Should science centers and museums spend resources on hosting blockbuster exhibitions? Why or why not?January 3rd, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster
This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the January/February 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine.
“If they had more special exhibitions, then we’d get a membership and come more often.”
—Science Museum of Minnesota visitor, August 2011
Our most recent audience survey, conducted in 2011 (n=830), suggests that there are factors beyond immediate attendance to blockbuster exhibitions to consider. For instance, 85% of visitors responded that they would be more likely to visit the museum more frequently if they knew something was different or had changed. While visitors’ intentions do not necessarily lead to actions, blockbuster exhibitions may inform visitors’ perceptions of change at the museum and encourage repeat visits and new memberships.
Gayra Ostgaard, museum evaluator 2
Gretchen Haupt, museum evaluator 1
Al Onkka, museum evaluator 2
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul