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Visitor Experience Manager

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia - Sydney, NSW

Hospitality, Travel & Tourism
Source: uWorkin


  • Full-time (Sunday to Thursday), permanent position
  • Audience Engagement Division
  • Reports to the Director, Audience Engagement

Overview of the position

The MCA’s vision is to take a leadership role in shaping a creative and equitable Australia that values contemporary art and artists, and we are committed to making contemporary art accessible and inspiring for everyone.

The Visitor Experience Manager is a key member of the Audience Engagement Division, working alongside other managers to champion and foster high levels of visitor experience and engagement. They are responsible for making sure that every aspect of the visitor experience is considered so that visitors receive high standards of customer care.

As the first point of contact with the public, Gallery Hosts, Team Leaders and Visitor Experience volunteers play a crucial role in achieving the MCA’s vision, and in ensuring the visitor experience is excellent. Contemporary art can be a challenging experience, particularly for some of our first-time visitors. Our Host team works to provide a welcoming environment and encourage dialogue with visitors. The Visitor Experience Manager supports and motivates these teams to deliver excellent customer service and achieve goals in line with our vision and values.

This position is responsible for managing gallery operations, including the security of artworks, visitor safety and experience, cloaking information, ticketing, building presentation standards, visitor capacities and flow, visitor assistance, provision of interpretation resources, access and health and safety. They manage and supports our Team Leaders and Visitor Experience Administration Assistant in running the daily gallery operations.

The Visitor Experience Manager plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the Front of House teams are briefed and have clear and consistent communication about the exhibitions and Museum in general. They also advise on wayfinding and signage throughout the Museum. This role delivers practical and relevant information on visitor attendance and audiences to relevant MCA divisions through weekly and seasonal reports.

The Visitor Experience Manager also manages our Volunteer Guide Program and provides support to our volunteers to assist them with their educational and customer service responsibilities in accordance with the MCA’s objectives, policies and standards. They may also be responsible for managing other volunteer roles within the MCA as required. 

The position has financial and administrative responsibilities, participates in cross-departmental project planning, and collaborates with staff across all MCA divisions.

Tasks and responsibilities of the position

Team management

  • Lead, manage and motivate the Visitor Experience team to ensure professional standards of customer service are maintained at the highest level. Responsibilities include setting expectations, performance management, training and development.
  • Line manage Team Leaders and the Visitor Experience Administrative Assistant through regular meetings and in line with the MCA’s standards.
  • Oversee staffing rosters, taking into account budgeting and appropriate staffing structure requirements.
  • In conjunction with the Director, Audience Engagement and Human Resources Manager, recommend and/or deliver training for all staff in WHS, first aid, cultural protocols, disability awareness, emergency evacuation and customer service.
  • Deliver consistent and clear communication to the Visitor Experience team to ensure the highest level of commitment to the MCA’s objectives and agreed standards in dealings with the public.
  • Prepare and deliver regular briefings for staff and ensure appropriate feedback to the Director, Audience Engagement.
  • Manage the MCA Guides program through regular contact with the Guides team to ensure tours are of an excellent standard, Guides are supported in their role and the program is run in line with the MCA’s aims and values.
  • Manage other volunteers as/when required.

Customer care and museum operations

  • Oversee gallery operations, putting in place measures to address WHS visitor flow and capacities to ensure the visitor experience is safe and positive.
  • Be accountable for delivery of KPIs including visitor satisfaction, ticket sales, audio-guide hire, public tours and Spotlight talks.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues to develop the visitor experience for priority audience groups including families, young people, and those with access needs.
  • Plan and run large-scale in-gallery ticketing operations during our summer exhibition and oversee POS event and membership sales throughout the year.
  • Champion all supporter engagement initiatives, including but not limited to driving membership enrolments and increasing donations.
  • Monitor gallery visitation and capacity via Traffic Insight software and other visitor tracking methods.
  • Prepare and deliver regular briefings for Directors and other staff as needed, on visitor statistics, visitor feedback and gallery operations.
  • Respond to visitor complaints (in person and in writing).
  • Gather visitor feedback through external research, Hosts recording visitor comments, event and tour feedback and analyse to determine the quality of our customer care and share with the Director Audience Engagement, and the Leadership team when appropriate.
  • Oversee gallery incidents and ensure timely resolution and notification of issues to the relevant departments.
  • Work closely with Public Programs to develop and evaluate key events, e.g. Film Programs, MCA Late, ARTBAR etc.
  • Attend relevant committees and seminars to keep up to date with best practice visitor experience programs in the not-for-profit and/or art and cultural environment.

Compliance and budgeting

  • Be security conscious; ensure familiarity, cooperation and compliance with the Museum’s duty of care.
  • Work closely with the Building Services Manager and Security to ensure knowledge of health and safety and emergency procedures, including representing the department on the workplace health and safety committee.
  • Work with the Director, Audience Engagement to identify and monitor the budget for Visitor Services.
  • Contribute to team planning and generating ideas for learning programs.
  • Undertake other duties as directed by the Director, Audience Engagement.
  • Be committed to health and safety, child protection and ensure familiarity with all policies and procedures.

Key selection criteria

Essential criteria

Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have:

  • extensive management experience in a busy customer-facing environment, leading a large, highly successful customer service team and managing resources and operations
  • a track record of creating and fostering a high-performance culture, with experience in motivating, supporting, developing and performance-managing staff and volunteers
  • experience developing, implementing and managing systems, staffing levels, rostering software, POS systems and standards, and proficiency in developing, embedding and maintaining procedures
  • experience working with the public within the museums/gallery/tourism/visitor attractions sector
  • experience of recruiting staff and volunteers within a diversity framework
  • experience of identifying needs and devising/delivering induction and bespoke training
  • experience of working with volunteers and an understanding of the principles of best practice in volunteer management
  • experience analysing audiences, tracking visitation and reporting trends
  • the ability to be an audience advocate and an understanding of access issues
  • an understanding of security and operational issues and how these translate into the overall visitor experience
  • experience managing a budget
  • the ability to meet deadlines and to prioritise workload
  • a proactive approach to promoting the principles of diversity and inclusion in relation to visitor, staff and volunteers’ needs
  • a practical working knowledge of WHS legislation and its implementation in a visitor-focused environment
  • experience of incident management and leading emergency procedures in a public environment
  • a current, cleared Working with Children Check.

Desirable criteria

It would be good if applicants have:

  • tertiary qualifications in Museum Studies, Tourism and Leisure, Communications, Fine Arts or relevant experience.
  • a demonstrated interest in contemporary visual arts and culture
  • awareness/knowledge of safeguarding principles and practice
  • a working knowledge of a second language.


Please visit the MCA website to view the full position description and for instructions on how to apply.

Closing date

Midnight, Thursday 11 February 2021.

Working for the MCA

The MCA is committed to equal opportunity and diversity. The MCA promotes a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and where individuals are treated with fairness, equality and dignity.