Interpret Europe Training days | 7-11 October 2022  | #ietrainingdays22

If you have ever wondered how heritage interpretation works in practice, this is the moment for you. Devised and run by Interpret Europe trainers, workshops will give you a taste of IE training courses, as well as explore some further topics, such as sustainability and community involvement.

You will be able to create your own programme, selecting from a variety of parallel activities on Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October. Please note, slight changes to this part of the programme may occur. Therefore, registrations for single activities will open on 20 September. 

Some workshops will be run only in the Spanish language and a special meeting will be organised for the Iberian interpretive community on Saturday afternoon.

You can request a confirmation of attendance for the workshops you are going to attend.

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List of workshops

Getting to grips with meaning
Sandy Colvine (France) and Zsuzsa Tolnay (Hungary)
We all know when we’ve had a meaningful experience. We remember, often vividly, the emotional and cognitive reactions we felt at that particular moment far more than most facts, dates or figures that fade quickly from our minds. Making someone meaningful answers that “So what?” question and opens doors in our minds, triggers thought processes. Meaning-making is fundamental to interpretation, whether teaching guides or designing interpretive plans, yet it can be a tricky concept to grasp for many, especially when there is limited time. 

This workshop features a blend of theory and practical exercises to explore and give a deeper understanding to meaning, taking it from a concept to something more ‘real’. It explores the relationship between meanings, inspiration and provocation that engage intellectual and emotional intelligence, building bridges between objects and people that make perfect sense yet can at first appear somewhat daunting. So join us for a fun and thought-provoking session where we get to grips with meaning.

Becoming an interpretive character
Iva Silla (Croatia)

Live interpretation is a vehicle that transports us into a distant time or a different world. It blends living history and heritage interpretation into a strong bond between the visitors and the site they’re visiting. Whether you are already experienced in costumed guiding or can only imagine yourself stepping in the shoes of a different character, this workshop is for you. The only condition is that you wish to get a taste of Interpret Europe’s toolkit for live interpretation. 

By the end of this workshop, you will understand the benefits of quality live interpretation and the dangers of those that don’t follow the quality standards. Through presentations, discussion and engaging exercises, we will get a glimpse into the creation of an interpretive character. This is a good starting point for the future development of a character that will inspire the audience.

The transformational power of IE courses
Iva Silla (Croatia)

Can you imagine training that isn’t just beneficial for the individuals? Rather, it can also spark changes within communities. Some of our courses have proved to be just that, under the right circumstances. When a small community embraces the benefits of heritage interpretation, this can lead to new projects under deliberate and sustainable management.

This workshop demonstrates how our training can be transformational on many levels and thus operate as a perfect element in EU funded projects. Interpret Europe’s recent initiative, Recreating Tourism, showcased several examples of destination management organisations that built upon our CIG training. We will show implementation of the principles of heritage interpretation after our training. This workshop will also offer a selection of exercises related to group dynamics, and team-building opportunities. We will share guidelines on how to get the most of our courses for the multiplied effects in tourism destinations or in heritage communities.

Interculturality: cultural values
Samia Zitouni (Croatia)

The ITC workshop (Interculturality workshop) will be focused on topics of identity concepts and then communication between different cultures and resolving issues. Understanding these concepts contributes to our professional development. Through activities we will explore how one’s cultural perspective influences one’s interpretation, the word choice, cultural communication styles that influence one’s behavior that can be misunderstood and misperceived as 'positive' or 'negative'. 

The activities will take us around cultural values. Understanding these concepts contributes to our professional development. The activities are adapted to interpretation of heritage. This will help us identify which values are most important to us and how emotionally charged our values often are to us. 

The objective is to become aware and know of our own values and to listen and understand another person’s values. Values are not right or wrong, they are different and they affect our behaviour. Values and beliefs are beneath the surface, they are hard to see, but they are at the root of important decisions and challenging intercultural situations.

Interculturality: identity and intercultural communication
Samia Zitouni (Croatia)

The ITC workshop (Interculturality workshop) will be focused around the topics of identity concepts and then communication between different cultures and resolving issues. Understanding these concepts contributes to our professional development. Through activities we will explore how one’s cultural perspective influences one’s interpretation, the word choice, cultural communication styles that influence one’s behavior that can be misunderstood and misperceived as 'positive' or 'negative'.

The activities will take us to explore certain communication patterns to challenge the assumption that speaking the same language is the most important aspect of intercultural communication and to enable us to recognize communication barriers. The activities are adapted to interpretation of heritage. These activities explore our own cultural awareness, moving to deeper levels of personal connection. Identity over time and across space.

Interculturality: stereotyping, prejudices and generalisation
Samia Zitouni (Croatia)

The ITC workshop (Interculturality workshop) will be focused around the topics of stereotyping and auto stereotyping, the dangers or stereotypes, prejudices and generalisation. Stereotyping occurs when 'oversimplified' characteristics are used to judge a group of people or an individual visitor. They often exist only in the mind of the observer. Generalisations (or 'cultural norms') form a pattern of communication used by the majority of people in any cultural group, and when it is applied to everyone in a group in a rigid manner – we shifted to ‘stereotyping’. 

Understanding these concepts contributes to our professional development. Join this workshop in order to learn how to identify these traps at your own work. In particular, heritage interpreters, while working towards inclusivity, openness to various perspectives and encouraging exchange among participants, should also work toward freeing oneself from false judgements. You will also be able to choose wisely how to provoke the participation from your visitors once you identify their ‘blind spots’ and the ‘one truth’ they cherish about certain phenomena that people often overlook in themselves.

Guiding style - Discover your own way of interpretation
Piotr Idziak (Poland)

Since interpretation is an art, there are many different approaches to it. Just like in art, we can call it ‘styles’. For example, guides may focus more on creating an interesting story or rather have a lively conversation with the group. The guide can run entertaining activities, or rather,  lead participants along secret paths to uncover hidden mysteries. These may be some basic styles of interpretation but there are many more to discover! What's your personal style? What kind of guiding is ‘natural’ for you?

This workshop is primarily a special time for us to focus on our personal strengths - the ‘secret powers’ of guiding. We’ll discuss the role of the guide's personality in communicating with the group and understanding the heritage. We will strengthen the discussion through group activities and field experiences. The workshop consists of exercises that will help us to be more aware of our own, particular way of interpretation – come and discover your style!

Heritage interpretation and youth 
Iva Čaleta Pleša (Croatia)

Youngsters and children are often visitors to heritage sites, especially within school groups. And yet, how many interpreters are gifted or trained to work with them? If you have ever run educational programmes at heritage sites, you must confess children are very special as visitors, requiring a different approach to keep them motivated, enthused, to direct their energy and in particular to engage them in meaningful activities that are appropriate for their age and interests. 

Interpret Europe has been developing a training module on interpretation for children. Join me to get a glimpse of the brand new training activity, while also getting some food for thought and a few skills that you will be able to employ right away.

Natural and cultural heritage hand in hand
Marija Fajdiga (Slovenia)

Each of us has our own connection to nature and we create different meanings about it.
The proverb 'to hear grass growing'  indicates the sensitivity we can develop. You might know other sayings about nature that show how people create meanings about natural environment. However, in different historical periods, attitudes towards nature were different and nowadays, interpreters are still trying to evoke love for nature in society. One of the best ways to achieve this is through culture and human aspects of life. Nevertheless, nature and culture are in most cases closely related. Just remember our gastronomic heritage, crafts and general creativity that are closely related to nature.
This workshop is addressed to professionals working with nature, such as guides or protected area managers. We will exchange ideas about how to connect people with nature with a use of cultural aspects.

Interpretative writing - An art that can be learned
Simana Markovska (Bulgaria)

Most of us have travelled to wonderful places around the world at some point. You might share an opinion that informative panels or other media at heritage sites are often disappointing, they rather put you off than invite you to get to know more or even to help you to connect with heritage phenomena. If you have ever faced a block of black text in a white rectangle, with a photo or two - if we're lucky, then you know what we want to say. Imagine an experience where a phenomenon ‘speaks to you’ directly and reveals secrets of its past. Or tells you stories of places and people it is related to. Or translates emotions such as love, hate, sorrow and happiness. Interpretive media are so much more than a source of information.  

Would you like to learn how interpretive writers create an attractive panel? Welcome to a workshop that would give you a taste of the process. You'll experience the creator's joy when you take an ugly duckling and transform it to a beautiful swan. Take a plain info board and transform it to an interpretive panel.

Hoist the sustainability sail
Pedro Morais (Portugal)

Heritage interpretation should be recognized as an important means for fostering a sustainability mindset. Through interpretation we can create educational experiences that raise local values and encourage participants, local communities and other stakeholders to adopt more sustainable behaviour. 

Rising the level of sustainability is essential in all contexts and interpreters could be important ambassadors while dealing with emotional experiences focused on both natural and cultural heritage.

This workshop embraces a strong reflection about the ways we can reach deeper and significant sustainability outcomes. With several practical activities, we look into the participants’ openness to sustainability, the selection of key phenomena and themes, and the search of connections between global problems and society. A special emphasis will be given to the search of connections with simultaneous sustainability dimensions (environmental, cultural, economic, and social) present on a phenomenon. 

Despite we are dealing with serious sustainability issues we will balance it through fun and enjoyment activities.

Local engagement: a game of mutual trust and inspiration
Valya Stergioti (Greece)

It is widely accepted that engaging with local communities is an essential part of every interpreter’s job. We even claim that local people’s stories, meanings and values regarding the heritage site need to be included in its interpretation. But is this always as simple as it sounds? Where and when should we start? Which tools to use? Is there a one-fits-all rule we could use?*
In this workshop we will think why local engagement is (or should be) of such importance in heritage interpretation. Additionally, we will explore different tools and techniques which are not usually found in academic textbooks, but which have proved to be useful for all types of interpretive professionals, such as planners but also guides, writers and even managers.
*No, there isn’t!

Interpretive training: a luxury or a need?
Valya Stergioti (Greece)

It is not always obvious why tourism and heritage professionals need extra training on heritage interpretation. After all, one could argue that people had been visiting and appreciating heritage sites for centuries before heritage interpretation made its appearance. However, today people wish to actively participate rather than passively follow and look for meaningful experiences rather than storms of facts. In other words, they look for what heritage interpretation, at its best, can offer.
This workshop is designed for site managers and interpretive professionals who wish to explore the possibilities that Interpret Europe’s training programme can offer. We will get a little taste of all our certification courses (for Interpretive Planners, Interpretive Writers and Interpretive Guides) as well as make an introduction to our short, topic-specific modules. Finally, for those interested, we will make specific proposals on how Interpret Europe could provide the much needed luxury of interpretive training at your site.

Interpretation makes culinary experiences tastier
Max Dubravko Fijačko (Croatia)

You might agree that tasty and nicely designed dishes make each tourist experience more memorable. However, we can exceed people’s expectations by offering engaging and emotionally packed journeys around culinary heritage! Interpretive approach will raise interest for our unique heritage offer, but above all, knowing our guests is the most important door opener to reach their minds and hearts.
The power of the interpretive approach is in engaging people with what they may have known from before, and only then take them into the unknown.
This workshop is for all heritage food producers and providers to get an insight into Interpret Europe interpretive principles for gastronomic heritage;  the ‘warp’ and the ‘weft’ of gastronomic interpretation; what is the ‘genius loci’ of the area or the ‘taste of place’; advantages of the participatory approach and exchange of the ideas; the difference between traditional and authentic and more.

Wine stories: is it your story or mine?
Max Dubravko Fijačko (Croatia)

Usually, when it comes to wine and wine tasting, everyone thinks about how to combine wine and food, for example: wine with cheese. But have you ever thought about how to combine wine with people?

Wine has culture, wine has history, wine has its relationships. And when it comes to relationships, let's see how to create space for the exchange between your guests and your wine! Why not try to inspire a relationship on several levels? One of Interpret Europe principles is opening different paths to a deeper meaning. Let’s see if simple wine tasting can be the game changer for providers of interpretive experiences who will also listen, even more than talk. Don’t just tell your story – upgrade it with what visitors bring in.
In this workshop, we will see that uniqueness of your wine story: be it personal heritage, family tradition, specifics of the region, flavours, smell or geology, it is only one ingredient in the success recipe. We will discuss what ingredients are brought into your story by visitors themselves. Are you open to co-create unforgettable experiences together with them?

Who should come to whom: participants to the interpreter or vice versa?
Max Dubravko Fijačko (Croatia)
One of the most powerful ideas of interpretation is revelation of different perspectives.

And one of the most powerful tools in interpretation is themes. Some might say: a strong theme is the king! But, is it really the central and by no means changeable part of interpretive content? What if participants on our guided walks can’t connect with what we told them? Is there a way for us to share more inclusive and open-ended stories while still using themes? What is the theme? Can it be changed during interpretation? Or is that a blasphemy? 

Huh, so many questions! We will search for answers. Together.

This workshop is for those who are already familiar with interpretive principles. We will open themes like: Meaning-taking is good but meaning-making is better; a strong theme is good but an open theme is better; storytelling is good, but story-sharing is better; one door is good but many doors are better; how to learn from, not just about. I’ll share with you six concrete tools for creative interpreters. We will use different perspectives and be open for revelations! 

Interpretation for children
Ivana Zrilić (Croatia)

Children are the decision-makers of the future. Can interpretive programs give children a responsibility towards the use of the natural environment and a respect for cultural and historic heritage? I believe you'll agree with me that it can. But how? We are often amazed by children's awareness and perception of natural things when they are little. They ask the simplest yet the most logical questions. Somehow this ability is lost as we grow older. We stop touching things, exploring, and inquiring and many of us recognise the need later in live of gaining back these skills. What skills and knowledge do interpreters need in order to meet children where they are? How can we let ourselves connect with the world around us in the way children do and prepare programmes with important consideration for our common future in mind?

At this workshop, we will look into some special requirements for effective interpretation for and with children, and experience some examples of techniques that educators can use. We will also explore how to bring environmental concepts such as diversity, interrelatedness, preservation and conservation in the exchange with children.

Planning for interpretive experiences 
Helena Vičić (Slovenia) 
At its best, interpretive sites should provide visitors and locals with experiences that help people to immerse themselves, reflect upon heritage and its values, get into exchange with other people, learn from participating in a meaningful activity and, thus, grow as people.
Therefore, classic informative panels might not have a chance to make an impact on people.
If you are curious how interpretive planners create effective interpretative services, join this interactive workshop that will shed light on a complexity of the entire process. We will also consider how interpretive qualities such as turning heritage into experiences, encouraging participation, connecting people with heritage and with each other, and fostering stewardship for all heritage, assure excellence in visitor experiences.

Dialogue for Landscapes – Five Tools
Eva Sandberg (Sweden)
One of the most important aims for interpretation is to contribute to dialogues on the future of our European landscapes. To strengthen environmental citizenship and action locally for global sustainability. In this workshop we will explore the role as facilitator for dialogues of values the landscapes we want to connect with.

We will share, try out and discuss ten exercises from a new toolbox for dialogue in nature recently produced for the Environmental Protection Agency and County Administrations in Sweden. The toolbox was partly inspired by the IE Certified Interpretive Guide course and produced by Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation. 

Workshops for Spanish speaking participants

Las cualidades de la interpretación del patrimonio en la práctica
Evarist March Sarlat (Spain)
La interpretación del patrimonio es un proceso de aprendizaje no formal que ocurre cuando las personas visitan la naturaleza o un sitio cultural en su tiempo libre. Muchos expertos en conservación de la naturaleza, turismo y cultura están preocupados por cómo brindar a los visitantes o locales la mejor experiencia posible y recurren a la interpretación. Los principios interpretativos son pegadizos y fáciles de entender, sin embargo, la interpretación es un conjunto de habilidades, al igual que los deportes o las manualidades, que no se puede integrar solo a partir de los libros. Únase a este taller introductorio para experimentar la interpretación personal en el trabajo y sentir la diferencia.

El taller será muy dinámico, demostrando diferentes herramientas, técnicas y estructuras de contenido, siguiendo los estándares de calidad de Interpret Europe. Obtendrá una idea de las oportunidades para la actualización de sus propios conocimientos y habilidades y aprenderá algunos consejos rápidos para cambiar su práctica de inmediato.

Interpretando la naturaleza: transcendiendo lo obvio
Evarist March Sarlat (Spain)
La naturaleza es un mundo multidimensional que ofrece tantas posibilidades para interpretarla como guías e ideas existen. Sin embargo, ¿alguna vez te has preguntado cómo mejorar las experiencias de los visitantes a través del guiado en la naturaleza? Algunos clientes pueden tener un gran interés y te siguen a todas partes, otros no están muy entusiasmados. A veces, incluso nosotros, que guiamos a las personas a diario, nos quedamos sin ideas sobre cómo involucrar a las personas en nuestro patrimonio y comenzamos a dudar de nuestras habilidades.

Acompáñanos en el taller sobre interpretación de fenómenos naturales donde obtendrás una idea de las posibles formas de despertar la imaginación e involucrar a las personas más allá de la experiencia guiada habitual.

A lo largo de varias actividades, analizaremos las diferentes características y dimensiones que hacen que la naturaleza sea única y exploraremos cómo utilizar esta singularidad para crear experiencias patrimoniales inolvidables. Identificaremos algunas de las múltiples relaciones entre el patrimonio natural y cultural y observaremos diferentes herramientas y métodos que utilizan los Guías Interpretativos Certificados IE para el desarrollo de actividades interpretativas guiadas en la naturaleza.

El poder transformador de los cursos de Interpret Europe
Iva Silla (Croatia)
¿Te imaginas un curso de formación que no sea solo beneficioso para los individuos, sino que también pueda provocar cambios dentro de las comunidades? Algunos de nuestros cursos han demostrado lograr precisamente eso. Cuando una pequeña comunidad acepta los beneficios de la reinterpretación del patrimonio, se puede generar una gestión consciente y sostenible de los recursos locales y propiciar nuevos proyectos que revaloricen el territorio.

Este taller ofrece una capacitación que puede ser transformadora en varios niveles. Así lo demuestran los varios ejemplos exitosos de organización y gestión de destinos turísticos de la reciente iniciativa de Interpret Europe ‘Recreating Tourism’ donde fue aplicada nuestra capacitación CIG. En el taller vamos a darles las herramientas para implementar estos principios de forma que puedan aplicarlos a la reinterpretación del patrimonio. Asimismo, el taller ofrecerá una selección de ejercicios relacionados con dinámicas de grupo que permitan generar oportunidades de trabajo en equipo. Finalmente, compartiremos pautas sobre cómo aprovechar al máximo nuestros cursos.

Izar la vela de la sostenibilidad
Pedro Morais (Portugal)
La interpretación del patrimonio debe reconocerse como un medio importante para fomentar una mentalidad de sostenibilidad. A través de la interpretación podemos crear experiencias educativas que eleven los valores locales y animen a los participantes, las comunidades locales y a otros agentes a adoptar comportamientos más sostenibles. Elevar el nivel de sostenibilidad es esencial en todos los contextos y los intérpretes pueden ser valiosos embajadores cuando utilizan experiencias emocionales tanto enfocadas en el patrimonio natural como cultural.

Este taller apunta hacía una fuerte reflexión sobre las diferentes formas en las que podemos conseguir alcanzar resultados de sostenibilidad más profundos y significativos. Con diferentes actividades prácticas, trataremos de descubrir la apertura de los participantes hacia la sostenibilidad, la selección de fenómenos y temas clave, así como la búsqueda de conexiones entre los problemas globales y la sociedad. Se hará especial énfasis en las conexiones de cada fenómeno que simultáneamente llegan a todas las dimensiones de la sostenibilidad (ambiental, cultural, económica y social).  A pesar de que estamos lidiando con serios problemas de sostenibilidad, trataremos de equilibrarlos con actividades divertidas para disfrutar.

Encuentro: Iberia en la interpretación (reunión para participantes de habla española y portuguesa)
Los días de formación de Interpret Europe “IE Training days’  son un momento de encuentro para muchas culturas y profesiones. Todos tienen una cosa en común: el amor por el patrimonio y pasión por la interpretación. El encuentro reunirá a intérpretes de España y Portugal, o incluso de otros países de ultramar que comparten el  idioma. Ofrecerá a los participantes un espacio para presentar su trabajo o su organización y para buscar oportunidades de colaboración. Sea que represente a una empresa, institución, su propia actividad independiente o una autoridad pública, no pierda esta oportunidad de intercambiar información sobre el desarrollo de la interpretación en la Península Ibérica.

More information

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