Guests of interpretive, informal learning sites are mostly ‘easy-going” since they are in a leisure mood. But interpretation can and should exceed mere entertainment. Therefore a number of issues have to be considered, from planning and visitor studies to professional interpretive techniques and management.

Therefore, KON-TIKI offers you a range of innovative workshops.


(conducted in English, for other training needs in the field of interpretation (e. g. interpretive writing, guided tour training, drama & interpretation), please contact us)


Basic planning seminar

The objective of the seminar is to convey a hands-on insight into interpretive planning. Nowadays a structured approach is as important as never before, because: ‘If you aim at nothing, you hit it every time.” (Steve Van Matre).

A clear plan is indispensible in order to be able

  1. to offer your visitors good, interpretive experiences,
  2. to make the intended interpretive contents communicable and
  3. to arrange for guidelines with regard to architects, interior designers, graphic designers, etc.

Based on knowledge of leisure needs the seminar’s focus lies in the development of experiences for our visitors. After an introduction on how to identify quality contents for interpretation, the seminar also involves specific planning instruments, including:

  • What are the basic expectations of our visitor to our interpretive sites and products and how can they be fulfilled?
  • What are our messages; what role do they play in the planning process and what content and methodology should be kept in mind while phrasing the message?
  • What function do images fulfill and how do they help to coherently structure the overall concept?
  • How can the content be arranged so that it is easily memorable?
  • How do I tie “head, heart and hand” into a conclusive overall experience?

These and other questions will be dealt with, resolved and together accentuated in exercises during the seminar.

Voices of participants:

‘Expert moderation integrating many enjoyable citations, stories etc.. Careful, methodically well-thought-through introduction to the basics.’

‘Valuable experiences in the field of communication!’

‘It was very useful and I will make some immediate changes to the way I run my site.”

‘Thought provoking – helpful – experienced facilitators. (and very good English!). Thank you!”


Visitor studies

How do we know our work is successful? Most informal learning institutions that offer interpretation measure their success almost solely by the number of their visitors. We believe that this is not sufficient.

Sites that take their responsibility towards society seriously have to find appropriate ways to evaluate their work other than merely by counting guests numbers. Or do you know a school whose success depends on the number of students?

Nowadays evaluation is important to provide potential sponsors with appropriate information about your performance. But even if there is no need to provide information for sponsors, visitor studies are necessary to guarantee high quality interpretation.

This workshop provides you with a hands-on overview of possible fields of application and tools for modern visitor studies.

In addition to an

  • introduction to the basics of visitor studies

we practise using several tools in small groups, e. g.

  • written and oral interviews,
  • visitor observations and
  • text evaluation..




Quality management

advantages and implementation
Making the quality of accomplished work visible and developing this quality gains more and more in importance in the field of interpretation.

Visitors have high expectations and donators increasingly use quality criteria in funding decisions.

Quality development and quality management involves additional effort and therefore poses a great challenge especially for small sites.

During the seminar you will obtain an overview of possible approaches and work through decision making guidelines for building a successful quality programme.

Thus the seminar involves

  • finding out what quality systems can accomplish,
  • assessing the benefits of those systems for interpretive sites and being able to communicate them,
  • finding applications of quality development appropriate to small institutions.

With the aid of the model ‘Learner-Oriented Quality Certification for Further Education Organisations” (LQF), central aspects of quality development, like the development of a mission statement, customer orientation and evaluation are approached.

It is helpful if participants provide existing materials of their own quality work in advance, making practice-oriented work possible.


Team building

Strengthen your team!

Have you heard of the metaphor of a woodcutter with a blunt ax? A woodcutter is asked why he is chopping at a tree with all his might with a blunt ax. ‘Look around, there’s so much to do, I simply don’t have the time to sharpen my ax!”.

Invest time in your team and make it effective!

Team work always snags at the same points: the goals, tasks, roles or common values are ambiguous, the communication is not appropriate or the team spirit leaves a lot to be desired. Thereby every team typically experiences 4 phases: orientation, conflict, identification, process and performance. In each phase the team needs a response from the management and has to cope with a task to finally reach the phase of performance.

During Team Building individual core issues of your team are tackled.

You profit when:

  • The motivation in the team is exceptionally high, even in difficult circumstances.
  • A common goal exists which is communicated clearly and directly and employees identify with it.
  • The team shares goals and visions and the focus of the team lies on solvable questions.
  • The team members encourage each other, a team spirit exists revealed through dedication to the team and the case.
  • Conflicts are viewed as learning opportunities and are solved constructively.
  • Tasks and responsibilities are clarified.
  • There is an open and direct intercourse with each other and mutual acknowledgement within the team.
  • The team benefits from the different competencies and strengths of colleagues.

Strengthen your team!

Conjointly with you we analyze the strengths of and potential improvements for your team. On this basis we develop a custom-made concept for team training.