We do occasionally get venues that have made the commitment and installed assisted, accessible- or Changing Places- toilets- telling us that they don’t think the facility is being used.
The commercial reality is that a Changing Places can only have a positive impact on your bottom line: according to VisitEngland, disabled travellers represent a £12.1bn market. If you install one, people who may not otherwise have visited, come.
My immediate response to any comment about usage is, “Have you told people you have it?” So often, they haven’t! Even something as small as putting up signage- some of which we provide anyway as part of our installation package- helps let people know.
It is not a major process, nor expensive to promote. It depends what type of venue you are as to which promotional tools work best but a few ideas are:
- If you have a marketing department, make it aware of the toilet
- put up clear signage with the main toilet signs
- put up an A-board or similar explaining WHAT a Changing Places is: not all people who need them know what they are
- tell staff about it, where it is, how it is accessed etc, and be graphic in its value so they understand how important it is to potential users: you wouldn’t change a baby on the floor, so why anyone bigger..?
- promote it on your website
- promote it on social media- and remember, there are specialist pages etc for accessible toilets, Changing Places, disabled travellers, wheelchair users
- if you have a PA system, mention it via that mechanism during busy times
- If you produce a newsletter, publicise the Changing Places in that
- Talk to your local media about your commitment to disabled people
- Liaise with organisations such as your local tourist board, VisitEngland, OpenBritain so they know you have the facility and can spread the word on your behalf
The louder you shout about a facility, the further the message spreads.
And remember, it is an ACCESSIBLE toilet- so make it so. WE hear so many stories fron people who have gone to use the facility, but can’t find it, it is locked, staff don’t know about it etc.
Make it as accessible as possible- ensure ALL front-of-house staff know about it, where it is, how it is accessed. Ideally, make access via a RADAR key. If it is accessed via authorised staff, ensure there is always someone available during opening hours.
Otherwise, you might as well have flushed the money down the toilet….