Over the past 6 years, Creative United has established a unique network of exceptionally qualified business advisors whose expertise span the full breadth and depth of the arts and creative industries.
Bryn Jones has over 30 years’ management and consultancy experience in the museums, heritage, arts, tourism and wider leisure sector. He and his company has significant experience in helping to turn existing operations around, business planning, operational and commercial reviews, interim management, planning and setting up new developments and operations so they can be resilient, sustainable and deliver a great customer experience.
We sat down with him to talk about what he does and how he will be helping organisations on the Prosper North programme.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your area of expertise?
My most relevant background is that I used to be a senior manager in the museums, heritage and arts sector. This included having been the Head of Visitor Services at the Science Museum in London for just under ten years looking after the operations, visitor service and trading activity in the Museum where for my last three years I led the commercial, customer service and operational elements of the £50m extension to the Museum called the Wellcome Wing.
I then worked as the Commercial Director at both the Lowry Centre and the Alnwick Garden.
I have had my own consultancy company, ‘Bryn Jones Associates’ working in the sector since 2006. The company’s and my main focus is helping to make attractions financially sustainable as possible and be in the best possible position to deliver an exceptional customer experience. This includes new operating models and business plans for existing venues, re-developments and new attractions.
We and I work with large (including nationals across the UK), medium and small sized attractions from the public, quasi-public, charitable and voluntary sector mainly as well as some private companies. We also often conduct commercial and visitor services reviews and provide interim management support. I am based in York, which is a lovely place to live and a good location for reaching a lot of areas across the UK, but with Prosper North focus on providing support around the Yorkshire area mainly.
What do you think are the main challenges currently faced by cultural heritage organisations?
There are always many challenges and each client is different, but all of them are looking to be more resilient / more financially sustainable. This is probably because of the economic and financial climate, which is challenging for the sector, but it also makes the sector be even more outward looking and more customer and commercially focused.
How do you think your knowledge and experience can help the organisations on the programme?
This might be too general, but I hope that I would be able to bring quite a broad perspective and I always try to be just in the moment with each client to really get to understand what it is they are trying to achieve and then working with them being able to develop a strategy to help and guide them
What skills would you like these organisations to develop through Prosper North?I think focusing on the following five main areas, which is a lot!:
- The customer, who will be their main target market/s, their needs and expectations and try not to spread resources too thinly i.e. how are the resources we have best spent and focused to get the best return in terms of visitor numbers and income?
- The customer experience and each phase of the customer journey
- Being clear as to the offer, identifying the real income potential, being realistic as to what is achievable and how this can be delivered
- Looking externally, both inside and outside the sector at best practice as well as comparators and competitors
- Developing the business planning skills needed
Find out more about Prosper and apply for one of the next editions here.