Is a Headset Enabled Tour Guide Right for Your Plant Tours?

By Plant Tours

Most industries hold guided tours of their plants. After all, you don't want visitors wandering unattended! Not only are there potential safety issues. A personally guided tour can also address any questions the visitors might have. In some cases, the environment is quiet, and small tours can function without enhanced means of communication. However, most instances would benefit from using a headset tour guide system for getting your message across to attendees. As the size of the tour increases, so does the possibility of miscommunication. Of course, sound levels play a huge role in determining if a tour needs enhanced communication for a successful outcome.

For example, the background noise in factories drowns out the tour guide's speech. A tour guide headset lets the speaker talk in normal voice. Other instances when a headset-based tour guide system is effective are when silence must be maintained so as not to disturb workers. Office areas and laboratories are excellent examples. The tour guide must communicate with the attendees, while at the same time respect the employees' need for peace and quiet. While it's obvious that large tour groups benefit from headset communications, small groups profit as well. Along with the environment and size of the tour group, the objectives of the tour should be considered.

Objectives for a Successful Facility Tour

One main objective of many plant tours is knowledge. People want or need to know what your facility does. For example:

  1. Investors may want to see how their investments are being spent. A factory tour can show them.
  2. Upper management might want to see the operation of the plant so they can understand what their employees actually do.
  3. Emergency service personnel will want to tour the facility so that better emergency planning reflects all the potential hazards that could occur.
  4. Sometimes customers are just plain curious about how their goods are being manufactured. A plant tour can make them feel more comfortable with your company's procedures.
  5. Often foreign attendees don't understand the language spoken. An interpreter using a headset can act as their tour guide for the plant tours in that case.
  6. Your safety team might need to assess new equipment being installed to make sure the correct operating procedures are being followed.
  7. An ergonomics team may need to observe work stations to ensure that proper work practices are being used.
  8. Maintenance crews often need to tour a facility to assess the operation of critical equipment while it's in operation. A noisy environment makes this difficult if headset communication isn't used.
  9. A service company may need to tour an office area when making a proposal for new equipment installation. If done during office hours, it could be disruptive to office productivity. Headset communication keeps the dialog between them and plant reps quiet and manageable.
  10. What are the expected decibel levels during the tour? There are units available for a variety of noise levels, but not all are good for every environment.
  11. Will PPE (personal protective equipment) be worn during the tour? If hard hats are necessary, make sure your headsets are designed appropriately for that situation. Don't try to "make it work."
  12. How long do you anticipate the tour to last? Choose a headset system that is comfortable for the duration of the tour.

But sometimes, the information flows the other way. By holding a factory tour, your team can assess questions that your customers have about the process. As the host company, you benefit by answering them clearly and concisely, gaining respect, trust, and even admiration for what you do.

In each of those cases, a headset for your tour guide and attendees enhances communication. When the message must be crystal clear, a plant tour headset tour guide system works best.

Headset Communications for Internal Tours

There are reasons a headset tour guide system might be crucial for internal use as well.

For example:

Putting a Successful Plant Tour Together Based On Your Objectives

What do you intend to accomplish with your factory or facility tour? What is your goal? These are a few of the questions you need to ask before selecting a headset tour guide system. The amount of attendee participation to achieve your objective is part of the process in choosing a system.

For example, will the tour be guide driven, with no interaction with the attendees? If that's the case, a simple one-way tour guide system will fill the requirements. However, if attendees will be allowed to ask occasional questions, you might want to employ a one-way system with an additional handheld microphone. Often, this system is also used when a worker at a location during the tour supplies additional information about the station the tour stopped to observe. A two-way headset tour guide system is ideal for more interactive attendee participation. Each tour member has a headset with a microphone. These are often used in assessment or training tours. When clear dialog is essential for success, these units are the best solution.

Putting a Successful Plant Tour Together Based On Your Environment

Finally, there is another consideration when choosing the right headset for your tour guide system: environment. Some of the things to contemplate are:

  1. What are the expected decibel levels during the tour? There are units available for a variety of noise levels, but not all are good for every environment.
  2. Will PPE (personal protective equipment) be worn during the tour? If hard hats are necessary, make sure your headsets are designed appropriately for that situation. Don't try to "make it work."
  3. How long do you anticipate the tour to last? Choose a headset system that is comfortable for the duration of the tour.

Select the Right Headset Tour Guide System for Your Business

It's easy to see that choosing a headset configuration for your tour guide system isn't something to be taken lightly. Contact your communications vendor to make sure you get the best package available for your situation. Ask for a demo kit so you can try out different packages and select the one that fits best.

The right headset tour guide system ensures your important message comes across...Loud and clear!

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