Also, the phenomenon known as "museum fatigue" does drain most visitors after two hours. Why should I have to wait until I am done with my visit? Some of the best truly interactive exhibits I have seen did not have a computer in sight – they were entirely powered by Post-It notes and Bic pens! In this era of easy payments and ordering, there should be a way to select items as I walk through. People love easy, not hard! The playwright August Wilson once said, "Art doesn't change the world, art changes people, and people change the world," In the 2010 show, "This Progress," the artist Tino Seghal made this his focus by clearing out entire Guggenheim Museum galleries of art works so that visitors could come and discuss what the notion of progress meant to them, as they progressed through the otherwise empty galleries. As museum professionals we’re accustomed to using a specialized set of acronyms, words, and phrases that the museum field has agreed upon as a common language. In the great art museums, which often do have great bookshops, I still walk through the place compiling a list of books I would like to buy or artists I want to learn more about. Using Social Media to build an online community for the museum. For families with young children, a major deterrent from visiting museums is the idea that many are not family-friendly. How can museums transform visitors from passive museum audience to active content generator, and from visitor to friend and follower? We also live in a world where the public is daily offered immersive, engaging experiences, whether at stores like Nordstrom and Whole Foods Market, at Build-a-Bear and Apple stores, in Puzzle and Panic rooms, at SXSW and Maker Faires, and in experiences like iFly and TopGolf. The whole idea of going to a museum is to learn something new and expand your mind. How much is your earned income per visitor and per square foot? The International Spy Museum in Washington has been a big hit since it opened in 2002. ... To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. If you want to engage new communities and attract new museum visitors you need to look beyond your obvious allies. August 05, 2020. Ask them what they think the community needs from a museum. Between 1997 and 2012, the Census Bureau reports that American retailing grew 71.6% and “amusement, gambling, and recreation” grew 69.0%, while “museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums” grew 102.8% and for-profit museums grew 152.5% (to $1.2 billion in revenues). Factor in the excitement of leaving school and venturing into a different city or neighborhood, and it becomes clear why field trips can be a calorie-burning activity for our students. August 8, 2017. Winning Exhibitions: Identifying What Works and Where You Can Improve Go With the Flow. The best way to approach the various challenges that come with running a museum is to develop a management strategy that utilizes all the tools at your disposal. As I continue to visit museums and other tourist attractions, I see many signs of progress. Whether the museum collects, borrows, or, as with science museums, creates much of its exhibit materials, what matters is how the museum uses the objects and information to educate and inform. It is at least as important as pricing and sometimes even content. Exhibiting the work was something of an afterthought. How do you stack up in these regards with other museums and with amusement and entertainment competitors like movie theaters and Family Entertainment Centers (FECs). This is because they do not change or re-arrange their stories (little or nothing is on wheels) and they do not continually excite and engage the visitor. There are several components to convenience, including location (be near your competitors; cluster museums into districts), parking, hours (many museums close at 5PM, just when people have free time), and sight-lines (in one popular music museum, every exhibit label was at ankle level, impossible to see when crowded). In my hundreds of museum visits, only twice did I find the head of the museum on the floor talking to “customers.”  One was the director of the great Chrysler Art Museum in Norfolk, who I now discover is widely regarded in the industry as a visionary for his approach to customers. When I visit an art museum, I would like to know what the artist was like, where she lived, how his life progressed, whether she went insane from the chemicals in the paints, or why he cut off his ear. I think the importance of museums is often overlooked. As an amazing, positive example, visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington – it is essentially a complete chronological story, a truly three-dimensional “movie” that you walk through sequentially instead of passively sitting in a seat and watching. Consider museum websites: if you type into a Google search box the name of most any museum, you find the most common searches come up in a dropdown list from Google. As I studied the museum industry, I realized it was really weak in human development in the sense that the number two person in a museum must wait for her boss to move on, or she must move on herself in order to personally grow. It attracts over 700,000 visitors a year at a pricey $22 per adult despite being surrounded by free museums like the Smithsonian. The American Alliance of Museums provides resources to help you understand the issues and challenges related to starting and sustaining a successful museum. I believe that the most important ingredient in immersive experiences is storytelling. What is the most famous museum in your country? One was a retired centrifugal amusement park ride, where you stand up and spin around in a circle, and the other was a pickup truck on a platform at the other end of a giant lever – even kids could pull the rope that dangled from one end, lifting the pickup truck on the other end into the air. Some of my friends said, “Well the Spy Museum is different, everybody loves spy stories.”  But that is nonsense: any subject in the hands of the right storyteller can be compelling and of interest to a wide swath of the public. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash. What makes a museum successful? What is your average price per hour for your visitors? This “playground for people of all ages” in a former shoe warehouse is one of the most exciting and engaging of the 600 museums I visited, drawing over 700,000 visitors a year. Not every student has a smart phone, but making it an option for documenting their experience by taking photos (check with museum rules pertaining to their permanent collections and special exhibits), typing notes and sharing it with their classmates via social networks might be a way for making the experience fun. This form of artistic social practice allows people to talk about issues that are important to them, and with most socially engaged artworks, builds community in the process. By taking a closer look at museum exhibit design — you will see such designers are able to tap into the senses as they choreograph different elements like narrative and interaction to spark visitor curiosity. These thoughts reflect a world in which education is more important than ever, but evolving rapidly with great innovations like Ted conferences, Khan Academy,, Udemy, and Coursera. One responder of the Museum Survey mentioned these when asked what might interest them to visit more: “Extended evening hours, more events like … Co-authors: 7. Every merchant knows you must continually freshen the store, even if it means just moving things around, or pulling something old out of the back and making a display about it at the front. The museum business has boomed. Nevertheless, the industry has not kept up with these trends in society. Having in-person events, lectures, music, drinks, films at museum. It is our role as educators to help our students understand that the artworks inside museums are part of our human heritage, and are never as great as the young person whose gaze brings them to life. Seeing the museum as a place for expression and interaction is key to making an unforgettable experience for the students. On my first visit to the beautiful Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, I was blown away by a stunning exhibit on jellyfish, some of the most beautiful and dangerous beings on earth. Share this article; To keep museums refreshed and engaging, so much time, effort, and of course, money is poured into the creation of new exhibits, and the upkeep of existing ones. What’s special about it? Over and over again, at museums, I have to ask, “Where is the nearest bookstore?” Museums draw among the most educated customers of any industry, yet many do not respect those customers. My emphasis here is on the museum as a critically important part of our educational system, rather than the archiving and preservation roles that many museums also serve. Go to town halls and get in touch with leaders of the community. Offer accompanying music or a treasure hunt game throughout the visit. Your collection may be highly focussed but your café, conference and outdoor spaces can play host to all sorts of community groups that don’t share your obvious interests. The expectations of the public are higher than ever. Science museums rarely tell the story of the trials and tribulations of the great inventors and researchers. I toured one of the nation’s top science museums. This exercise also helps both teachers and students understand that talking about art does not require a specialized language. Many museum executives do not work on Saturdays, whereas their industry is even more dependent on weekend traffic than are most retailers, who are at work on Saturdays. It was built on imagination. Some teachers have their students dress as their favorite piece of art, and stand before it taking questions from visitors. To deliver a superior CMS experience to the museum digital visitors, you need to know who your users are and their expectations. Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik via flickr (CC BY 2.0). The Dallas Museum of Art, she said, “is flipping the membership model so it is more commercial and allows people to earn points and come back for more.” ... “We are aiming to increase … These organizations have training and development systems that insure growth opportunities for the most talented people. 2) Improve Accessibility For Young Visitors. Many museum leaders are not comfortable with budgets, spreadsheets, and financial analysis. When I visited the Independence Hall visitor center in Philadelphia, all the rest rooms were out of order or had no toilet paper – at any well-run retail store, that would never be tolerated. With the sharp decline of the latter two, museums are now the best places to explore the new and the future. Ask your students to come up with a list of words that they use to describe friends, frenemies, and celebrities such as "mysterious," "funny," "loud," or "angry." Using online community to drive visitors to museum. Consider museum websites: if you type into a Google search box the name of most any museum, you find the most common searches come up in … Do these pictures taken in museums look familiar? Today, bigger museums might rely on their prestige and reputation to attract private wealthy donors, while smaller museums might rely on enabling the … Brendan Ciecko. Afterwards, students will take turns guiding their classmates through the museum to their favorite artwork and discuss it from the outside in, thereby connecting the work to what is personally most important. In my experience as an entrepreneur, I generally believe I should be able to deliver twice the quality at half the price of established organizations by rethinking things from scratch. How much is your capital investment per annual visitor? When I began to think of creating a new museum, I started listing all the different subjects where few if any museums exist: the museum of the home, of the office, of weather, of the brain, of religion, of advertising and graphic arts, of education, or travel, and on and on.