I'm Ann Nicol and I work under the business name of 'Heritage Pathfinder'. My passions include the environment, nature and heritage. I love working with, supporting and empowering passionate people, and getting to know visitors to understand what makes them tick.
I offer individually tailored consultancy services on visitor experience, evaluation and learning for all types of visitor attractions including aquariums, nature reserves, gardens, zoos, heritage sites and museums. I work on projects as a sole consultant, but I am also part of a network of trusted experts who I can call on for larger or more complex pieces of work
We need evidence to support a funding application
We need to evaluate what we achieved
We know what's wrong but not sure how to fix it
We want visitors to have a great day but also engage with our key messages
We just never have enough time to...
Want to know more about your current or potential visitors?
I can help you with...
visitor motivations & interests, segmentation & profiling, collecting evidence of need
research, surveys, focus groups and bespoke evaluation techniques
Do you have something to say and want to say it better?
I can help you...
identify your core messages, engage visitors with them, find out what works
workshop facilitation, visitor engagement research, education programmes, walks & talks support, trails best practice, interpretation, staff & volunteer mentoring and training
Does every one of your visitors have an amazing and inspiring day?
I can help you with...
whole site planning, prioritising areas for investment to achieve your mission and business objectives
visitor tracking & research, visitor journey mapping & analysis, project planning & evaluation, holistic experience planning
My academic background is in biological and medical sciences, before gaining my masters in Museum Studies in Leicester. I have been a visitor engagement, experience and evaluation professional for over 25 years. I've worked in museums and visitor attractions run by local authorities, charities, universities and commercial organisations. See my Linkedin profile for a full list.
I've spent my career working with organisations who have a story to tell and a cause to champion. I strongly believe that great visitor engagement is a pre-requisite to being both a mission-focussed and financially sustainable organisation. I am full of energy, professional, reliable and get satisfaction from a job well done. I have been told I have unusual abilities in being creative yet solutions-focused, and strategic yet ultimately practical and pragmatic.
When I'm not working, I love spending time in the countryside and walking, cycling or kayaking with my husband, Andy. Food, music, films, DIY and garden projects also feature highly in our lives. We have two Burmese cats, Lily and Mia who provide us with endless entertainment. This is Mia as a kitten!