Engaging global visitors of all ages at Prussian castles

Engaging global visitors of all ages at Prussian castles
Country: Germany
City: Berlin
Institution Type: Art, Historic/Heritage
Exhibition Type: Permanent
Client testimonial
"It's a great collaboration, I'm really pleased with how everything has worked out with the latest Antenna productions. It is always a huge advantage to have the extensive experience and various perspectives that Antenna provides." 
Bjorn Anhlelm, SPSG

Client profile
Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin Brandenburg (SPSG) is a publicly owned body. The SPSG administer approximately 300 historic buildings and structures, including 30 castles and museums and nearly 800 acres of gardens in Potsdam, Brandenburg and Berlin. Venues include Sanssouci and Park, Neues Palais, Cecilienhof and Charlottenburg Castle and Park.
Challenge - engaging adults and children from all over the world
Antenna International has been working with SPSG for over fifteen years, providing tours for multiple historical buildings. The SPSG's objective is to increase their visitor numbers by appealing to visitors from all over the world and of all ages and achieve the highest possible level of visitor satisfaction.
SPSG had several venues  - the Neues Palais, Bildergalerie and Schloss Sanssouci - that did not offer educational programmes or tours aimed at children or teens, while others - Schloss Sansscouci, Schloss Charlottenburg   - were limited in the number of languages that they could offer.
Solution - involving children in the tour development process
Antenna needed to build existing tours to expand their appeal to the widest possible audience. They did this in three ways:
  • by offering tours in multiple languages, and 
  • developing content specifically designed to engage children
  • providing on-site staff to help visitors access the tours
Antenna's approach to creating tour content for children is to involve children during development. Including children in this way is key to producing educational, informative, fun tours. 
For Neues Palais, Antenna conducted a 5-day workshop with a local school group and their teachers to empower them to develop an audio tour in their own voices. Students were taught how to write their own interviews, scripts and record audio. The outcome was a one-hour audio tour with local school groups to get their feedback all way through the process. 
On multi-media tours, interactive games bring the tours to life, helping children and teens learn about architecture, history and art in a non-boring way. This approach was used for the Bildergalerie tour.
Teens were not forgotten either, Schloss Sanssouci developed their first audio tour aimed at young people, which was also translated into English. For Schloss Charlottenburg, Antenna created tours in nine languages - German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin - and proactively approached tour agencies to raise awareness of their availability and drive take-up. This was carried out in conjunction with Visit Berlin and the SPSG.

Antenna also helped Schloss Charlottenburg manage their visitor flow by creating a unique 'semi-linear' tour that guided visitors through the castle at a certain time. Antenna on-site staff hand out players to visitors to make sure that everyone who wants one can have one.
Outcome - an award-winning children's tour and increase in tour uptake
As a result of the expansion to include children's tours and multiple languages, SPSG has seen a significantly higher level of engagement from younger visitors. Visits from local school groups have increased, along with interactions with other local groups.
The multi-media tour developed for children for the Bildergalerie won the German Design Award.