Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Tracking Audience Behaviour

Source: Queensland Museum

Oxford Aspire, Turning left: tracking audience behaviour in museums, 15 September 2014

On entering a museum – in the UK at least – visitors turn left.  This is among the insights from a day at Oxford Aspire on Understanding Audiences.  British Museum speaker Shelley Manion also said that:

  • While audio guides are seen as a solitary activity, many visitors share headphones and interact with each other.
  • Although museums see the point of arrival as a way to influence visitor behaviour, some visitors may have come to see something very specific and will only consider what else to do having seen that object.

The stakes are high for visitor experience for large nationals, where a good proportion of the audience are from overseas and may only visit once in their lifetimes.

Sam Skillings, Head of Marketing at Compton Verney museum explained how visitor feedback and focus groups had reframed their marketing – for example the museum’s printed material now features the café and exhibition spaces rather than specific works of art on the cover, so people can more immediately grasp what the whole offer is – especially important when the primary audience may be half an hour’s drive from the museum.

To read more see Oxford Aspire

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