PART 1 Mini-survey #MuseumTickets: Should museum tickets be seen as a marketing tool?

Museumtickets_title

For this article Anna Mikhaylova (@Madlena_P), currently PhD student in museum studies at Leicester University, and I (@MH_TextWeb), journalist with optional degree in museum management from Hamburg University, have carried out a small survey among museums and museum visitors. Basically, we asked our followers on Twitter to answer a view questions on their use of museum tickets. The goal was to find out, which information on museum tickets is most important for museums and visitors. We want to share the results of this not-representative little survey with you on our blogs (here your find Annas blog “Ideas for museums”). This is the first part.

Which information do museum put on their entrance tickets?

Annas small collection of NYC museum tickets

Annas small collection of NYC museum tickets

In most museums you still get paper tickets when paying the entrance fee. In Denmark I made the experience that visitors don’t get paper tickets at all in public museums, which are free, or on days with free entrance. In many German museums tickets aren’t really “checked” by staff when you enter the museum (especially when the museum is so small, that the staff can overview all visitors when they enter the building). Museum tickets rather are a tool to count visitors.

In our small survey ten museums answered our questions – three Danish, one Swedish, five German and one Austrian. All those museums use paper tickets. Depending on the museum’s size and budget (which we did not look further into), either the museum’s administration, a marketing or visitors service department, an in-house or a freelance graphic designer is responsible for the ticket design. The majority of the museums, who answered the survey, have one type of ticket (6 out of 10). Often this one type can have different designs on the front side, for example showing different pictures from the museum’s exhibition or the museum itself.

Rome visitors can buy one ticket that gives admission to both Colosseum and Forum Romanum

Rome visitors can buy one ticket that gives admission to both Colosseum and Forum Romanum

Some museums have different tickets for different houses (or different museums belonging to one institution) or different cooperation-tickets with other institutions. Others have special annual-season-tickets, for example in credit-card-style. Last but not least, some museums have different types of tickets for adults, reduced entrance, group entrance, etc. Only one out of the ten museums who answered our survey has online tickets, used for special occasions outside the normal opening hours.

Should museums put social media links on their paper tickets?

One reason for writing this blog post was to find out how important links to online pages and social media pages of museums are on museum tickets. – Both for museums and for visitors. The small survey showed that all ten museums put the museum’s name and contact details on their tickets and eight out of ten also add the link to their website. Only one museum (Skagens Museum, Denmark) names social media channels – in a very funny way by adding speech bobbles to famous art works of the Skagen painters, for example saying something like “Have you seen yesterday’s update on Skagens Museum’s Facebook page?” or “Those flowers are yet more beautiful than those Skagens Museum posted on Instagram!”.

Seven out of ten museums, who took part in our mini-survey use pictures from the museum or the exhibition or their logo on entrance tickets. Eight out of ten put the amount of the entrance fee on the ticket as well. Only three of the responding museums print their opening hours on their tickets, too. Other kinds of information on tickets were: ticket number (to count visitors), information on guided tours, special events and a map.

Summing up, we can say that museums seem to put a great amount of information on their tickets, but they don’t focus on promoting links to social media, museum blogs, etc. Anna concludes: “I was really surprised that museums don’t put more social media links (and even links to the websites) on their tickets. For example, the Guggenheim [see: second picture in this post] put the link to the website at Museum Shop section, and it’s not clear (for me) to look for the link in this particular place. Also it’s interesting that the design of the Guggenheim ticket is so simple. They don’t even put the museum building silhouette there! Maybe because the museum is so famous that they don’t need any promotion?”

This is leading to our next question: Do museum visitors use and appreciate this information? – I will write about this in part 2 of this article in my next blog post (coming soon!).

Click here to read our Storify on #Museumtickets discussions on Twitter

(Published: December 4th 2013)
Museumtickets_title

For this article Anna Mikhaylova (@Madlena_P), currently PhD student in museum studies at Leicester University, and I (@MH_TextWeb), journalist with optional degree in museum management from Hamburg University, have carried out a small survey among museums and museum visitors. Basically, we asked our followers on Twitter to answer a view questions on their use of museum tickets. The goal was to find out, which information on museum tickets is most important for museums and visitors. We want to share the results of this not-representative little survey with you on our blogs (here your find Annas blog “Ideas for museums”). This is the first part.

Which information do museum put on their entrance tickets?

Annas small collection of NYC museum tickets

Annas small collection of NYC museum tickets

In most museums you still get paper tickets when paying the entrance fee. In Denmark I made the experience that visitors don’t get paper tickets at all in public museums, which are free, or on days with free entrance. In many German museums tickets aren’t really “checked” by staff when you enter the museum (especially when the museum is so small, that the staff can overview all visitors when they enter the building). Museum tickets rather are a tool to count visitors.

In our small survey ten museums answered our questions – three Danish, one Swedish, five German and one Austrian. All those museums use paper tickets. Depending on the museum’s size and budget (which we did not look further into), either the museum’s administration, a marketing or visitors service department, an in-house or a freelance graphic designer is responsible for the ticket design. The majority of the museums, who answered the survey, have one type of ticket (6 out of 10). Often this one type can have different designs on the front side, for example showing different pictures from the museum’s exhibition or the museum itself.

Rome visitors can buy one ticket that gives admission to both Colosseum and Forum Romanum

Rome visitors can buy one ticket that gives admission to both Colosseum and Forum Romanum

Some museums have different tickets for different houses (or different museums belonging to one institution) or different cooperation-tickets with other institutions. Others have special annual-season-tickets, for example in credit-card-style. Last but not least, some museums have different types of tickets for adults, reduced entrance, group entrance, etc. Only one out of the ten museums who answered our survey has online tickets, used for special occasions outside the normal opening hours.

Should museums put social media links on their paper tickets?

One reason for writing this blog post was to find out how important links to online pages and social media pages of museums are on museum tickets. – Both for museums and for visitors. The small survey showed that all ten museums put the museum’s name and contact details on their tickets and eight out of ten also add the link to their website. Only one museum (Skagens Museum, Denmark) names social media channels – in a very funny way by adding speech bobbles to famous art works of the Skagen painters, for example saying something like “Have you seen yesterday’s update on Skagens Museum’s Facebook page?” or “Those flowers are yet more beautiful than those Skagens Museum posted on Instagram!”.

Seven out of ten museums, who took part in our mini-survey use pictures from the museum or the exhibition or their logo on entrance tickets. Eight out of ten put the amount of the entrance fee on the ticket as well. Only three of the responding museums print their opening hours on their tickets, too. Other kinds of information on tickets were: ticket number (to count visitors), information on guided tours, special events and a map.

Summing up, we can say that museums seem to put a great amount of information on their tickets, but they don’t focus on promoting links to social media, museum blogs, etc. Anna concludes: “I was really surprised that museums don’t put more social media links (and even links to the websites) on their tickets. For example, the Guggenheim [see: second picture in this post] put the link to the website at Museum Shop section, and it’s not clear (for me) to look for the link in this particular place. Also it’s interesting that the design of the Guggenheim ticket is so simple. They don’t even put the museum building silhouette there! Maybe because the museum is so famous that they don’t need any promotion?”

This is leading to our next question: Do museum visitors use and appreciate this information? – I will write about this in part 2 of this article in my next blog post (coming soon!).

Click here to read our Storify on #Museumtickets discussions on Twitter

(Published: December 4th 2013)


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