How the FC Porto Museum Adapts New Technology—And a Focus on Visitor Experience—to Successfully Attract an International Audience

Recent wins have included building a new mobile app, offering multi-lingual audio guides, and selling their tickets through Viator.

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The FC Porto Museum was established in September 2013, and tells the history of FC Porto and its link to the city over the past 125 years. Through an interactive journey, visitors can learn about the [football] Club’s history and the evolution of sports and society in Portugal. Since their doors opened, the museum has worked hard to make the traveler experience the best it can be—by paying close attention to the feedback of its visitors and adapting to changes in technology. The museum received a 2018 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award and is rated as a top thing to do in Porto. We interviewed Luis Valente, FC Porto Museum’s Partnerships and Information Manager, to find out more about the history behind the museum, the benefits they’ve seen from Viator, and how they are successfully attracting an international audience.

History is an important narrative.

“The club is an institution founded in 1893, and the Museum is a space worthy to tell its history and share its heritage. The club’s past and present are linked with the history of the city, and visitors are able to learn about the 126 years of history that FC Porto has lived, and how it has influenced [both] Portuguese and international society. With more than 800 objects in the permanent exhibition, [there are] fascinating pieces of the FC Porto history like the worldwide-recognized seven international trophies won by the football team, or the five Portuguese National Championship trophies won between 1995 and 1999 that established a record in the country of five titles won in a row. The involvement with the Porto community shaped a strong link between the Club and the city, and that was key to create a phenomenon with thousands of passionate followers.”

Their main priority: Creating the best visitor experience.

“Since the Museum opened in 2013, we were very aware that there were a few things that, in [the] course of time, we would have to adapt, and so, we were always very observant regarding the visitors’ behaviour inside the permanent exhibition. As time went by, we have improved the accessibility conditions, always trying to make the Museum fit for all. We have searched for new interactive solutions that would stimulate a unique experience, adjusted to the visitors’ expectations. We have added new objects and adapted a few thematic areas. In addition, we have developed a mobile APP that enables our visitors to get to know the Museum and the history of the Club better. We have private guided tours available for groups in Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and German. All the guides are part of our multidisciplinary team, which is oriented by our Educational Service that prepares them to be ready to adjust their speech to all kinds of public. We manage all the operation and the tours are adapted to every group’s intent and needs.”

How they adapt to changes in technology.

“FC Porto [has gone] through a digital transformation in the recent years. The latest projects involving the Museum have been the new FC Porto website and the FC Porto Museum & Tour APP. The new Museum website section, within the FC Porto Portal, now enables the Club to promote more properly the Museum initiatives. The Museum & Tour APP project was [developed] in order to give the Museum an innovative audio guide solution that would change the visitor experience at the permanent exhibition and on the Stadium Tour. It was also [used] as a promotional tool, as it can be downloaded to a smartphone before the tour, and allows free access to featured content selected to attract the potential visitor attention. The FC Porto Museum & Tour APP is available in six different languages, and will provide our visitors with new exclusive audio, photographic and video content that definitely will enrich their experience.”

Why marketing strategy, social media, and targeted campaigns are important.

“Within the Museum structure, we try to enhance our business on social media by creating dedicated campaigns for different kinds of public. The main goal is naturally to sell the ‘Tour FC Porto’ tickets that include both the museum and the stadium tour. So far, this kind of initiative allows us to reach our target public before they arrive to the city. In order to guarantee that, we have to try to create our campaigns and ads in the most efficient way possible and [in] doing so we have to be aware of different criteria like the country of origin, their main interests and even the flight connections that exist to the city of Porto and Portugal. Offline we have established a strategy to identify advertising opportunities and promotional initiatives within the city and the country to generate awareness of the product and the brand. We also strive to reach the local community by developing numerous initiatives with monthly programming activations and events.”

“Visiting the FC Porto Museum and the Dragão Stadium is a breathtaking experience that will lead visitors through an interactive journey about the history of FC Porto and the city of Porto. This tour will also give you a perspective about the world of arts and architecture, as the Dragão Stadium is a renowned and awarded state-of-art infrastructure and home to many works of art.” — Luis Valente – FC Porto Museum/Partnerships and Information Management

How listing on Viator has impacted bookings and increased sales.

“In order to reach different kinds of public, and explore different markets, we had to expand our channels of communication and distribution to allow our product to grow. Considering we already had our listings on Tripadvisor, and good reviews by our visitors, we felt that enabling our product to be on sale on this platform would be a great step towards reaching our day-to-day goals, and to be closer to the international public. The Viator platform is very user friendly, and the impact was immediate, as we had received bookings straight away. [We saw] a few good surprises regarding the demographics of our future visitors, [which] confirmed that it is a great channel to reach new markets.”