American Public Gardens Association Conference 2018

Southern California

June 4-8, 2018

Interpretation Insights: Big Picture Planning and Roadmaps to Execution
Event Type: 
Education and Communication
Date / Time: 
Wed June, 06 - 1:45pm to 5:15pm
Magic Kingdom Ballroom 3
L. Eldred, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, Colorado, E. McGinn, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona

This workshop walks participants through the multiple aspects of interpretive planning and its direct applications. Facilitators share best practices for the planning process and outline tools and methodologies to develop or modify big-picture interpretation goals for an institution—and how to create and implement an interpretive master plan. As noted by AAM, an interpretive plan is an important guiding document for any museum, and a blueprint for a successful plan will be provided. Key components of a strong plan include: audience, interpretive themes/resources, evaluation, and educational philosophy and goals. Discussion and activity topics include: engaging stakeholders, alignment with core documents, visitor perspectives, and implementation strategies. Nested within these concepts are outcomes and evaluation considerations, and ways to communicate in a leisure learning environment. This participatory workshop allows attendees to adapt interpretive planning practices for specific displays or temporary exhibitions. Participants will identify one or more “big ideas” they can build stories around to meet visitor engagement expectations and goals while achieving learning aims. Regardless of garden or staff size, professionals in a variety of roles will find value in understanding the process of successfully engaging their visitors through interpretive signage, exhibitions, or programs.