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Marek Kruszel

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Amsterdam Marketing, the municipality of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Museums worked on the pilot 'Live Lines' (Dutch: Rijenradar) providing visitors with an overview of live queue times at 10 museums in Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. We caught up with Marek Kruszel from the Amsterdam Marketing team to learn more about Live Lines in the lead-up to #DTTTGlobal on 30th November and 1st December in Brussels. His colleague Nico Mulder, Marketing Strategy Manager at Amsterdam Marketing, will join us on stage to present 'Data & The Visitor Experience: Amsterdam Live Lines' sharing unique insights and the results.

Imagine yourself paying a two-day visit to Amsterdam to see the beautiful canals, have a beer at the Vondelpark, see Sun Flowers by Van Gogh and take a picture at the I Amsterdam-sign. You have 48 hours to absorb all the city has to offer. When you arrive at the Van Gogh museum to buy tickets you queue up. An hour and a half later, when you finally arrive at the ticket desk, the lady behind the window tells you the museum is at full capacity so you need to wait just a tad more. Half an hour later the door opens and you enter the museum. Two hours you have been standing in line. Two. Hours. That’s almost 5% of the whole trip actually doing nothing.

Popular Amsterdam

The situation described above is not uncommon. Some attractions in Amsterdam do have queues that take longer to get through than the time you probably spend inside. Besides that, Amsterdam is getting busier and busier: 17 million people a year pay a visit to the capital of The Netherlands and that number is growing quickly. Amsterdam is not a particularly huge city so the impact all those visitors make on the public space is significant.

The municipality considers it one of their great tasks to make sure Amsterdam remains a livable city for its inhabitants, despite the growing number of visitors. One of the ways it tries to do this is by spreading them, in time as well as space. Live Lines is a tool, developed by Amsterdam’s city marketing organization Amsterdam Marketing (I Amsterdam), that can contribute to this. It combines customer service with the goal of spreading tourists across Amsterdam or across the day(s). Fuelled by De Efteling’s mobile app (one of the most popular theme parks in The Netherlands), which features an overview of the queue times at their rollercoasters and other attractions, Amsterdam Marketing went to 10 museums spread across Amsterdam and even neighbouring towns to persuade them to participate in a pilot that eventually became Live Lines.

How it works

Amsterdam Marketing’s IT partner developed an application for the museums to enter the queue times every half an hour. Yes, really, for this pilot the museum employees enter the waiting times manually. These times are shown on the web page iamsterdam.com/livelines. The system records these data and calculates daily averages. These averages are also shown on the page, combined with a recommendation: ‘Go now! The queues are shorter than usual.’ or ‘This is a popular time: there’s a bit of a wait.’

The results

The pilot has just finished, so not all results have been analyzed yet. However, first results show that people really appreciate the service: more than 80% of all respondents (Hotjar pop-up survey on the page) awards an 8 or higher on a scale from 1-10. Moreover, more than 80% of all respondents say that the overview influences their behaviour. Half of them keeps an eye on the overview and wait until the line at their museum is shorter and 20% says they will visit a museum with a shorter queue time.

Amsterdam Marketing also explores the possibilities to automatically measure and update the waiting times, so who knows in the future, when Live Lines is a permanent service, the museum employees don’t need to enter queue times themselves.

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