Zoo goes wild for technology with audience engagement platform

Real-time data analysis monitors visitor dwell times, triggering relevant content for Northumberland Zoo visitors.

Northumberland Zoo has turned to technology to monitor dwell times and grow income while educating. 

The family-run zoo, sat in 17 acres, has partnered with software as a service (SaaS) developers and audience engagement specialists, n-gage.io. The cloud-based platform will implement the zoo’s audience engagement and attraction management software with an integrated mobile-web application.

“Our duty is to continuously research, test and discover what knowledge people are taking away with them when they visit our establishments,” said Maxine Bradley, Founder and Zoo Curator.  

“Dwell time is a big thing for this sector. If visitors have downloaded our app powered by the n-gage.io platform, then through dwell time monitoring, heat mapping and content triggering, we will instantly be able to see which displays are getting the most attention. 

“Because of the enormous real time data gathering, we will then be in the position to send visitors specific questionnaires or surveys to elicit insights, as the platform can segment data and send personalised communication, which is also essential in building long term relationships with our fans.”

Conservation of visitors is critical

Led by entrepreneur Bryan Hoare and incubated by GCV Labs – n-gage.io aims to boost audience experiences through a customisable, data-driven SaaS platform with an integrated mobile-web application.

Bradley believes that technology will assist the zoo and aquarium sector in strategising the development of zoos from the valuable data analysis cloud-hosted platforms can deliver. “The zoo industry is all about making the right impact on visitors and shifting their behaviour, by encouraging a sense of conservation in people and generations to come. Ongoing research and measurement as to what visitors take away with them from a visit to their local zoo, safari park, or wildlife sanctuary, is critical.”

Bradley’s aim is to fully integrate the audience engagement platform and app with other digital channels such as TikTok (the zoo already has 165,000 followers), and YouTube, to continuously track and measure audience reaction and grow income, whilst educating.


Keeping students engaged  

N-gage.io has also built an education portal into the platform to manage the task of school visits and the delivery of lessons. Each school has a dedicated area of the platform with pre-loaded modules and secure logins to manage their respective activities, which teachers can then access through their tablet or smartphone.

“No other zoo has this kind of technology,” said Bradley. “None of them have the deep learning capability or enhanced interactive audience engagement functionality that n-gage.io offers. I believe this app will be a gamechanger for the industry.”

The app will provide zoo-goers with tickets, in-app vouchers, interactive content and fun activities such as quizzes and shareable photo frames. Navigating the zoo is also made easier with interactive mapping and wayfinding.