This is a 15 page paper discussing the marketing case of the Vancouver Public Aquarium (1987). In the case presented, the Public Relation Director has to consider a request from the Educational Programs Coordinator to restrict access to the Aquarium for school groups only during the weekday winter hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In considering his alternatives, the Director has to take into account the six significant markets: schools, members, general admissions, donors, volunteers, and scientists in addition to other factors which would be affected by change such as gift store hours, customer satisfaction and improving the efficiency of the advertising budget and campaigns. The case is presented using the Harvard Methodology format: problem definition, alternative solutions, critical success factors, evaluation of the problem and conclusion.
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THE VANCOUVER PUBLIC AQUARIUM CASE Tracey Church 03/2003 Please Problem
Definition The Vancouver Public Aquarium (VPA) offered five formal educational programs to the Vancouver area school system students which would allow classroom field trips of children from kindergarten to grade
12 to visit the Aquarium and have guided tours. The school market is considered a very important one to the non-profit organization and Richard Knight, the Public Relations Director had
received a memo from Elizabeth Dewey, the Educational Programs Coordinator proposing that the Aquarium restrict weekday admissions to only school tours during the hours 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The
reason for the request was because they had received some complaints from members of the general public who found it "irritating to browse through the galleries with all the screaming
kids around" and the teachers had felt that "the feeding performances ... could be geared more to the predominantly younger weekday market" (VPA Case 20, p. 255). Because the non-profit
organization relied heavily upon the school programs within the Aquarium and the revenue generated by the general public, Knight had to consider carefully his response to the request to restrict
access during the day. A second problem presented to Knight was that of a seemingly inefficient advertising campaign in which the population surveyed was not aware of any of the
advertising campaigns by the Aquarium. Since the Aquarium had an advertising budget of $120,000 per year, Knight wanted to explore different possibilities within the advertising budget in accordance with the
request for restricted hours for school groups. Alternative Solutions The VPA in 1986 offered the availability of six school tours per day and averaged about five per day. Despite the