Telling the Same Story

Once upon a time when we could get out and about and attend conferences our good friend and associate Neen Kelly was in York at a conference on coach tourism. She was struck by the variety of ways stories were told about this lovely city with its many layers of history. So we asked her to write a blog about it for us. Here it is...

On a recent visit to York for a coach tourism conference, we were joined after dinner by a local tour guide.  He arrived armed with a jumble of parcels, wrapped in brown paper and numbered 1-12.

The parcels were distributed randomly amongst the dinner tables.  This resulted in much prodding, guessing and laughing about the possible contents.  After unwrapping the tour guide took us through the history of York in these 12 objects.  The whole process was interesting, engaging and often funny.  York has a long history going back to the Romans, but it also has Vikings, trains and chocolate to add into the mix.  This is a lot of history to distil and share.

Earlier in the day we had enjoyed a brief fam trip escorted by another local guide.  She gave an entertaining overview of the history of the city as we walked about and visited some sites.  We then went on to visit York’s Chocolate Story, which specifically looked at the history of chocolate in York.

All three of these tour guide/attraction touchpoints told much the same story.  What we learnt earlier in the day fed into how we experienced and understood the story of the 12 objects in the evening; it made more sense.  There was a consistency of message, and  a good reminder of the importance of creating a strong narrative for visitors and that it’s absolutely fine to tell the same story over and over again in lots of different ways.