Museums Are for Everyone: Teen Date Spot

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Ideas March 16, 2015 Featured Image

We went to went to Queensland, Australia to talk about what we do here at Museum Hack, and why it is engaging new audiences in museums. While we were there, our CEO Nick Gray got the chance to explore Australia’s best museums and galleries, including the Queensland Museum.

Nick met up with Suzanne Misso, the Creative Producer and Programmer for the Queensland Museum. She shared with him a wonderful story about how teens were taking to the museum for dates.

Excerpt of Nick’s Interview with Suzanne from Queensland Museum:

Nick: Suzanne just told me an amazing thing about museums as dates. And, can you tell me what you’ve found, hidden here in the galleries.

Suzanne: We were doing a great program on making your own record cover, and while we were shuffling through some of the made covers, we found a note with someone’s name on it. And low and behold, about an hour later, a guy came in, very sheepishly, looking in a place where we found the envelope with his name on it. And it turns out, it was a love note addressed to him from a young 16 year old girl, who had told him to go and find a love note just in the museum. It was fantastic. We didn’t read it!

Nick: What I liked about this idea, was the idea of a museum as a first date spot. And you said that you’ve seen those people here in the spaces. Is that right?

Suzanne: Yeah. It’s safe. There’s lots of things to talk about and look about, and not look at what shoes you’re wearing, or what your hair looks like, or whether you’ve got pimples or not. It’s actually all about “Oh, I remember seeing this at my mother’s, grandmother’s, auntie’s house. I remember my friend, Denzel has one of these things on his wall, in his father’s pool room.” Yeah, yeah! It’s great! So it’s all about taking the attention off them and onto what’s in the museum. And it’s cool again. And it’s somewhere where they can be hidden.

Nick: Hidden on their own, to explore. Something I think, that you said that I loved that I’m thinking about, is that they’ve discovered this themselves. This hasn’t been as a result of marketing.

Suzanne: Or their parents telling them to go there. They’ve just, they’ve found it themselves. It’s free. There’s lots of spaces to wander around and find new things every time they come here. And they can tell their friends, “Hey, yeah, we went to the museum this Friday.” The friends are like, “Ah, okay.”

Click here to listen to the full podcast interview with Suzanne Misso.

Even though you can’t market this to them, you can do certain things to make the museum more appealing to the teens in your area. Read this short list on the top reasons the Queensland Museum has become popular with teens as a date spot.

Do you work for a museum? Would you love to work with us on audience engagement? Send us an email or read more about our workshops, presentations, and museum consulting work.

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