How to Capitalize on Trends to Grow Your Museum’s Value
May 2, 2019
Images of austerity and quiet repose often arise when people envision visits to their local museum. They foresee a library-esque experience compounded with a “look, but don’t touch the artwork” activity while they cautiously navigate statuesque museum halls.
However, museum trends are in a state of flux and progress. Alongside society-wide technological and social evolvements have sprung numerous ways in which museums integrate visitors into their space. Moreover, trends in ticketing and crowd control offer opportunities to better manage flow for popular and highly trafficked exhibits.
Instagrammable, Digitally Attractive Shows
One of the more pronounced museum trends is to create Instagrammable shows. Museums enable this platform for visitors via immersive, picture-taking spaces.
According to the WSJ article, The Top Selfie-Worthy Museum Shows, “Shows with multi-sensory elements or artist-created interactive environments that shine in selfies are at a premium.”
Enabling visitors to enhance their online visibility amid the beautiful backdrop of museum art provides an ‘it’ factor for digitally networked people. As well, by encouraging selfies, museums reap the digital-marketing value of hash-tagged images linking to their location.
“More than 215 million Instagram posts are tagged ‘art,’ with museums like the Louvre in Paris and New York’s Museum of Modern Arts tagged more than a million times each,” the WSJ article continues.
In addition to sharing Instagram moments, museum visitors are parlaying their immersive experiences across Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, WeChat, etc.
Special Events + Meetups
While it may seem counterintuitive to combine special events entertainment with the learning mission of museums, there is good reason to consider taking the leap.
The desire for new knowledge is a shared trait across generations; however, the ease with which we now can tap into all forms of online learning, such as through Google searches, erodes the motivation to venture out to the local museum.
With that said, museums can bridge that motivation gap with special event promotions that enhance learning while resonating with visitors’ desires for social connection.
Charles Venable of Newfields (formerly, Indianapolis Museum of Art), “launched a beer garden alongside spring flower blooms and generated significant new audience traffic: more than 50 percent of visitors were between the ages of 18-44, and the biggest segment was 18-34 in comparison to the previous spring.”
What better way to activate the senses and deepen engagement with a visitor than to involve them physically and creatively in co-developing art? Museums can do this within an existing exhibit and/or alongside the artist. These participatory exhibits, which are finding their way into some museums, have drawn acclaim.
For example, sculptor Pawel Althamer’s artistic practice is based on this type of participative approach. His exhibition at the New Museum’s Fourth Floor gallery is “transformed through the gradual accumulation of drawings and paintings by Museum visitors … . The New Museum provides all paint and drawing materials for this installation.”
Virtual Reality Tours
Immersing museum visitors through virtual reality technology augments the museum modernization playbook while transforming the visitor experience.
Building waves beyond museum exhibitions, VR enables visitors to “journey to the depths of the ocean, the far edges of outer space or even inside the human body,” according to Charlotte Coates, in the article, How Museums Are Using Virtual Reality?, as she describes aspects of Franklin Institute’s Virtual Reality experience.
Once new and unfamiliar technology, VR is now more common and accessible. The VR concept, once boiled down, is fairly simple. Because of this accessibility, “VR is being used to create museum tours, make exhibits interactive, and to bring scenes to life. It can help curators to put objects in context and show their true scale,” explains Coates.
She shares several other examples of VR in action, including the VR exhibit at the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki that transported visitors back in time to 1863. Stepping inside a specific scene within the artist’s painting, visitors also could converse with depicted characters.
The additional value of immersive experiences links to the museum’s bottom line. The indelible impression left on their visitors expands potential audience demographics and thus increases return visits.
Further, the benefits of VR technology to persons with disabilities is profound. It can enable persons with mobility issues to transport to otherwise inaccessible locations.
“For example, The Kremer Museum is the first all virtual reality museum,” according to Betsy Walling Furler, in the article, The Importance of VR for People With Disabilities.
“The 74 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings can only be viewed through a VR headset. The paintings remain hanging in a private gallery in The Netherlands but the exhibit is able to be viewed around the world through VR headsets,” continues Furler.
Moreover, the opportunity for students to immerse in experiential museum environments is enabled by institutions such as the International Museum of World War II. In this experience that spans multiple WWII perspectives, “Students are encouraged to handle many of the artifacts, providing an intimate and sensory experience.”
The advantages of this type of experience are multifold, including imparting political, social and cultural lessons such as the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of war.
As is often the case for such experiential exhibits, a waiver is required to attend. ACME Ticketing has just the technology solution to facilitate such waivers, ensuring a streamlined visitor experience.
The Louvre anticipates unprecedented visitor figures attending their Leonardo da Vinci Extravaganza this fall. As such, they seek to quell crowds, and this is where timed ticketing comes into play.
This obligatory-for-all ticketing “will enable us to manage the flow of visitors and prevent them from queuing,” says Louvre president-director Jean-Luc Martinez.
ACME Ticketing’s offers technology to operationalize timed-ticketing processes, enabling more museums to easily adopt this trend.
The struggle for museums to compete amid burgeoning technological and social trends is real. If you are seeking systems, processes and solutions to help bolster your competitiveness, then contact us today at [email protected] or click here for a complimentary demo of how ACME can help.