Data Reveals the Best Thing About Visiting a Cultural Organization (Fast Fact Video)


Hint: It’s not seeing exhibits or performances. (That is a distant second.)

In our attempt to provide educational and inspiring programs, organizations may be overlooking their role as facilitators of shared experiences. Check out this “Know Your Own Bone Fast Facts” video for the run-down.

As it turns out, with > what.

This doesn’t mean that our exhibits, programs, and performances are unimportant! But it does mean that organizations may be better able to engage audiences by realizing that who people are with is often more important that what they see when they visit a cultural organization such as a museum, performing arts organization, science center, historic site, aquarium, zoo, etc.

Check out this data from IMPACTS. This information comes form the National Awareness, Attitudes and Usage Study, which is an ongoing data set with 98,000 responses and counting.

IMPACTS- With over what data

You’ll notice that “time with friends and family” is more than twice as valued as the best thing about a visit to a cultural organization than is “seeing/interacting with exhibits/programs.” In the data world, that is a huge difference. Heck, in any comparative world, that is a huge difference! And, in fact, “interacting with staff/volunteers/performers” is just behind seeing exhibits and performances…further underscoring the importance of interaction and connection with people.

In today’s world, cultural organizations are especially valuable hubs for connection and interaction – not only with onsite content – but with one another.

Our “stuff” is important. Knowing that we are places of connection may be just as – if not more – important. When armed with this information, cultural organizations may be better able to create programs that harness the power of with > what.

Isn’t it interesting that in our age of glowing screens and new technologies, it is the areas of the visitation experience that underscore “real life connection” that are increasingly the most important?

 

Like this video? You can check out more on my YouTube channel. Here are a few Fast Fact post that you might also enjoy:

 

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Posted on by Colleen Dilenschneider in Community Engagement, Fast Facts Video, IMPACTS Data, Myth Busting, Sector Evolution, Trends 4 Comments

About the author

Colleen Dilenschneider

MPA. Chief Market Engagement Officer at IMPACTS Research & Development. Nonprofit marketer, Generation Y museum, zoo & aquarium writer/speaker, web engagement geek, data nerd, marathoner, nomad, herbivore

4 Responses to Data Reveals the Best Thing About Visiting a Cultural Organization (Fast Fact Video)

  1. marty pray

    Great stuff.

     
    • Colleen Dilenschneider

      Thanks, Marty. I appreciate that.

       
  2. stefanie mabadi

    Great info! Now, to figure out how to *design* shared experiences for our broad audiences!

     
  3. Frith Williams

    Hi Colleen, I saw you speak at MuseumNext in Indianapolis last year, where I remember you presenting this research. At the Museum of NZ (Te Papa), where I work, facilitating shared experiences is now a core interpretive principle, and your research matches our general observations, but we don’t have research as detailed as what you’ve presented here. I’m wondering … are you able to separate the data for museums from that of other cultural organizations, ie, do the same results apply to just museums? Also, is the data detailed enough to compare, say, art museums with science/tech or history museums? We are cross-disciplinary and cover all three. Many thanks – and great work!

     

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