27 October 2011 // Thoughts

10 Keys for Successful Museum Experiences: What Happens When They Leave?

Welcome to another installment of Blog N’ Learn, where we unravel the mysteries of museum and attraction design.  In our latest series, we’re offering 10 keys to creating successful museum experiences courtesy of our VP of Marketing and Business Development, Shawn McCoy.  Last week, we learned that designing for the audience and accommodating various learning styles and demographics will help ensure maximum enjoyment and minimum boredom.  But how do you keep guests coming back, and how do you make their experience extend past your exit doors?  Shawn tackles these questions today with Steps 3 and 4.

Mapping our Tears, Cincinnati, OH

3. Connect on an emotional level by telling authentic, personal stories

If you want to create a truly memorable guest experience, you have to connect to guests on an emotional, personal level. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to tell authentic, personal stories from your unique history. People relate to other people, so if these stories can be told in the words and voices of those who lived them, via text panels or audio and visual presentations, these experiences can have a great impact on visitors.

4. Deliver strong takeaway messages

The best museum experiences are those that are designed to leave guests with a strong understanding of the key messages about the subject matter. Guests want to better know what makes your subject matter special. By creating exhibit experiences that convey this uniqueness in a clear and exciting manner, guests will feel like they have gained valuable insight for having visited the museum.

While having personal stories and takeaway messages will help encourage repeat visitation, nothing kills a trip to the museum like walking in and seeing dated or cookie-cutter interactives or graphics.  Shawn shares the secrets of keeping your museum current, cutting edge and one-of-a-kind in our next segment.  Until then, create some museum memories with your family and friends this weekend, and thanks for reading.