a couple of ideas, with one that stood out: the Ulefoss and Lunde Town Festival. This festival was going to span over a weekend, and we had planned many activities so that everyone who visit would have something to do.

We were set on this idea, until we were told, by our lecturer, to cut down on the activities, the target groups, and drop the activities in Lunde, and instead just focus on our AR aspect of the festival, and thus was our lecturers idea born, The Ironworks Experience.

Local identity and DNA

So for this idea, we have as the main focus to showcase Nome’s history and culture. We will have a historical tour, that will showcase the beginnings of the industrial manufacturing. In addition to that, we will showcase the culture of the area by introducing the visitors to local produced food, and having a paintings gallery showcase by Elisabeth De Lunde at Ulefoss ironwork, and maybe have her husband, Jakob Zethner perform a little opera concert in an empty area in the ironworks.

Available resources

To make our event into reality we are depending on some available resources around in Nome. The municipality will also help us with funding and organize different stands and where we can have them. The farmers will help us provide with local products that a catering company from Notodden called «Det lille extra» will use to serve people food.

Unavailable resources

For the unavailable resources, we have concluded that we only need the help of an external company related to IT, to carry out the explanation of these virtual reality activities. And also to help and monitor that the activity is carried out devoutly.

To get financial help for the ironwork’s experience, we had thought about promoting some local businesses, making a raffle, maybe the municipality of Nome can help or cultural organizations want to participate in the festival.

Target groups

At our festival, we are gonna be focusing on the Norwegian people (people from other countries are welcomed as well), locals and others. We will be focusing on families that could be interested in the industrial history of Norway in a new modern method, AR. In addition to focusing on students (Organized school trips), we thought it would be interesting for schools if they organized student trips to Nome, so they could visit our one-day ironwork experience day. The students will then learn and check out AR, and also learn more about the history of Nome (ironworks).

Stakeholders

We have also been in contact with different stakeholders that will help us with activities and products at the festival. The famous Topaz shoes will be present in the festival and the organization will help us with prizes and stands. The famous artist Elisabeth De Lunde and her husband Jakob Zethner will have a gallery of paintings and an opera performance. This is a very exclusive for this event and we hope this will engage people. The local paper Kanalen will help with marketing and make people be aware of the festival. We will also have Topaz present their different models of shoes and sponsor us with prizes for the people who are coming.

Trends

Trends that we are focusing most on are sustainability, history, environmentally friendly impact and the use of modern technology.

By providing the catering company with local products from the farmers to cook for the visitors, we would have managed to support the locals, and we will not have to think about transport of all the ingredients and products, which is environmentally friendly. In addition to that, by having our entire program happening in the ironworks, no fuel would need to be used to move the visitors around. This will also in turn immerse the visitors more into the historic aspect of the tour.

And finally by using new technology, we manage to add a sense of immersion and making the entire experience more interesting and unique to the ironworks.

Marketing

We will be focusing on having an good communication plan with the participants, from the beginning to the end. We are gonna be using social media to market our Ironworks experience day, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. At Facebook we could create an own event for the festival. We will also be creating an own webpage for the day. Since we are trying to attract different target groups, we might have to use other ways than the internet, like newspapers, posters, send out information in posts, emails, and radio would also be an option. This is because not everyone might be updated on social media and we want to reach out to as many people as we can. That’s why we have to use different kinds of marketing.

AR (augmented reality)

We intend to use AR for two main reasons, first is how user friendly this technology is, and secondly how widely available this technology is, and could fit into anyone’s smart phone. The combination of these two factors, make this idea easily implementable. If the municipality invests some money into this technology, we could hire some mobile app developers to make an app that can play a part in our historical tour. As the visitors enter the iron works in Ulefoss, we could have QR scan code posters for the app hanging around in the lobby or hall where the tour starts. This will of course require the installation of a free WIFI-signal, so the visitors have the opportunity to download the app. As the tour starts, we can have specific parts of the tours to be interactive with our app.

These parts or areas of the tour could be machinery, hallways or other areas where some sort of activity was present when the factory was working, and when the visitors would point their phone cameras on them, a visual presentation of the scene would appear on their phone screens in real time. For example, if we pick a hallway where workers used to go through to get to their work, the visitors would point their phone cameras on this hallway, and on the screen, they would see the hallway projected from their camera, and on top of that, an animation of workers from that era would be walking through the hallway. This could be done across parts of the museum that the tour organizers would recognize as important.

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