Visitors – what, who and how?

Zoom recording of recent Museums Aotearoa presentations

Last week I participated in Museums Aotearoa’s zui on visitors: What do today’s museum and gallery visitors expect, who are they, and how can we make their visit memorable?

We were 4 presenters, who shared different perspectives on the theme:

Angie Judge, CEO at Dexibit, discussed how and which data analytics can be particularly useful to understand the development of visitation post-lockdown. She recommended 3 metrics:
– % of normal visits on a rolling 7-day average compared to previous year,
– impact assessment of lost visitation and revenue, and
– growth week on week on a 7-day rolling average.
This recovery index could then be benchmarked locally and internationally. Interested organisations can join to get access to a free dashboard.

Gayle Beck, Head of Audiences & Insight at Te Papa shared research on how visitation has been developing at Te Papa as well as insights on audience expectations and behaviour.
Generally visitors are feeling safe and she reported that visitation is growing continuously, in particular on weekends. Te Papa benchmarks versus domestic visits in the previous year, given the borders are closed. However, Te Papa still found a sizeable amount of international visitors (on long-term travel or stranded in NZ), who are keen to see more of the country and visit its attractions.
Gayle shared research on the main reasons why people visited in recent weeks:
– it’s part of locals’ lives
– to spend time with friends & family
– to use the open spaces and cafe as safe places to relax and escape home
– it’s a must-see attraction.

Adrian Kingston, Digital Channels Manager at Te Papa shared the Audience Impact Model.
This is an impressive framework to help the organisation assess the value and impact of what it offers, going far beyond numbers through the door. It is a 5-step model (Attention – Reaction – Connection – Insight – Action) and, importantly, is based on success from a visitor rather then from an organisation point-of-view.

Sabine Doolin, Insight Unlocked. I shared my Manifesto for Audience Focus.
It is often said these days that we should not just go back to normal but to create a new normal. But what does that actually mean? I suggest that a strong audience focus across the whole organisation should be our new normal. And that this time of change is an opportunity to change some of our approaches and to implement some changes to how we work in relation to visitors. I have summarised my thoughts in the Manifesto for Audience Focus. It was great to hear that this resonated with Gayle and her colleagues at Te Papa.

Click here to access the zoom recording.

Author: sabine.doolin

Strategy consultant working with the cultural sector

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