Attractions industry news

20 Jun 2022

Jorvik's digital strategy described as 'leading light' after gaining international audience

The Jorvik Group has been named a ‘leading light’ for its digital strategy, which helped it gain an international audience of more than 3 million people during the pandemic.

As part of its strategy to keep Vikings in the front of the public’s mind during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the York, UK-based visitor attraction created a number of digital alternatives to physical visits.

These ranged from the expansion of its Virtual Vikings education offer to the creation of a fully digital festival, called That Jorvik Viking Thing.

Other key initiatives that helped The Jorvik Group’s digital transformation included the construction of dedicated studio areas, from which up to three online school workshops could take place at any time, and the use of the latest digital technology to bring Jorvik’s unique immersive experience to life.

At the heart of the digital offering was a drive to ensure that the educational remit of York Archaeological Trust – which owns and operates Jorvik and three other attractions in the city – was fulfilled even though the attractions remained closed.

As a result, Jorvik has been named as one of the leading lights in a new report from Digital Enterprise, an organisation involved in helping small and medium-sized businesses across the Leeds City Region to improve performance through digital technology.

“We had been exploring our use of digital technologies before 2020, but when the pandemic hit, we recognised that we had an opportunity to innovate and hugely develop our skills and resources, and the results were phenomenal," said ​​Jorvik's director of attractions, Sarah Maltby.

"Rather than simply catering for our existing audiences of nearly 500,000 visitors per year, we were reaching an international audience of 3.2 million and taking the story of York’s Viking heritage to every corner of the globe.

“We worked with a local company, Vidaveo, to push the boundaries of technology.

"While we were not able to offer our online viewers ‘smellyvision’, we used 360 degree filming technology to record the tour in one of our time capsules, accompanied by a Viking host."

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