Audubon Insectarium

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Wanting to make sure the Insectarium was an operational "home run", the Audubon Nature Institute utilized ORCA's services to review and improve plans for the museum and provide training to ensure high-quality service delivery. Located on Canal Street at the historically significant U. S. Custom House in downtown New Orleans, transforming part of a federal building into a museum space presented unique challenges. ORCA worked with planners to make the most efficient use of available space, identified specific exhibits whose capacity would affect the overall museum capacity, and worked with planners to increase the capacity of these areas through operational efficiencies.

Prior to the 2008 opening of the Insectarium, ORCA provided staffing and training support to promote consistent, high-quality service delivery and help staff learn how to bring the Insectarium experience to life. ORCA developed a branded orientation program (including guest service elements and service standard statements), trained all opening team members (including staff and volunteers), and provided "train-the-trainer" training for internal staff so the desired guest experience can be sustained on an ongoing basis. In addition, ORCA produced an operating manual which described all positions and their responsibilities, guest service standards, guest policies and procedures, and emergency/evacuation information.

Early on in the project development process, ORCA calculated maximum visitor loadings for each area of the building to facilitate the determination of air handler capacity requirements.

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Design and layout of the ticketing and arrival lobby was an important issue for the Insectarium, especially with the need to include a security screening operation in the limited lobby space. ORCA determined screening capacity requirements and helped planners develop a layout that made the most efficient use of the available space.

Because peak arrivals were expected to exceed the limited space within the Insectarium lobby, ORCA also identified ticketing strategies, including off-site sales, to mitigate crowding and visitor frustration at the Insectarium entrance and maximize opportunities for combined ticketing with other Audubon venues.

ORCA also reviewed the entire museum layout to assess exhibit utilization, identify potential congestion areas and operational challenges, and develop plan modifications to resolve potential issues. In addition to helping exhibit designers optimize the layouts of all exhibit areas for comfortable visitor flow and reduced crowding, ORCA identified two key areas of the museum that would severely limit the attendance capacity of the museum the Bug Cooking Kitchen and the Bug Awards Theater. ORCA worked with Audubon planners to increase the capacity of these exhibit elements through operational efficiencies and ensure that the expected attendance levels on busy days could be accommodated with minimal waiting.

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