What Types of Users Will Find Culture Kent’s Open Data Source Helpful? Personas & Use Cases (part 1): Culturally Curious

Image Turner Contemporary launch event, 12th April 2011

Turner Contemporary launch event, 12th April 2011

As part of Culture Kent’s research, we asked Deeson to provide us with Personas & Use Cases for the types of users that will potentially use our Events open data source.  In turn, they identified six Personas and explained their corresponding Use Cases.  This series of blogs will highlight each one in detail according to their behaviour & motivations or responsibilities, goals, challenges, and interests.

In this first post, we will focus on the Persona identified as ‘Culturally Curious’.  This can be someone specific, for instance a student studying Arts History in the EU, but it can also be someone who is interested in culture & arts around Kent.

People who are ‘Culturally Curious’ might state:

“I just want to experience the culture. Finding events is difficult and time consuming.”

What are their behaviours and motivations?
• Uses Google to search for terms such as 1/events in Kent March 1st”
• Finds lesser known events on bulletin boards in local shops
• Wants to supplement digital learning with real experience

What are their goals?
• Find relevant events in reasonable travelling distance
• Broaden cultural experiences
• Find career opportunities
• Find cheap events- student budgets don’t stretch far!

What are some of the challenges they face?
• Finding events that fit price and location criteria
•Knowing where to look, often misses events because of lack of awareness
•Meeting like-minded people is not always easy
•Event information is not always accurate and up-to-date

What are they interested in regarding an open data source?
• A single source of truth for events in the local area
• Something that has accurate and timely information
• An easy way to register to cultural events
• A way of meeting new people with similar event interests

Does this sound like you or someone you know?  Leave a comment to discuss!

This post is made possible by the work done by Deeson in Canterbury, Kent.  We truly appreciate their hard work and collaboration with Culture Kent.

Spotlight on an Arts & Cultural Organisation in Kent: Creative Foundation

Image Creative Foundation

In this blog post, we are going to learn more about Creative Foundation, located in Folkestone, Kent.  One of Culture Kent’s Pathfinders, Creative Foundation has had a positive impact in arts & culture in Kent.

 1.) Name of organisation: Creative Foundation (Folkestone Creative Quarter, Quarterhouse, Folkestone Book Festival, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone Artworks)

2.) Type of organisation: Arts Charity

3.) Year founded: 2002

4.) Tell us a little bit about your organisation and what it offers tourists:

The Creative Foundation is a visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders we will transform the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study.
The Creative Foundation believes in the power of creativity to transform people, places and communities. We are passionate about this, and believe it will inspire others to be curious and imagine a changed future. We will enable or collaborate with them to make this vision happen. This will be fun but requires specialist knowledge; at times we will be radical and irreverent, but we will take on the challenges and risks our work demands.

Image Creative Foundation

Established in 2002, the Creative Foundation has a remarkable record of success having already transformed the most run down part of Folkestone. Ninety buildings have been restored in the Creative Quarter, and Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy has been built. The area has been animated by three internationally acclaimed visual art Triennials, a collection of significant and permanent contemporary public art, a full performance programme and an annual book festival. The area is populated by artists and home to creative industries and is home to higher education study and research; all this has created more than 300 jobs.

Image Creative Foundation

The Creative Foundation aims to attract visitors to Folkestone from throughout Kent and nationally and potentially inspire people to move to the town, start a business and become part of our thriving community. The Triennial attracts a significant number of tourists every three years and we aim to use Folkestone Artworks as a tourist attraction in its own right to encourage repeat visits to the town alongside experiencing the shops, restaurants and galleries of the Creative Quarter and attending events at Quarterhouse and the Book Festival.

Image Creative Foundation

5.) What are some concerns your organisation has related to tourism?:

Folkestone Artworks is a fascinating collection of contemporary art that is needed to maintain Folkestone’s visual art reputation between Triennials, and so attract visitors to Folkestone. While the collection strengthens after each Triennial, the fact that the works come from a previous Triennial limits the publicity and therefore impact that can be gained from it. Over the next seven years the development of the collection’s management, interpretation, archive, and marketing and education programme will be continued, however something additional will be needed for the Artworks to deliver the desired impact.

6.) How will the efforts of Culture Kent address your concerns?:Image Creative Foundation

Culture Kent can play an important role in how we use Folkestone Artworks collection to its full potential as a tourist attraction through its efforts to establish an open data source and especially how digital technologies can enhance the visitors’ experience. We would like to work more intensively with other tourist attractions, transport providers and the food and drink industry in the region on marketing and PR campaigns that will invite people from Kent and nationally to experience the best that Kent has to offer. Culture Kent is best positioned to orchestrate such an effort and undertake research about existing and potential audiences.

Image Creative Foundation

Thank you to the Creative Foundation for telling us about their organisation and their aims for tourism growth!

Not Just About the Past: Looking Towards the Future of Kent as an Arts & Cultural Destination

Image Turner Contemporary

Why dedicate an entire project on arts & cultural events in Kent, as Culture Kent does?  It seems that Kent is already known as the ‘Garden of England‘, as Visit Kent highlights on its website header, and a place with important historical connections going back thousands of years.  Yet, it offers more than just beautiful gardens and World Heritage sites such as Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church.

Kent refers to an area in southeastern England that comprises 13 districts: Sevenoaks, Dartford, Gravesham, Tonbridge & Malling, Medway, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Swale, Ashford, Canterbury, Shepway, Thanet, and Dover.  Within these districts are truly unique places that support the arts & culture that may not be as well-known to people in other countries or even counties in England.

Among these districts, tourism in Kent resulted in the following statistics:

  • Welcomed 57 million visitors
  • Worth £3.4 billion to the local economy
  • Supports over 65,000 jobs

Culture and Heritage in Kent
Thanks to research by Visit Kent and Visit Britain, we can identify some key factors in tourists’ motivations, behaviours, and perceptions of Kent.


  • 63% are motivated by heritage, which is the top reason for visiting the county
  • 25% are motivated by culture and the arts
  • 9% are motivated by special events


When in Kent:

  • 9% visit a heritage attraction
  • 22% visit a cultural venue
  • 16% attend a special event


  • 59% associate heritage with the county
  • 25% associate Kent with cultural events and festivals

What can we learn from these statistics?

Of these millions of tourists, a majority of them still equate Kent with cultural heritage.  However, the perception of Kent as an arts & cultural destination is continuing to grow.  After Visit Kent and Turner Contemporary conducted a marketing campaign aimed to increase awareness of culture in Kent,  awareness grew from 4% to 10% – the biggest increase for any one area.  We need to continue audiences awareness of Kent as a place to visit for arts & culture.

In upcoming posts, we’ll spotlight organisations and events that are unique to Kent.

Learning from Similar Tourism Research (part 3): Collaboration

Image Red Ladies by Clod Ensemble

Summer of Colour: Red Ladies by Clod Ensemble

Previously, we discussed how open data related to accessibility has many benefits for tourism.  In this post, we highlight how collaborative efforts related to tourism can be mutually beneficial, referring to tourism research conducted by the European Commission.

 Due to the EU encompassing many countries, they can collaborate with other countries whose citizens frequently travel to Europe.  For instance, their 50,000 Tourists initiative enabled tourists from South American countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Chile to travel to the EU by capitalising on ‘spare airline and hotel capacity during low season’.  This also benefited EU nationals who wanted to visit Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.  However, these tourists, whether they were visiting South American or the EU, had to have specific reasons for travelling, such as ‘family ties, educational or cultural links, or an interest in gastronomic or religious tourism’.

Operating on a smaller scale in Kent, this type of initiative can also be successful since there are trains and buses that take tourists around Kent, and there are also many hotels and B&B’s that may have spare rooms during low season.  If organisers of events and owners of hotels and transportation in Kent can come to an agreement similar to the EU’s 50,000 Tourists initiative,  tourists can take advantage of low costs and travel more often.  But again, there is all this useful information that not many people are privy to!

While an open data source for Kent events is the goal, additional information can truly help users not only become aware of the types of events being held in Kent, but also logistical information such as how these events cater to all types of people, including those that need extra accessibility, and how to get to the events and where to stay.  As this posts suggests, the benefits of creating an open data source are endless and can positively affect not only tourists, but organisations in the whole of Kent as well.  We just need to collaborate with each other to make the most of what each has to offer to tourists.

Read the previous post: Learning from Similar Tourism Research (part 1): Audience Interest

Read the previous post: Learning from Similar Tourism Research (part 2): Accessibility

Open Data Has Many Forms (part 3): 3D Models

Image Turner Contemporary, installation view

Turner Contemporary, installation view

As previously discussed in part 1, digitised museum artefacts in the form of 3D models of museum artefacts can be  considered ‘open data’ when they are made available online through museum websites and downloadable apps.  Many world-renowned museums already make this possible, but smaller museums can similarly benefit from digitising their collections and presenting their interactive, 3D artefacts online.  In fact, when it comes to increasing smaller museums’ profiles, this type of open data is their best bet for allowing a global audience to become familiar with their purpose and access their collections.

While the process of creating 3D models of museum artefacts may seem daunting, advances in technology have paved the way for more attainable methods that do not require expensive equipment, extensive technical backgrounds, or months of labour.  Recently, the company Autodesk, known for their suite of 3D design software, developed 123D Catch, which allows users to create accurate 3D models from photographs .  Since it’s beta version, they have made great strides in updating their software to accommodate those with no prior background in 3D modelling, making it even easier to create 3D models quickly and accurately.  Just two short years ago when I was using 123D Catch to create 3D models of cultural heritage artefacts, I remember it took several attempts of capturing an artefact before arriving to a suitable 3D model.  It also required taking photos and testing the results in several environments, including indoors and outdoors.  However, in the past couple of months, a colleague used the same software to create 3D models of her sculptures.  She was able to create acceptable 3D models after only two tries, both indoors.  This is just an example of how software is constantly being modified to give the user an optimal experience.

Therefore, museum personnel can be confident that current staff can be utilised to assist with creating 3D models of their artefacts for use on websites and downloadable apps.  This is just one way museums can make their collections open and interactive to a global audience.

Read the previous post: Open Data Has Many Forms (part 1): Ownership of Data

Read the previous post: Open Data Has Many Forms (part 2): Positive Effects