Increase Museum Attendance Without Breaking The Budget

Explore simple yet powerful strategies to engage museum visitors using QR codes. Boost interaction, create community, and improve your bottom line.

Increase Museum Attendance Without Breaking The Budget
Photo by Marielle Ursua / Unsplash

In an increasingly digital world, gathering places–like Museums, Cultural Centers, Trail Heads, and Heritage Sites–are on the lookout for innovative ways to engage visitors and make them memorable. 

The question is how?

How to Improve Museum Visitor Experience

I wish I could tell you about some affordable, easy-to-use solution that can summons drones that fly to your visitor and project a hologram tour guide, historical reenactment, or interpretive dance. 😀 Although that could be a pretty cool option, it is highly complex and very expensive. However, if you have that kind of budget, there are some pretty incredible drone shows out there (a small show runs at approximately $15,000). 

For the rest of us on a budget, the most effective approach remains leveraging visitors' smartphones. This allows visitors to access additional content without incurring significant expenses for your organization.

Two of the easiest ways to get visitors to use their phone is either to have an app for your destination or use QR codes.  We’ve all heard about “App Fatigue”, research suggests visitors prefer to scan a QR code, rather than download an app. With this in mind, QR codes are the most accessible way to interact digitally when you have visitors on-premise.

So now we know QR codes are preferred, now what? How do we make it meaningful, relevant, and timely, without making it complicated or expensive? 

Avoid the QR Code Graveyard

laptop showing a 404 error due to link rot
Photo by Erik Mclean / Unsplash

Last fall I was rafting on the Colorado River, we hadn’t seen people in hours, and stopped along the side of the river to have a little picnic.

There was a small sign with nothing but a QR code on it. 

My imagination assumed there would be details of the rafting conditions for the day, historical stories of the river, cultural stories of the Navajo and Hopi people who inhabited the lands, or maybe even messages from others who took the same journey I was on.

Sadly the scan resulted in a 404 error, a website whose domain had not been renewed. 

The moral of this story is that the QR code part is easy. I'll share the tips shortly, but first decide who you are targeting, what impact you want to have, and how your story will evolve to constantly be engaging. 

The questions you want to consider in advance are

  1. What level of technical competence does your team have?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. What type of media/stories do you want to share?
  4. Do you want to work social media into this page?
  5. How often do you want to update the page? 
  6. Do you want to just share content or do you want your guests to interact with the page? 

Museum QR Code Strategies for Every Budget

person holding paper near pen and calculator creating a budget for their museum
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

High Budget | High Technical Skills | Low interaction

In this case, we recommend you create a custom website that hosts your content. First purchase the landing page, and design it, and next download a QR code converter plug-in and convert the webpage to a QR code, at the click of a button.

You can also take to Google, and search for a free QR code generator, plug your URL in and you will receive a QR code. If you are seeking a more unique QR code design, consider hiring an online designer to build a custom QR code integration in a piece of art.

As mentioned in my story above, you'll have to ensure the website is live for as long as the QR code is out in the world to ensure you are not contributing to link rot.

Mid budget  |  Mid Technical Skills | Low Interaction  

In this case, we recommend creating landing pages, or hosted pages. Many landing page solutions have no-code design interfaces, so it is still technical but easier than a fully custom developed website.

When creating a landing page you will still be provided a URL, that you can copy into a QR code generator. 

Low budget  | Low Technical Skills | Increased interaction

In this case, we recommend a tool like memoryKPR. With memoryKPR, if you can create a social media post, you are skilled enough to create a story page, it is easy to create and even easier to update.

Having an account with memoryKPR only requires an email address, you log into an account, select ‘create a story’, and then the software takes over, asking you a series of questions to set up your story page (with a built-in QR code).

You can even open your story, so guests can add to the story if you like.  

The story creation takes a couple of minutes, and updating a story is even quicker. You can even link to your social media to automatically capture content from a hashtag campaign!

memoryKPR bonus, you can add a donate button right on your stories

The best part about making a story with increased interaction is that it creates a connection with your visitors and also provides you with significant user-generated content. 

The Benefits of Engaging Museum Visitors

We are humans, and we make decisions based on emotion, linking stories your visitors can interact with makes visits more memorable. In this article, Harvard Business Review discusses just how big the payoff is when customers feel emotional commitments to your brands.

Customers' lifetime value increases by over 300% when a customer feels emotionally committed to your brand, and they spend on average 38% more per visit when they feel they are part of a community. These benefits speak for themselves.

To date, organizations have relied on social media to do this for them, but this report from HubSpot suggests consumers are sick of being sold to, they want to interact with organizations in a more meaningful way. QR codes on premises are a way to do that, to create a space for your customers to feel a part of a private community.

The results of using a QR code to link to historical stories, tours, and insider information have led to increased sales, donations, loyalty, user-generated content, and referrals. 

Unique Ways memoryKPR can help you leverage grow engagement and donations

silver and gold round coins showing how a museum can increase donations on memoryKPR
Photo by Angie J / Unsplash

#1 Create Community

Share with your customers but also allow them to interact with each other, some of our clients have created communities where visitors share their experiences, connect, and bond over a common love of your attraction. 

#2 Gather Feedback or Testimonials 

Collect valuable feedback and information from your visitors by adding a QR code that asks for people to add feedback or testimonials directly. 

#3 Giveaways and contests

Encourage customers to scan your QR code with a giveaway! Giveaways are a great way to gain insights into your customer base and to engage your audience with your brand. 

#4 Collect user-generated content with QR Codes for business

Use a QR code to collect photos, videos, voice recordings, written reviews, and more from your customers. Your QR code can also link to a gallery of content collected from other users, so your customers can see your brand community. 

#5 Share exclusive stories

Share photos and videos of your attraction's history! A QR code is the perfect opportunity to tell your story directly to users without getting lost in the noise of social media. 

Adding QR codes to your attraction opens up a world of possibilities for enhanced customer engagement. Using memoryKPR will give you a competitive edge over the competition with interactive stories, and allow the visitors to weigh in.  

Transform Your Museum's Digital Presence with memoryKPR

Schedule your free demo today and take the first step towards a more connected museum.

Book a Demo

Contact Us

The team at memoryKPR is passionate about helping museums and heritage sites leverage technology to tell compelling stories. Contact us today to discuss how we can support your mission.