April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Demonstrations: Description

Dino Jaws and the Virtuous Circle

John Benfield, The Natural History Museum, United Kingdom
Jonathan Griffiths, The Natural History Museum, United Kingdom

Dino Jaws ( represents the Natural History Museum's (NHMs) most ambitious embodiment of the Virtuous Circle to-date. By seamlessly linking a gallery visit with an extended experience online, Dino Jaws website allows visitors to the exhibition to join a virtual 'Dino Club' where they can continue their in-gallery exploration of how scientists discover how and what dinosaurs ate.

The Virtuous Circle forms a central element to the NHMs digital strategy, by endeavouring to create a relationship with visitors that extends both beyond the physical space to the virtual and also from the virtual back to physical. This relationship is key to the development of more engaged and loyal audiences who will become regular users and contributors to future web and gallery developments.

The Dino Jaws experience has already proved that the Virtuous Circle concept has strong appeal and impact with the target audience (7-13 year-olds) and the NHM is looking to extend and develop the sophistication of its interaction with its audiences in new developments in the future.

The premise of Dino Jaws is simple: visitors are asked to be dino-detectives. By interacting with physical exhibits using a uniquely identified ticket (barcoded) visitors gather clues to the identity of a 'mystery' dinosaur – using these clues they can then guess the identity of their dinosaur in the gallery, which contains ten life-size animatronic dinosaurs. At the end of the experience, they are invited to use their ticket to go home and go online and join the 'Dino Club' that allows them to continue they detective activities and discover more about their mystery dinosaur. Along they way they get to play games and see 3D dinosaurs.

In 'Dino Jaws and the Virtuous Circle' we will show how initial thinking allied with strategic developments help us create an integrated system, which is tourable in multiple languages. We will use versions of in-gallery interactives and the online website and club area to show how the physical experience and the online continuation are integral, and thereby create the Virtuous Circle. We endeavour to pass-on our lessons learnt, problems and opportunities encountered, and there will also be opportunities to show how this concept is being developed further for future exhibitions such as Ice Station Antarctica – a major touring exhibitions launching in the summer of 2007.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Close-Up]

Keywords: dinosaur, club, personalisation, barcode, interactive, post-visit