Tag: museum case study

The Power of the Pre-Sale: How Cape Fear Drew Record Event Turnout

The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science in downtown Wilmington is the oldest history museum in North Carolina.

The museum had launched a new event series – Museums After Dark – with each event focused on its own unique theme.

Cape Fear wanted to ensure the first event of this year’s series was a huge success. Their goal? To encourage more visitors to come back throughout the year! To help achieve this, they called Museum Hack to help promote the event on social media.

The first event was all about outer space, which paired well with Cape Fear’s Space Place, an interactive exhibit designed to emulate the International Space Station.

Space Place Exhibit at the Cape Fear Museum

The Museums After Dark series allows adults to kick back, relax, and enjoy an evening after hours in the museum.

Using Partnerships and The Power of Facebook To Get The Word Out

Cape Fear partnered with local bottling company, Bombers Bev. Co. and a local radio station for a free ticket giveaway. These efforts combined with other engagement tactics helped increase excitement and hype about Museums After Dark. Using these methods helps to extend the event before it starts and after it ends.

“It was very obvious Facebook marketing works. It just works.” – Amy Mangus, Public Relations Specialist, Cape Fear Museum

4X The Number Of Attendees Compared To Past Events

The engagement continued with a space themed selfie booth.

The effort paid off and pre-event excitement encouraged a record number of pre-sale tickets sold.

The museum saw four times the number of attendees compared to prior events, with more than half buying tickets online ahead of the event. About 25 percent of attendees bought pre-sale tickets on-site, including the day of after online buying closed.

Build your own snack satellite. Arguably the best kind of satellite.

All the cultivated excitement from the Facebook event led not only to a record number of pre-sale tickets, but amazingly engaged attendees! The Cape Fear crew came up with lots of space-themed activities for guests, like making snack satellites, creating egg parachutes, and designing Alka-Seltzer rockets.

Attendees testing their parachute skills to be put to the test!

Have you experimented with pre-sale tickets for your event? How did it work for you? We’d love to know more!

How To Turn New Visitors Into Lifelong Fans Of Your Museum: MODA Case Study

The Museum of Design Atlanta is a super cool place. There’s nothing quite like it nearby, as MODA is the only museum in its region focused on design.

But there was one area museum staff wanted to improve on when it came to the visitor experience. Staff didn’t want to just bring more people through their doors; they wanted to better engage them from the moment they arrived. The museum wanted visitors to have such an incredible experience, that they’d become lifelong visitors of the collection.

Zak with MODA staff.

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The Importance of Storytelling to Engage Millennials (Case Study: Hancock Shaker Village)

Known as “The City of Peace,” Hancock Shaker Village is a living Shaker history museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

This Village — set on 750 acres with 20 authentic Shaker buildings —  preserves its rich history for generations to come with tours; live demonstrations of Shaker traditions; costumed interpreters; and a gallery showcasing a rotation of Shaker furniture, tools, and artifacts.

But with a community so richly steeped in tradition, how do you attract and engage younger audiences?

Hancock Shaker Village reached out to Museum Hack to find out how we might be able to help them formulate ideas and create programming for millennials — and create opportunity for engagement staff from different institutions in the Berkshire area to work together in the process!

Hancock Shaker Village | source

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How the National Park Service Inspires & Provokes their Visitors

The National Park Service oversees hundreds of parks, monuments and historic sites across the United States. With over 20,000 employees across the country, and one of the most developed and documented interpretive training programs out there, they are a formidable force in the cultural experience world. But they were still looking for new ways of inspiring visitors.

We provided that initial spark with our 3-day Audience Engagement boot camp. A Park Service employee attended and left feeling so inspired he later turned to Museum Hack to help inspire his colleagues, too.

The NPS wanted help to breathe new life into the historic Arlington House, memorial and former home of Robert E. Lee. Management at NPS were looking to achieve several goals:

  • to reinvigorate the rangers,
  • to help them think outside their traditional interpretive means,
  • and to encourage them to bring their own personalities and passion to visitors of the almost 200-year-old house.

To make these goals into reality, we had the unique opportunity to spend not one, but two days at Arlington House, where collaboration was truly the name of the game.

Arlington House was once home to Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Arlington House was once home to Confederate General Robert E. Lee

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How To Look At Your Museum In New Ways To Redesign Guest Engagement (Corning Museum of Glass Case Study)

The Corning Museum of Glass is exactly what it sounds like – an awesome museum in New York dedicated solely to the amazing world of glass! The museum is home to more than 40,000 different objects focused on glass and glassmaking dating back to ancient Egypt to modern times.

But even with this specialized focus and cool collection, staff at Corning wanted to take some time and refocus on the visitor experience and guest engagement at the museum.

They gave Museum Hack a call to see how we might be able to help boost their already amazing collections.

Part of the Museum Hack team exploring Corning's collections.
Part of the Museum Hack team exploring Corning’s collections.

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How A Targeted Facebook Ad Campaign Led To 6X The Facebook Page Likes For The Illinois State Museum

Many museums already face a bit of an uphill climb when it comes to attracting and engaging new audiences. When state budget constraints closed the Illinois State Museum for nine months, museum officials knew they needed some fresh new ideas to regenerate interest in the museum once its doors were reopened.

The museum is home to collections and exhibits that focus on the natural, cultural, and artistic history of the state. Prior to the shutdown, the museum had run a string of successful special event Saturdays. After reopening, staff was eager to revive the series that had been a long-time staple of their community in Springfield, Illinois.

via backyardbirdingblog.com
A bird soars through the air.

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Reimagining the Adult Museum Experience (Parks Canada Bellevue House Case Study)

Bellevue House has a rich history in Kingston, Ontario, and it’s one of the area’s top tourist destinations. A National Historic Site of Canada now owned by Parks Canada, Bellevue House commemorates Sir John Macdonald as the nation’s first Prime Minister and is one of the most famous Canadian examples of Italian Villa architecture.

Bellevue House is super popular among visitors to Kingston. Guests can enjoy videos, take pictures with a life-size cutout of Sir John, and explore the house where the nation’s first prime minister once lived during the 1800s.

But even though the House is considered a must-see in Kingston, staff knew they had an opportunity to take the guest experience to the next level. They wanted to completely reimagine adult engagement at the historic site and knew that our style of audience development would work well for them.

Earlier this fall, we sent two VIP staff members to Canada to spend four nights in Kingston as they helped Bellevue House staff reinvent the adult museum experience at this awesome historic site.


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How to Energize and Empower Staff with Creativity (Case Study: 21c Museum Hotel)

As we move further into the 21st century, museums are getting more creative about their programs and spaces.  But where is the most effective place to begin your museum’s creative journey?

With your staff!  Museum staff are the key to infusing new life into your museum at all levels.  By investing in your staff, you create an open culture that empowers staff to work better together when facing the unique challenges of museums today.

21c Museum Hotel is a museum fit for the new millennium.  As a combination hotel and art museum, their spaces abound with creative energy.  Yet 21c Museum Hotel was facing a dilemma: they wanted to get their staff energized and thinking creatively in order to bring new programming and fresh marketing to their expanding chain of hotel-museums.   

21c Museum Hotel staff during Museum Hack workshop
21c Museum Hotel staff

The solution? They called Museum Hack to lead a custom workshop on audience engagement as the big finale to their staff retreat.  We packed our bags and headed to Louisville, Kentucky, to empower 21c Museum Hotel staff with ideas to get their creative juices flowing.

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Fun Finance Facts: Engaging Young Professionals at the Museum of American Finance

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.

Zak Martellucci and Anna at the Museum of American Finance

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.

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