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Engaging Visitors in Travelling Exhibitions with Guiding Resources

A how-to checklist for audio guiding on tours


from Luxembourg

reading time 5 minutes

Mireille Khorassandjian from Look2innovate shares a perspective on guiding solutions for travelling exhibitions, exploring how they can be designed to support exhibitions on tour, and sharing a checklist for the development of a guiding tool for a new show.

Travelling exhibitions present unique challenges in engaging diverse audiences due to their mobility and the diverse locations they visit. Logistics, language adaptations, interpretation consistency and visitor engagement are key challenges that production and hosting teams face as exhibitions move from one venue to another.

Interactive guiding devices, with the innovative possibilities they now propose, can be explored as key resources for travelling exhibitions. Not merely as tools that convey information, but also as conduits for immersive storytelling and visitors’ active engagement, and to facilitate seamless adaptations to different languages and cultural contexts. This article introduces examples of how guiding tools can support touring exhibitions as well as a checklist of key things to consider when integrating a new guiding solution into a new travelling project.

How can audio-guidance help travelling exhibitions?

A recent survey we carried out with over 30 museums stressed that a high-quality audio guide, one that combines good hardware with well-crafted content, can increase visitor satisfaction by more than 60%. It can be particularly true in travelling exhibitions, as highlighted with the following examples of how guiding solutions can support touring exhibitions:

  • Informative and engaging commentary about artworks, artefacts and displays can enhance visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the exhibition.
  • Content tailored to the specific nuances of each new location and audience, for example bringing to light local art and artists in each location, can enhance the overall success and impact of the exhibition.
  • Interactive content, tailored to different visitor profiles and wishes (age, time available, areas of interest, level of knowledge, etc) can help the exhibition cater to diverse visitor interests and learning preferences, and contribute to create a more immersive and memorable experience for everyone, regardless of their background knowledge or language proficiency.
  • Interactive content can transform the visitor experience from passive observation to active engagement, supporting every stop on the journey as an opportunity to connect, understand, and explore.
  • Flexible and accessible content can be particularly beneficial for international travellers or visitors with visual impairments who may face language barriers or have difficulties reading panels and labels.
  • Adaptability to exhibition constraints like spaces and layouts allows visitors to access relevant information regardless of venue sizes or configurations. The visitor experience remains consistent and engaging, even in challenging or unconventional environments.
  • Consistent interpretation of the exhibition content across different venues using audio guides, regardless of variations in signage or translation can help maintain the integrity of the exhibition’s narrative and educational goals throughout the touring schedule.
  • Delivering detailed information about artworks or artefacts without the need for additional printed materials or onsite staff reduces operational expenses and can streamline the visitor experience, especially in venues with limited staffing capacity.
  • Customisable interactive features such as quizzes, interviews with artists or curators, and supplementary multimedia content can encourage deeper engagement.
  • Feedback mechanisms to collect data on visitor engagement, preferences, and demographics can help travelling exhibition hosts adjust and optimise the experience on site. They can also help tour organisers optimise future marketing strategies and content development to better meet the needs and interests of their ever-changing target audience.

Interactive guiding devices can be explored as key resources for travelling exhibitions. Not merely as tools that convey information, but also as conduits for immersive storytelling and active engagement.

Checklist for developing an audio-guiding solution for a travelling exhibition

Travelling exhibition producers and hosts can consider the following factors when they decide to integrate a guiding solution in their new exhibition:


Beyond the assessment of the cost of an audio guiding solution based on its initial purchase price, it is important to consider the long-term cost of ownership over the few years of the audio guide’s life. This should include handling cost, power and operational costs, repairs, maintenance, and update, as well as potential revenue generation opportunities.

Durability and technical performance

It is important to consider features, performance, and support, notably:

Checking the maintenance needs of the guiding solution, including content updates, software upgrades, cleaning, occasional repair and technical support. Allocating sufficient resources to ensure the continued functionality and relevance of the solution throughout the exhibition’s tour.

Long Battery Life: Audioguides with long battery autonomy drastically reduce the frequency of recharging, and ensure full availability for visitors. It reduces the handling by personnel and allows for the possibility of self service distribution which drastically reduces operational costs.

Durability: A reliable device minimises the need for frequent replacements due to breakage. A long warranty, for example a 5-year one, will support this.

Testing: Rigorous testing of the system should be carried out for each new setting. This avoids surprises and the need for adjustments once the exhibition has already started.


A good audio guide should blend seamlessly with the broader multimedia strategy of the exhibition space, adding value without becoming a distraction.

Accessibility, user experience and feedback

A good audio guide should not provide the same content as the museum but rather enhance it. It is complementary. It should blend seamlessly with the broader multimedia strategy of the exhibition space, adding value without becoming a distraction.

Customising hardware can be considered to help promote the identity of the institution.

Solutions that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of visitors, and include accessibility features, multilingual support, interactive capabilities and diverse multimedia content should be prioritised. User-friendly interfaces accommodate all visitors, regardless of tech-savviness. An easy-to-use content management system, allowing museum staff to update or change audio content without specialised skills or significant effort, is important.

Flexibility and adpatability

The project team should ensure compatibility with the exhibition’s logistics requirements, the venue infrastructure and its technology standards.

The approach should consider location-based experiences, live feeds, interaction with external multimedia in multiple languages, integration with social media, and the inclusion of augmented reality, video, audio, lighting, and kiosk capabilities, as well as offline capabilities. Flexibility should allow for adaptations to various languages, local nuances in content and localised perspectives on the topic, and possible modifications of the exhibition route.

Logistics and reliability

Prioritising reliability and support from a provider that can offer timely assistance and troubleshooting in case of technical issues or emergencies.

Planning for scalability: according to the size and scope of the exhibition, accommodating variations in visitor traffic, venue capacity, and tour schedule.


Audio guidance systems can contribute to strengthening the relationship between the stories and collections brought to life in each location and their visitors, by providing personalised experiences that speak directly to the visitor’s language and interests. They can provide enriched, educational, and accessible ways to engage with museum exhibits for a wide variety of publics and locations, and support hosting and producing teams in addressing practical concerns, museum operations and visitor experience.

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