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July 31, 2012

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Ann Fortescue

The attendance data from my small (and AAM accredited) art museum in a small southwestern Ohio city supports your recent findings that public programs and exhibitions generate the greatest audience participation. We offer a Free Day every Sunday and those attendance numbers aren't significantly greater than our Tuesday-Saturday numbers. Our visitor comments indicate people come to see the art work, meet artists, and attend a program about art.

Rob Landry

Great insights into the perceived value of museum experiences. I have a couple of thoughts:

Museums should position themselves in alignment with audience aspirations. In other words, they should be seen as "essential to the vitality of the community" rather than "a nice place to take the family when relatives are in town". If they do that successfully, they should be able to raise admission fees w/o seeing an erosion in attendance.

I still would like to see more data on museum websites and how they play into all of this.

Ann - it's good to see your museum is reworking its website. Most museums underestimate the importance of their website in connecting with brand new audiences and driving traffic. A website is essential to a successful pull marketing strategy, and pull marketing is becoming ever more important.

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