Edinburgh Zoo, including the Highland Wildlife Park, is one of Europe’s foremost wildlife conservation agencies as well as one of Scotland’s foremost visitor attractions. It also has onsite projects in Africa and undertakes research worldwide.
The =mc consulting decisionscience team were hired to improve the way visitors engaged with the animals and supported the wider conservation work of the Zoo.
Some issues we had to address were:
In the middle of all this work the coronavirus epidemic hit the Zoo and it had to close.
Undeterred we produced some ideas on journeys through the site, with new signage and suggestions for interactive engagement with visitors to be introduced post lockdown.
This work focussed on some classic decision science areas: key messengers, offering visitors agency, the potential for loss of species, and on making the need for conservation salient.
Over a period of some weeks during the lockdown we also worked with Zoo specialists on a behaviourally informed digital engagement strategy involving creating personas for the keepers, making a series of website changes including developing a feeding programme proposition and building links to live webcams.
The =mc decisionscience team set up a series of related activities to get a rounded view of what had to be done. We:
We’re still waiting on the long-term results of the new signage and visitor journey when the Zoo re-opens. But the online support helped increase online income to over £100K and visits to the webcams up to 5M views. And the Zoo now have a group of high-value donors who have signalled their willingness to support conservation projects.