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(Images courtesy of the National Comedy Center)
(Images courtesy of the National Comedy Center)

National Comedy Center visitors give outstanding marks to new 'LaughSafe' health & safety program

Submitted

Wed, Jul 29th 2020 02:35 pm

99% of guests say they feel safe, recommend visiting museum 

The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and nonprofit museum dedicated to comedy, has surveyed guests who have visited the venue since it reopened its doors nearly four weeks ago – and the results are in.

Visitors are giving the Comedy Center high marks for “LaughSafe,” its new, state-of-the-art health and safety program, which has transformed one of the most interactive museums in the country and revamped the experience with new health and safety protocols specifically designed for the COVID-19 era. The post-visit research results confirm 99% of National Comedy Center guests feel comfortable and safe during their visit, and report their museum experience has been worry-free, stress-free and touch-free.

Key findings for surveys conducted with visitors in recent weeks indicate an overwhelming majority would recommend a visit to the National Comedy Center to friends and family during the current COVID-19 situation, and do not feel that the new health and safety protocols negatively impact their visitor experience.

Specific results include: 

√ 99% of visitors feel “safe” or “very safe.”

√ 99% of visitors would recommend a visit to the National Comedy Center to friends and family during the current COVID-19 situation. 

√ 100% of visitors rate the National Comedy Center as “clean” or “very clean.”

√ 93% of visitors indicated the new health and safety protocols did not negatively impact their museum experience. 

The National Comedy Center’s Net Promoter Score is holding steady with an extremely strong 80 (a score above 50 is considered “excellent” and a score above 70 is considered “world-class”). The Net Promoter Score measures customer satisfaction, loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals among some of the largest brands in the world including Apple, Amazon and Nike.

The National Comedy Center developed its multifaceted and comprehensive health and safety program in consultation with health professionals and epidemiologists at UPMC Chautauqua and Pittsburgh. “LaughSafe” was implemented upon the National Comedy Center’s reopening to ensure the health and safety of all guests and staff.

A press release said, “In much the same way the Comedy Center redefined the museum visitor experience with state-of-the-art personalization and interactive technology when it first opened in 2018, the ‘LaughSafe’ program has reimagined health and safety protocols in order to ensure a safe, worry-free and touch-free experience for all visitors to the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.”

(Images courtesy of the National Comedy Center)

The centerpiece to the “LaughSafe” program is the “LaughSafe Kit” provided to each visitor upon entry in order to ensure their museum experience is touch-free. The kit features a disposable stylus, disposable earbuds, and a new “LaughCard” with an RFID chip for personalized comedy.

Visitor feedback via open-ended post-visit survey questions resulted in extremely high positive sentiment for their museum experience. Comments include: 

“I honestly don't know how I would improve the LaughSafe Health & Safety Program! The National Comedy Museum is one of the best and most fun museums I have ever been to!” – Guest from Williamsville

“I felt great planning went into making it a ‘touch less’ experience during this time of a pandemic. Hand sanitizer very available as well.” – Guest from Buffalo 

“The National Comedy Center museum was very safe, because everyone had to wear masks, everyone had to touch the screens with their own personal stylist pen, and everyone had to use hand-sanitizer before and after they touched something with gloves on. How much more safe could you be? I felt extremely safe!” – Guest from Williamsville

“Everything was planned exceedingly well to maintain social distancing and non-contact with museum exhibits.” – Guest from Lakeview

“Comedy legend Milton Berle once said that ‘Laughter is an instant vacation.’ We’re pleased that the National Comedy Center can provide a mini-vacation for anyone who needs laughter right now,” stated Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center executive director. “The survey results are telling us everything we had hoped and planned for: Our visitors feel safe and quite comfortable as they spend their day with us, allowing them to laugh freely throughout our museum as they enjoy some of the greatest comedy of all time.”

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who visited the National Comedy Center on Tuesday to host a roundtable of local tourism leaders and encourage all New Yorkers to take a “staycation” and visit the many attractions within Chautauqua County, stated, “We can all use laughter in our lives after the sacrifices we’ve made the past several months. New Yorkers deserve it and the National Comedy Center offers just that. The Comedy Center has taken health and safety protocols a very high level – and they’ve been very creative with how they’ve transformed their interactive exhibits to keep everyone safe.” 

The National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum reopened Friday, July 3, following New York state officials’ authorization of phase four of the “New York Forward” reopening plan for the Western New York region. Both museums had been temporarily closed since March 16, as a precaution due to COVID-19 – just two weeks after the National Comedy Center was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today.

The press release noted, “With its expansive 37,000-square-feet of space, nonlinear, free-flow design, and self-guided, self-paced tour experience, coupled with new reduced capacity to 25%, timed-entry ticketing and touch-free protocols, the National Comedy Center is uniquely suited to enable a safe, socially-distant and worry-free visitor experience. The Center’s rural Chautauqua County home, where relatively few cases of COVID-19 cases have been reported, makes a day trip or overnight visit to Jamestown a perfect family get-away or a ‘staycation’ for those who live close by.”

The “LaughSafe” health and safety program features include:

√ “Touch-Free”: All exhibits and screens are now touch-free with the use of a disposable stylus, disposable earbuds and a new “LaughCard” featuring an RFID chip for personalized comedy. 

√ Temperature checks are required for all guests and staff members upon entry, as well as a daily health screening for staff members. 

√ Masks are required to be worn by staff and guests (including children age 2 and above) at all times. 

√ Museum capacity has been reduced to 25% and timed guest entry protocols have been implemented. 

√ Certain exhibit experiences in contained spaces are limited to small groups consisting of members of same household.

√ Advanced online reservations are strongly recommended to ensure entry. 

√ Social distancing markers and signage have been placed throughout the museum to ensure proper physical distance between guests. 

√ Hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the museum. 

√ Touch-free, contactless payment options are now available. 

√ Museum staff have been trained extensively for new health and safety protocols. 

√ State-of-the-art, deep cleaning and disinfecting techniques have been implemented, including frequent disinfecting throughout the day. 

√ Real-time monitoring of the guest experience and guest feedback to optimize health and safety protocols.

For more on “LaughSafe,” visit ComedyCenter.org/LaughSafe.

In addition to consultation with local UPMC Chautauqua health professionals, the National Comedy Center sourced local Chautauqua County companies for many of its “LaughSafe” initiatives, including The Resource Center and Team Jock Shop for face masks, Jamestown Soap & Solvent for cleaning and disinfecting supplies, and 360 Graphics for signage.

The National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum is operating on a reduced schedule during this reopening phase, with opening hours as follows:

National Comedy Center:

√ Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and Monday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum:

√ Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday

About the National Comedy Center

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st century museum environment.

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