Many museums are looking for effective ways to engage the next generation of museum patrons. This generation is different because they want museum experiences that are made to feel like VIP adventures. So how can museums with niche collections attract and engage young professionals?
It’s a challenge that the Museum of American Finance faces. As the United States’s only independent public museum dedicated to American finance and financial history, the Museum of American Finance’s collections feature awesome stories not found anywhere else. Yet such a specific collection also poses a challenge to getting new audiences in the door.
Museum of American Finance staff knew they wanted to attract young professionals, particularly from the New York City financial sector, and showcase their collections in a way that would establish this new audience as regular visitors and potential patrons. They called Museum Hack to produce and market a VIP experience that would engage young professionals and showcase the amazing stories in their collections.
In mid-July 2016, we produced the Museum Hack: Wall Street Edition experience. This one-night museum adventure was full of mind-blowing finance facts, awesome missions, and the juicy gossip of America’s banking system and its founding father, told in Museum Hack’s signature style.
Step 1: Designing the Event
Our VIP Guides worked with staff from the Museum of American Finance to research and design a custom VIP event just for young professionals working in the financial sector of New York City. We looked at the museum’s collections for awe-inspiring pieces and fun facts about American financial history in order to create engaging stories and activities that would engage guests with museum collections and each other.
What we found in the museum’s collections was awesome. Do you know what the primary form of currency was when America was founded? Check out the video below to find out the answer:
Step 2: Marketing Tailored to Millennials
We also worked with the Museum of American Finance to market their event in a variety of ways. Our Audience Development Agency created a custom marketing plan specifically for Museum Hack: Wall Street Edition. We utilized proven marketing strategies – both free and paid – to attract new audiences to the museum.
These strategies included distributing press releases, posting to Museum Hack’s social media channels, and utilizing a variety of email and web platforms to conduct direct outreach to potential influencers in the New York City area.
We also set up and maintained a Facebook event page, hosted by our Facebook account. Using our best practices for audience engagement, our marketing team posted fun facts and sneak peeks to the event page to convert interested guests into paying attendees. Check out this awesome sneak peek on the history of Piggy Banks:
To encourage even more ticket sales, we conducted paid advertising to promote the event to new audiences on Facebook. In the six weeks prior to the event, we utilized our proven techniques for Facebook advertising to hyper-target young professionals in the financial sector based on their interests and industry. Our ads were then crafted to appeal to young professional’s desire for exclusivity, escape, and fun.
Through our efforts, we reached over 23,000 people and garnered over 300 event responses. By the day of the event, we had almost sold out tickets to Museum Hack: Wall Street Edition. Our hyper-targeted Facebook advertising had helped increase the event’s reach exponentially, drumming up interest and helping attract new audiences to the museum.
Step 3: Engaging the Guests
Finally, it was time to present Museum Hack: Wall Street Edition. During this museum adventure, our VIP Guides utilized our best practices for audience engagement to present awesome mini-tours and activities featuring highlights of Museum of American Finance’s collection. Check out our Periscope video to see highlights from our unique finance-themed tours:
— Museum Hack (@MuseumHack) July 13, 2016
We also encouraged audience participation, inviting guests to show off their adventures on social media. Check out the fun photos from the event:
Step 4: Success & Engagement Review
The event was a complete success! Our guests and staff had a great time discovering unique stories and fun facts about America’s financial history.
After the event, we met with Museum of American Finance staff to review the event’s success. We also discussed how the museum’s staff could utilize our audience engagement strategies from the event to better engage young professionals in their programs and events.
Special thanks to the Museum of American Finance for partnering with us on this event. We can’t wait to do it again!
Have an upcoming event you’d like to market to new audiences? Contact us to learn more about how our Audience Development Agency can make your event a buzzing success!