All museums are educational institutions and have an obligation to inspire young minds for the generations to come. Setting up educational programming that supports specific grade level curriculums is the most conventional way to become a top field trip destination. The next step is booking your museum at it's highest capacity with schools and youth groups, by promoting early reservations through discount incentives and ideal timing of marketing.
Commercial filming should be a low-impact revenue source for most museums. Staffing commercial shoots should be much lower labor cost than supervising a private event, and obviously a lot less effort than hosting a museum event. Set up standard filming policies and a firm qualifying process up front, including collecting appropriate financial deposits and liability insurance.
There are many uncontrollable factors that affect general admission, such as weather, holidays, and current events. Tracking these factors is the information needed to time your promotions and be your museum's advantage to increasing gate attendance by 5% or more each year.
Generating new subscribers should be one of the main objectives of your website. Increasing the size and quality of your contact list improves your overall marketing equity for promotions. Add opt-ins to subscribe to special museum invitations, news, and discount offers. Make sure the opportunity to subscribe is posted on every website page.
Growing retention in your membership program is vital to the success of your museum's future. Set up reports to track your monthly membership statistics to include: a) New Members, b) Renewals, c) Lapsed. Schedule outreach programs to contact members about 30-90 days before their expiration dates to renew. Establish many value added membership benefits, such as free passes, VIP exhibit showings and lectures, events only available to members, and discounts to your museum store.
Museums should have at least one festival or signature event that reinforces their brand story and/or their category type. For example, Mission San Juan Capistrano has "Return of the Swallows" Festival and La Brea Tar Pits has "Ice Age Encounters". This is an annual affair that should be sold-out every year with standard promotion and execution. Choose programming that naturally connects with your audience based on your museum’s subject. Audit your event or create a new one with the following questions in mind:
a) Does my event reinforce the subject of my museum?
b) Is my event unique?
c) Is my event profitable after expenditures and operational costs?
Review the results of your events with our ROI events tool.
To use this sheet you may download it as an Excel File, or if you have a Google account you can save a copy to your Google Drive for editing.
All museums strive to achieve heavy hitter sponsors to donate dollars or valuable raffle merchandise. Cooperative advertising programs that include large local brands such as county transportation, professional sports teams, arenas, corporations, automobile dealerships, hotels, etc. are the best support and leverage for effective museum campaigns. If your museum's brand is strong, your museum will attract many of these types of sponsors and cooperative partnership inquiries. If you are not receiving offers, you should consider auditing your museum's reputation and consider investing more on your museum's brand equity and networking. Your first step is making a list of the large local brands that you would want your museum associated with and contacting them directly.
An organized volunteer program is the difference in achieving great results with passionate ambassadors and helpers who generously donate their valuable time to your museum's initiatives. Retaining your trained volunteers is important and is protecting your investment of time into these qualified, supportive people. Volunteer retention should be monitored and surveyed as needed to understand how to improve your overall volunteer programs.
Subscribers are valuable and worth a lot of money to a museum. Your subscribers list should be treated with respect by segmenting it based your contact's interest and relationship to your museum. All records should be in a database system for customer relationship management, also commonly called a "CRM". A CRM system is the foundation for target marketing and the key to reporting on promotion results.