Thanks to the new follower who submitted this tale of someone playing fast and loose with interpreting the rules for visiting their property. The lady with the dog was quite cheerful, and unaware of the issues behind the rules. Her friend was the one to argue the case, threatening to "write to your head office and ask for my membership to be refunded" if the staff "persisted in being petty and demanding."
The issue was resolved when the lady with the dog suggested he may get restless anyway, so if they put him in the car they'd be able to enjoy the house without him wiggling around.
Because when you shout down the length of the room that you're trying to take pictures, the staff may notice that you are trying to take pictures.
This happened once a month or so at a site where I worked with hand held audio tours. We would get a coach of old dears, some of whom instantly shoved the handset in a pocket and ignored it, some of whom stabbed buttons and confused it, and some of whom eagerly listened to every word going.
And the one who forgot that they needed to put their hearing aid on for a change, or turn it up.
(Brilliantly, there are a couple of handsets which are screens, with the full tour in British Sign Language, rather than just offering profoundly deaf people a print out of the script.)
The idea of a venue free and uncluttered by information panels, where visitors can move at their leisure, opt for as much detail as they like and even select specialist types of information, is a grand one. Even better is being able to walk around together with a kids tour, adult tour, French tour and BSL tour all being used in the same vising group! However, to do this you have to involve the general public with technology.
Just show them through the basic three buttons, hand it over, watch them get it going and pause it (so you can see that they're using it correctly) and set them loose with advise to ask the roaming front of house chap if they need help. I would say:
40% take to it like they've used it all their lives
20% are over confident so mess it up, but then recover
25% are scared of it, but end up thinking it's amazing
10% ask if they can just borrow the shop's copy of the souvenir guide and give it back later
5% take it, smile, stuff it in a bag or pocket once inside and then complain later "I had no idea what was going on, there's no information in there!"
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