Conner Prairie Garners International Honor

"What are these iPods you speak of? Do you grow peas in them?"

If you’re like me, each time you visit Conner Prairie, you end up trying to fool the blacksmith’s apprentice or a shop clerk into offering an anachronistic reply of some sort. And each time, their unbreakable collective savvy sends you home with nary a victory — just an abundance of good times, new knowledge and a mouthful of rock candy. But today we give high praise to the interactive historical museum in Fishers (and Indiana Chamber member) for its own victory in earning the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions Spirit of Excellence Award for guest services training. Strong work by one of Indiana’s true gems:

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is among an elite, international group of award winners from the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions (IAAPA). At this year’s IAAPA Attractions Expo last week in Las Vegas, Conner Prairie was given the Spirit of Excellence award for Best Guest Services Training Program. This award recognizes an IAAPA member-facility that is dedicated to excellence in training.

Conner Prairie won this award for its “Opening Doors to Great Guest Experiences” training resource, which is based on transformative guest research, documented best practices from the attractions industry and information-learning principles. Opening Doors is shared through video analysis of staff/guest interaction, guest feedback, guest motives and learning styles, providing front-line staff with knowledge and skills to facilitate memorable learning experiences. Since implementing Opening Doors in 2003, the average guest visit has extended from three to four hours and Conner Prairie’s attendance has increased by 47.5 percent. Additionally, museums and other attractions in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries have implemented the Conner Prairie training program through a DVD/CD-ROM resource created by the park.