The Welcome Desk and Courtyard Kiosk are the primary public touch points for information the Hammer. VERs in these positions are expected to address the diverse needs and varied questions of every visitor that enters the Museum. As the public face of the Museum, it is important to keep informed about the exhibitions, programs, policies, and amenities at the Hammer. In addition to this Handbook, read through the Museum’s quarterly calendar, website, and additional printed materials to keep up to date on all that is happening.
The Welcome Desk and Courtyard Kiosk are intended to be open platforms for visitors. To achieve this goal, we purposefully designed the spaces to be accessible. In addition, we encourage VERs to have an authentic, non-scripted interaction with visitors at the desk and kiosk. While your approach may be unique, everything a VER does should fall within the three tenants of Visitor Experience: introduce, safeguard, and exchange.
The Welcome Desk and Courtyard Kiosk are spaces visitors go to for information. To address their needs, VERs are responsible for introducing visitors to the Hammer. Introducing includes orienting visitors to the physical spaces, highlighting exhibitions and programs, as well as explaining the Museum’s mission. With free admission, the Hammer experiences a high level of first-time visitors. These individuals may not know about the museum’s polices, including photography, touching the art, backpacks, and pens. To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience and is aware of everything the Hammers has available, it is imperative that VERs provide an overview of the Hammer that is appropriate for the needs of a particular visitor.
Safeguarding is typically thought of as a gallery VER responsibility, but the Welcome Desk and Courtyard Kiosk also help keep the Hammer safe. Not only does the Welcome Desk keep an eye out for potential art incidents in the lobby, but VERs at the desk should be aware of potential hazards for visitors. VERs at the Welcome Desk should notify Security if they witness a protest or car accident on Wilshire. Additionally, VERs at both the Welcome Desk and Courtyard Kiosk should keep an eye out for 925s and BOLOs, and report them immediately to Security via the two way radio.
The safety of visitors is important, but so is your own safety and the safety of your fellow coworkers. If ever you feel you are in an uncomfortable situation that hinders your ability to perform your duties comfortably, or you see a fellow coworker in an uncomfortable situation, report the situation to Security and to the Leads. Your safety is a priority and you should always feel safe in your work environment.
The most enriching experiences are the exchanges that occur with visitors. Exchange includes everything from conversations to facilitating a transaction. Transactions are commonly thought of as financial, such as membership sales or donations, but they also include collecting feedback and encouraging a visitor to participate in one of interactive initiatives. Whenever possible try to move away from telling visitors about the Museum and instead open up a dialogue about what they are looking for from their experiences at the Hammer.
Additionally, VERs are the main bridge for communication between the Museum’s visitors and Museum staff. It is important to collect and share any and all feedback with staff so that the Museum can continue to adapt to the needs of our visitors.
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