03 November 2011 // Thoughts

10 Keys for Successful Museum Experiences: Only Here

In parts one and two of our 10 Keys for Successful Museum Experiences, VP of Marketing and Business Development Shawn McCoy has counseled us to:

  1. Design for the audience
  2. Accomodate various ages, demographics and learning styles
  3. Connect on an emotional level by telling authentic, personal stories
  4. Deliver strong takeaway messages

But what makes people come back for more?  And how do you keep museum content fresh?

STEP 5 – Make the exhibits flexible and updateable

Today’s audiences are used to having access to ever-changing information, therefore your exhibits should be able to accomodate that change. While the historical elements of your experience will rarely, if ever, have to change, a portion of your exhibits, graphic panels and media, should be designed to allow you to keep the content up-to-date.  For example, you could feature a number of media-based displays so that you can easily update with current information or relevant news stories. Or, more simply, you can design your display systems so that new artifacts can be added over time.

The content for the JRA-designed Reds Hall of Fame is updated as new members are inducted.

STEP 6 – Provide “only here” experiences

Given that your guests have access to most of the information that you will be presenting within your museum via the internet, you have to give them a reason to leave the comfort of their home. The way to do this is create “only here” experiences. These could range from the display of unique artifacts or physical interactives, or immersive environments or media presentations that they could only experience at the museum. You could also provide “only here” merchandise that will not only give your guests to purchase a unique take-home gift, but will also help increase your retail sales.

Remember, higher repeat visitation equals increased ticket revenue, higher per caps on food and retail, and potentially more members and donors, all of which add up to greater long-term fiscal stability.

Next time, Shawn shares the secrets of how to make your museum a true community steward, as well as how to create events and programs that will keep your content relevant and exciting.

Thanks for reading.  Until then, take time enjoy an “only here” museum experience with your friends and family, and feel free to send us your feedback.