Following a bottom-up, collaborative approach, the Hungarian partner organised the national pilot through the open call titled “Heritage Together”, published in order to find out what Budapestians consider as their heritage.
To find out which sites were included, what was the methodology & more, please download our CoolTour Newsletter No. 7.
The Croatian pilot workshop took place on June 5th, 2023, in the Archeological Museum in Zagreb Gallery. The pilot was organised as a public event in the form of moderated discussion and roundtable to collect good practices from local museums and heritage institutions, under the title “Youth and Cultural Heritage – what interests Millennials?”
To read more, please download our newsletter: CoolTour Newsletter No. 6
Throughout May, June, and July 2023, piloting activities are being carried out in all participating countries, in order to test and validate the draft version of the COOLTOUR platform and the toolkit for heritage managers. Italy is no exception.
The Italian pilot workshops took place throughout June 2023, in four heritage sites in the southern part of Sardinia/ Sardegna. The team fine-tuned the project’s methodology, using a tailor-made system to adapt to the particular needs of the sites.
Read more in the Cooltour Newsletter No. 5.
Over 60 students from Slovenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Hungary, and Serbia, along with several teachers, tutors, professionals, and educators, participated in COOLTOUR mobility of young people in the Viminacium Archaeological Park, Serbia, from March 27 to April 1, 2023.
They joined the programme in order to discuss and promote cultural heritage with a particular focus on millennials. The participants engaged in many activities, such as creating interactive and creative digital content related to Viminacium, testing the COOLTOUR project’s new digital platform, and attending expert lectures on ancient topics such as love, beauty, magic, death, as well as Roman culinary workshop. The objective was to establish a quality dialogue between cultural heritage experts and millennials to popularize and better value cultural heritage.
The organizers aimed to create a safe and productive space for young minds to explore cultural heritage by using a flexible and innovative methodological framework. The participants visited several local sites, such as the Ram fortress, the Gallery of Milena Pavlović Barilli, and the National museum of Požarevac. The program encouraged workshops with storytelling, critical thinking, and associative thinking to connect the past with the present. It aimed to make cultural heritage relatable and more engaging, which would stimulate young people’s interest and increase society’s quality.
The event also included a round table discussion, where marketing and branding experts, tourism specialists, and dramaturgy and writing experts provided lectures and comments to the students’ solutions. Dr. Branka Novčić Korać, who specializes in marketing and branding, represented Faculty of Organizational Sciences, while Dr. Bojana Plemić represented the Faculty for Applied Sciences – Tourism College and provided insights into tourism. Finally, Dr. Miomir Petrović, a writer and professor at the University of Union-Nikola Tesla, contributed to the discussion on dramaturgy and creative writing and storytelling.
The students’ work and the new methodology developed will be the foundation for the COOLTOUR manual and the next steps that will follow on the project – which we are more than happy to engage with.
Research on best practices on the use of digital tools in heritage management
The aim of the present preliminary research is to facilitate a better understanding of the relation between millennials and cultural heritage, as well as to analyze best practices of managing cultural heritage from partner countries. The findings of this research will be utilised for the development of a COOLTOUR digital platform aiming to promote the active involvement of Millennials for the creation of contents related to cultural heritage.
The analysis indicated that cultural heritage and tradition play a significant role in the decision-making process of millennials when selecting a travel destination. The most important pull factors for them are destination-oriented attributes like physical attributes of the destination, followed by socially oriented attributes such as cultural interactions, food, and history. This study also found that male millennials prioritize accessibility, while female millennials place importance on the architecture of a destination.
In terms of technology, millennials are highly familiar with new technologies and utilise digital services, with the majority of the participants stating that they use digital platforms to obtain information prior to visiting a cultural heritage site. Google Maps, Trip Advisor, Booking, Facebook, and Instagram are the most commonly used platforms. Additionally, there is a growing interest in the importance of digital applications such as digital storytelling and augmented reality in cultural heritage sites.
The research concludes that modern communication methods such as digital platforms play an important role in promoting cultural heritage. However, communication professionals should leverage innovative methods of communication, such as user-generated content, to effectively engage with audiences. This preliminary research highlights the importance of evaluating COOLTOUR’s digital platform by a group of carefully selected millennials to ensure its successful implementation.
Read the full paper here: Research on best practices on the use of digital tools in heritage management.
Cooltour – Joint Staff Training Event in Zagreb
We started our year productively – Brodoto and KÖME organized a staff training event (C2) in Zagreb with 12 participants (2 per project partner) from January 24-26, 2023. The event aimed to assess the training methodology developed in the first part of the project and review real regional cases at two representative cultural heritage sites in Zagreb, the Museum of Broken Relationships where we enjoyed an inspirational presentation from the curator and the City of Zagreb Museum where we had a fantastic a round table with more than 15 cultural heritage managers and students.
The training program brought together heritage managers and youth workers in a peer-to-peer process to share new approaches and languages to be integrated into activities addressed to young audiences. The content of the training primarily focused on three topics: heritage, interpretation, and socio-psychology. The training program aimed to explore the special and fluid relationship of millennials to the concept of heritage, making heritage personal, experiential, and creating relevance, and the socio-psychological background of the young adults and how to build practices on that. The content of the training also tangentially touched on the topic of storytelling via different means and mixed media, mainly personal communication, and online digital technology.
The training program was designed to create a common professional basis for the further development of the pilots, and it successfully achieved the objectives set out for it. The participants were able to learn new skills and techniques that will enable them to better engage young audiences with heritage, while also building strong partnerships and connections with one another.
Research Summary on the Relationship of Millennials and Heritage Sites
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are known for being the first generation to grow up in a digital world. They have a unique perspective on heritage sites and museums, and engaging them is crucial to ensuring the sustainability of these sites in the long run. To better understand the relationship between millennials and heritage sites, a research was conducted by KÖME. The study aimed to answer four key questions.
First, the study explored the different motivations and needs that millennials have to engage with cultural heritage. Millennials seek authenticity and relatable history, and they are drawn to stories behind places. They prefer personalized experiences and unique activities. Heritage sites can attract millennials by using augmented and virtual reality, being open and flexible, and using digital placemaking.
Second, the research explored the different activities that millennials are involved in, which represent different engagement levels in connection to heritage. Examples of successful initiatives include staying in heritage hotels, providing Wi-Fi and charging stations in heritage sites, and connecting social media activity with a cause. The document also explores how museums can create experiences that connect young adults to one another, such as hosting after-hours events.
Third, the study identified the missing information about millennials that heritage experts could use to develop strategies in their involvement. While millennials are heavily influenced by the internet, transparency, and experiences, traditional advertising still plays a significant role in their purchasing decisions. As a highly conscious consumer group, they tend to support brands that align with their beliefs and values.
Fourth, the research identified the competencies that heritage experts lack to properly communicate and work together with millennials. To work with millennials, heritage experts should possess specific competencies and knowledge, such as learning the special relationship this group has with the concept of heritage, being aware of their socio-psychological background, and using co-creation, participation, and personalization in developing heritage programs.
Finally, the research identified the challenges in engaging millennials. Challenges include concerns that appealing to younger audiences may take resources from older, traditional supporters, balancing traditional museum activity with social and participatory demands from new audiences, and developing engagement strategies that go beyond leveraging the experience economy or digitalization.
In conclusion, engaging millennials in heritage sites and museums is crucial for the sustainability of these sites in the long run. Understanding their motivations, needs, and activities, as well as possessing the competencies and knowledge to work with them, are essential in developing effective engagement strategies. Heritage institutions need to consider their role in addressing current crises and develop engagement strategies that balance the demands of new and traditional audiences.