Tennis has attracted millions of spectators worldwide with a grand slam such as the Wimbledon championships enjoying great popularity .
This had made the All England Tennis Club where the Centre court and the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis museum are located to attract a large number of visitors every year. The museum management provides visitors with a great collection of tennis memorabilia and a unique visitor experience. In efforts to improve the quality of services offered to visitors, the management considers unique visitor experience, effective marketing, and future development of the museum as very critical factors.The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum refers to a museum that focuses on tennis and is located at the All England Lawn Tennis club .
The club is also the venue of the Wimbledon Championships. The museum was established in 1977 and its collections include items that date back to 1555. Brown( Brown,1991) confirms that the museum displays treasures from the first Wimbledon championship such as souvenirs, equipment, mementos, and apparel that belonged to some of the greatest tennis players According to Ackroyd(Ackroyd,2001) the significance of Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum in relation to sports attracts a large number of visitors every year.In this paper, marketing, future development, and visitor experience at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum will be discussed, and recommendations on how the museum management can overcome the challenges it faces in efforts to improve visitor attraction will be provided.
Discussion PART I Visitor experience at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum presents visitors with a history of one of the most prestigious and glamorous tennis grand slam. Visitor experience has been improved through the use of touch screens, interactive coverage, and audio guides.These guides are available in different languages such as Mandarin, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish and English. The museum provides visitors with some of the most exciting and memorable tournament matches played at Wimbledon through video and film footage.
Collins (Collins, 2008) confirms that the historical significance of Wimbledon Championships provides the Wimbledon Museum with an opportunity to offer visitors a wide range of knowledge on one of the world’s most prestigious tournament.For instance, the museum offers visitors an opportunity to view the apparel, equipment, souvenirs and mementos that once belonged to some of the greatest tennis player who played at Wimbledon. Davies (Davies, 1996) state that tennis has remained popular in Europe for many years. Therefore; the museum’s unsurpassed collection offers visitors the rich history of the modern day tennis.
Wimbledon Championships trophies are displayed for the visitors to see and group tours are offered in various languages. The management of the Wimbledon Museum encounters several challenges in relation to visitor experience .One challenge is how to maintain the uniqueness of the services and exhibits offered to the visitors. The museum offers the visitors a unique experience and the management ensures that visitors enjoy their experiences at the museum.
These demands for the development of effective strategies to promote the uniqueness visitor experience. It’s also a challenge to ensure that the museum facilities are adequate for the large number of visitors. For instance, the Wimbledon championships attract a large number of visitors to the museum during the tournament in June and July.A large number of spectators who watch the Wimbledon championships tend to visit the museum, which requires the museum to cater for the needs of visitors.
2. Marketing Due to the prestigious and glamorous Wimbledon championships, the museum attracts a large number of visitors. According to McNamee (McNamee, M et al, 2007), many people in Britain consider tennis a great sport. The museums management however has a duty to market the museum so that it attracts more visitors.
One factor that has been very critical in marketing the Wimbledon lawn tennis museum is the Wimbledon championships.Milward (Milward, 1989) confirms that since the championships began, they have always attracted a large number of spectators. The Wimbledon championships which take place in late June and early July attract a huge crowd of spectators who also visit the museum. Overnight queuing is usually done before the show courts begin due to the large number of fans.
Travel Trade Gazette (Travel Trade Gazette, 2002) indicates that the British Tourist Authority (BTA) has been involved in efforts to market Wimbledon.For example, the welcoming and entertainment of queuing crowds by tennis playing knight organized by BTA during one of the championships gave tourists a good experience at Wimbledon. Such efforts impact positively on the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. The audio guides in different languages, groups tours offered in various languages and access by visitors to areas closed to the public allow them to have a unique experience in the museum.
For instance, visitors can visit the press interview room, water gardens, No. 1 court, and the millennium building.Individuals can have tours daily throughout the year except during the championships. The management has put into place the latest technology to offer visitors a remarkable tour at the museum.
For example, the 200″ cinema screen is used by visitors to capture the science of tennis. Hargave (Hargrave, 2008) state that efforts to promote Wimbledon tennis tournament through modern technology encourage more visitors to the museum. The provision of Wimbledon Championship broadcasting through HD and SD coverage has made Wimbledon well known, resulting to a large number of visitors.For example, the 2008 Avids’ editing, storage and production of management solutions where EVS was integrated allowed the championships to be broadcasted in the US.
According to Warwick (Warwick, 2008), fans and visitors are provided with great services through the integration of advanced Information technology equipment. The museum has won many awards (the Best Tourism Experience Award 2007) and is expected to win more. As stated in the Marketing (Marketing, 21 May 2008), companies such as Evian are now seeking to establish links with Wimbledon, a move that has played an important role in marketing the museum.Although the museum management has worked hard to market the attraction, it faces several challenges in marketing the facility.
One challenge is how to develop an effective marketing strategy. Tony, 1995) asserts that museums receive a large number of visitors. This demands that adequate facilities be put into place to offer excellent services to the visitors. The management also faces the challenge of fully involving the local residents in the management of the facility.
The presence of the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon requires the support of the local people.Local residents are affected by the activities undertaken at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Court and the museum due to the large number of visitors to the complex. For example, the construction of more hospitality facilities and the obstruction by the human traffic and noise may bother the local residents. Marketing the facility therefore requires the support of the local people who are stakeholders.
3. Future Development at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum Being a priority of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the Wimbledon Championships is expected to attract more visitors in the museum in future.The 1993 long term plan had the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum constructed during the stage three of the Plans Implementation. This attracted a large number of visitors.
The museum is expected to benefit from the construction of a retractable roof of the centre court. The roof which is to be on operation during the 2009 championships will mark the first time that tournament will not be interrupted by the rain. Interactive TV is expected to attract visitors who can enjoy tennis through interactive coverage. Tennis fans in future will be able to enjoy matches through the Wimbledon.
rg site which on behalf of All England Lawn Tennis Club will be run by IBM. The site which enjoys strong growth in future will offer visitors an opportunity to continue learning about Wimbledon. The signing of deals in future such as the one between Wimbledon and Evian (Marketing, 2007) is expected to market Wimbledon. Digital technology will be used in future to improve the quality of services offered to the visitors at the museum.
For instance, the recent introduction of new technology at Wimbledon included the use of tracking cameras and the introduction of widescreen and hyper motion cameras.According to Ringrose (Ringrose, 2009), broadcasting the championships using modern technology should be supported in future and the museum’s visitor online guides will be improved through advanced technology. The museum is expected to gain from the ?60 million tourism boost by the London Development Agency funding through the “Only in London” campaign. The campaign will attract more visitors to London, and one of the unique tourist attraction places in London that is being celebrated through the campaign is the Wimbledon Centre Court and Museum.
One challenge in future development of the Wimbledon Museum is the ever growing demand of services by the public. Sassen (Sassen, 2001) attributes this to the large number of tourists who visit London. As mentioned in AELTC website (The Championships and the All England Lawn Tennis Club website, 2009), the Wimbledon championship is becoming more popular by the day . This makes it necessary for the facilities to be expanded to accommodate fans and visitors.
The Wimbledon museum also will be required to expand its facilities through sustainable development in order to embrace new and more exhibitions in future.The challenge is how to develop the museum sustainably without impacting negatively on the surrounding areas especially the Wimbledon Park Lake and the Wimbledon North conservation area. The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis is found within the All England Lawn Tennis Club Complex. The club borders Wimbledon Park Golf Course which is located in the Wimbledon North conservation area.
As the need for the museum to provide visitors with better visitor experience increases, the development of the complex might impact negatively on the conservation area, hence the museum management will need to ensure that the development of the facility is sustainable.According to the Estates Gazette (Estates Gazette, 2008), the Wimbledon Championships has been attracting a large number of visitors and this impacts positively on the museum. The need to expand the facilities to improve visitor experience to the visitors has made it necessary for the All England Tennis Club complex to be renovated and more structures to be built. Involving the local residents fully in the museum management is a challenge.
Construction work which may be necessary throughout may be bothersome to local residents who may be obstructed by noise, obstruction by vehicles and over-development.Involving the residents assist the management to devise ways of ensuring that the museum impacts positively on the local residents. PART II Recommendations to improve Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum 1. Marketing The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis museum management faces the challenge of how to develop an effective marketing strategy.
The grand slam at Wimbledon lawn tennis has played a very important role in marketing the museum. This is because many visitors to the museum aim at learning about the past of the championship (history).One way through which the museum management can develop an effective marketing strategy is to market the museum to the many spectators who queue overnight before the show courts begin. One way through which this can be done is by preparing brochures that up date visitors on the developments at the museum.
Spectators to the Wimbledon championships can be provided with written material on what is new at the museum or the remarkable experience that visitors can have at the museum. A large number of fans at Wimbledon who have not visited the museum can then be motivated to visit the museum.Since fans are allowed to queue overnight at Wimbledon, the museum management can educate fans on the benefits of visiting the museum. Effective marketing strategy will emphasize on the uniqueness of the visitor experience at the museum.
For instance, informing visitors that the museum offers a rich past history of Wimbledon championships will attract them to visit the museum. Involving the local residents in the marketing efforts of the museum should be done because the local residents need to be recognized as stakeholders in the museum.Tourists at the museum and spectators at the championship require hospitality facilities, and having the local residents involved in marketing efforts of the museum will promote good relations between the visitors and the residents (Wimbledon). The local residents have had to cope with heavy traffic, obstruction during construction, and noise from the complex.
Their participation will benefit them and will allow them to offer visitors great knowledge about the museum. 2. Visitor Experience The museum faces the challenge of ensuring that it maintains its unique visitor experience.In addition, it is a challenge to provide visitors with a good experience despite their large number.
Ensuring that every individual gets high quality services and enjoys visiting the museum is demanding for the management. In order to ensure that the uniqueness of the visitor experience at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum is maintained or improved, the uniqueness of the equipment or items that are exhibited need to be maintained. For example, the museum unique exhibits include the souvenirs, equipment, and mementos that once belonged to some of the greatest tennis player.The John Mc Enroe ghost at the museum offers visitors a unique experience and great knowledge on the famous player, the collection of tennis memorabilia at the museum still remains unsurpassed, and the championship trophies won at Wimbledon can be found at the museum.
According to Hampton (Hampton, 2006), the unique features of the past history of the championships ensure that visitors are offered a special tour in the museum. However, the uniqueness of the museum can be increased by adding more exhibits and information about the championships.Warren (Warren, 1982) asserts that a new and unique feature in a museum attracts the attention of the visitors. The museum management should ensure that the museum acquires something new and unique so that it continues winning the interest of the visitors.
This will provide visitors with a unique experience every time one visits the museum. For example, the acquiring of the Renshaw cup by the museum in 2006 added to the uniqueness of the visitors. The Renshaw cup was won by Britain’s last Gentlemen singles champion in 1936 and was expected to go on display on July 7, 2006.The addition of the Renshaw cup to the museum collection was important in providing visitors with a unique exhibit .
A large number of visitors requires the museum management to train Blue Badge Guides who are adequate to provide guidance to all visitors. Up dating the online guide need to be done frequently in order to provide all visitors with the necessary information about the museum. Audio guides who are available in several languages should be able to diversify into other languages so that non-English speaking visitors can enjoy a tour to the museum.The museum should encourage visitors at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum to participate in the “Playing for Success” initiative.
The museums support centre offer young people knowledge and skills by combining sport and education in a high-tech learning zone. The museum management therefore will be able to teach visitors on how to integrate learning with sports. 3. Future Developments Future development of the museum and the All England Tennis club complex must be able to promote sustainability.
Developing the facility to meet the needs of the public due to the anticipated increased number of visitors to the museum will be necessary. Dilys (Dilys, 2000) emphasizes that sustainable development of a facility in future is important. Concerns about the expansion of the All England Tennis club complex in future raise the questions of whether the areas surrounding the complex will be negatively affected. In the past, there have been concerns on whether the centre impacts negatively on the Wimbledon North Conservation Area and the Bathgate Road Conservation Area.
Any development in future should ensure that the natural environment in the conservation area is protected. Heavy traffic and problems in car parking are problems that are expected in future as more people get interested in training and the museum. A car parking management plan must be put into place to address parking problems in future and the public transport accessibility need to be increased to the All England club complex where the museum is located. Visitors need to be encouraged to use trains or tube for transport and then walk.
The reconstruction of the centre court which is expected to last until 2009 should minimize the obstruction and inconvenience caused to the local residents. Sukhraj (Sukhraj, 2007) supports the integration of advanced technology in order to improve the visitor experience at the museum. Conclusion Visitors at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis museum are able to explore the evolution of tennis through the great experience they get at the museum. The museum provides the visitor with an experience of athleticism and artistry of the modern tennis.
Because the first championship at Wimbledon was played in 1877, the museum has benefited from the rich history of the sport since then. The museum has managed to maintain its international status due to the Wimbledon championships which still remains as one of world’s top ten annual events on the sport calendar. Although the museum has continued to attract more visitors as time goes by, there is need for the museum management to overcome the challenges it faces in marketing, future development plans, and ensuring unique visitor experience.