Tower Bridge

From hardware to BYOD with an impressive 35% take-up rate.

Tower Bridge is London’s defining landmark, with hundreds of thousands annually visitors from local areas and all over the world. It is a unique monument: a working bridge, listed building, learning space, events venue and a national icon. A visit includes opportunities to discover the stories behind the engineering and the people who built the Bridge; as well as offering panoramic views across the capital and the thrill of seeing London life through the Glass Floors. Or witnessing one of the legendary Bridge Lifts that happen 800-1,000 times a year.

The Challenge: Historically Tower Bridge has had no on-site audio guide interpretation to enhance the visitor experience, leaving some visitors wanting additional context. The Tower Bridge team wanted a guide that could deliver a deeper, more personal engagement for every visitor; helping them to dive into some of the countless stories that don’t feature in the physical interpretation displays.

Smartify’s solution: Working in close collaboration with the Bridge team, we produced an hour-long Highlights Tour that places the authentic voices of Tower Bridge at its heart. To achieve this, we conducted a series of interviews with a cross-section of its staff, on location and across the Bridge itself: hearing from the Bridgemaster, members of the Welcome Team, and even the engineers who lift the bridge.

We also supported the Bridge team in the transition to offering a Bring-Your-Own-Device mobile guide solution. This included consultancy on signage, best-practise examples of how to promote a guide for maximum take-up, and training staff.

What were the results: The success of this operation has meant that around 35% of visitors now elect to take the guide. Through the Smartify-powered audio guide, visitors can now hear some of the secrets, stories, and surprises of the Bridge told by its very own staff; enriched by unique images - and brought together in a uniquely personal, human experience. Clear on-site signage lets everyone know the tour is available. This content is also a pilot from which many future initiatives will be built - work on accessible versions and foreign language translations will start in autumn, and future plans include special-interest experiences focusing on particular aspects of the site. 

Learn more about the tour and listen HERE.

A visitor at Tower Bridge takes the audio tour on Smartify

Learn more about our work on accesible tours

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