Dealing with Difficult Visitors
As museum professionals, we generally interact with visitors who are eager to experience our spaces or programs, visitors who range from pleasant and memorable at best to nondescript at worst. But what about those sticky situations we find ourselves in with more difficult visitors? How do we handle the people who are disappointed, challenging, or just downright rude? Join us for a virtual workshop covering the nitty gritty of an ever-present issue facing frontline staff. We’ll identify the types of difficult visitors, develop strategies for dealing with each type, role play, and discuss the parallels between a good facilitator and a good customer service rep. You’ll come away feeling more confident in your ability to command scenarios with unhappy guests graciously and professionally.
This workshop serves any museum professional who interacts with the public regularly, and is specifically geared toward educators, docents, volunteers, and visitor and retail services. Be prepared to participate in conversations and to take and share notes. This fast-paced, fun, and active workshop is NOT a gripe session as we will work together to find potential solutions and to remind ourselves of everyone’s humanity. Bring your questions, ideas, patience, and empathy!
A recording of this event will be shared with registered participants, though any activity in breakout rooms cannot be captured.
Agenda2:00 – 2:25: Identify types of difficult visitors
2:25 – 3:00: Develop strategies for dealing with difficult visitors
3:00 – 3:20: Consider qualities of a good facilitator/customer service rep
3:20 – 3:35: Respond to frustration and disappointment
3:35 – 4:00: Role playing scenarios and questions
Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis, Principal for Yellow Room Consulting, is an experienced museum educator and Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) facilitator specializing in adult learning, innovative program development, and cross-discipline meaning-making. She spent 15 years in the art and museum worlds, working for four different cultural institutions in both Alabama and Massachusetts. Erin received her BA from the University of Virginia in art history and archaeology, her MA from the University of Alabama in American studies, and her Certificate in Museum Studies/Education from Tufts University. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Greater Boston Museum Educators Roundtable and as the Education Professional Affinity Group Co-Chair for the New England Museum Association. Erin also lectures and leads gallery talks on art + medicine topics with her physician-scientist husband in museums, hospitals, and schools. They live in Boston with their children where they root for the Red Sox.
Attending an Online Workshop
To participate in this online workshop you will need access to a computer or mobile device with an internet connection. We will be using Zoom to host this workshop as an online videoconference. Once you register, you will immediately be sent instructions for logging in via automatically sent email.
If you do not have access to a computer or mobile device with an internet connection, you will still be able to call in on a telephone, but you will unfortunately not be able to see any of the participants or visuals.
Online registration will be open through November 4. Attendance is limited to 90 people; register soon to save your spot!
Registration for MAM members is $30. Non-members pay $45.
Members of MAM enjoy discounted registration (MAM members please log in first). If you're not a MAM member, join today!