Optimizing revenue by increasing pricing for special exhibits or peak times (e.g. weekends) is widely adopted in the performing arts (e.g., matinee vs evening performances at the theater) but rarely used by museums. A few museums, however, are beginning to experiment with dynamic or demand-based pricing to maximize their revenues. For example, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art increased their price $2 for the last four weeks they were open before renovation began and received no complaints. In 2008, the EMP Museum dropped its admission fee from $30 to $15 and it did not affect visitation, so in 2011 they increased prices and in 2013 they moved to 2013 to dynamic pricing. During the last 3 weeks, they earned an additional $15,000.
In “What Price is Right?”, a session at the recent AAM annual meeting, Heather Calvin (Museum of Science), Jill Robinson (TRG Arts), and Jessica Toon (EMP Museum) discussed how museums can use demand-based pricing strategies to set admission prices, service fees, discounts, and membership dues. It was a wide-ranging presentation so I’m sharing the highlights here to Continue reading →
I doubt many people read the Journal of Travel Research (yes, there are such things!) but I’ve been referring to it in preparation for a presentation at the Historic House Museum Consortium of Washington, DC. Looking at the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Travel Research, I thought I’d share some of the highlights from articles that might interest historic sites and house museums:
In “GPS as a Method for Assessing Spatial and Temporal Use Distributions of Nature-Based Tourists,” Jeffery Hallo et al examine the use of GPS devices to study visitor behavior in national parks (an idea that can be easily be applied to large historic sites). This research typically has to be done either by asking visitors to recall their experiences in a survey or by asking visitors to record their own behavior in diaries–both cumbersome and highly subjective methods. GPS provides a better way to study human behavior, but so far the inaccuracy and cost has been major hurdles. A test of three of the newest GPS devices, however, shows that these hurdles have been overcome by Continue reading →