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To Charge Or Not To Charge: Museums and The Admission Dilemma - Silvia Filippini Fantoni

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MuseumNext Dublin 2016

Published in: Leadership & Management
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To Charge Or Not To Charge: Museums and The Admission Dilemma - Silvia Filippini Fantoni

  1. 1. To Charge or Not to Charge? The Admission Dilemma Silvia Filippini Fantoni @silviaff20
  2. 2. An Institutional Dilemma @silviaff20
  3. 3. A Personal Dilemma @silviaff20
  4. 4. Your Dilemma @silviaff20
  5. 5. @silviaff20
  6. 6. Context @silviaff20
  7. 7. @silviaff20
  8. 8. @silviaff20
  9. 9. 2005: Museum Extension@silviaff20
  10. 10. 2009: Miller House @silviaff20
  11. 11. 2010: 100 Acres Park @silviaff20
  12. 12. IMA Attendance did not Increase Consistently after Extension Partially closed for extension @silviaff20
  13. 13. • Debts to sustain expansion • Endowment draw reached over 8% • Endowment lost over 150M during the recession • Projection: IMA would close its doors in 20/30 years Financial Issues @silviaff20
  14. 14. Charge for Parking: $5 @silviaff20
  15. 15. Increase Exhibition Charge: from $8 to $12 to $18 to $20 @silviaff20
  16. 16. • Two rounds of layoffs: 2009 and 2013 • Operating budget cuts • Reduce the number of exhibitions • Focus more on the permanent collection Reduce Costs @silviaff20
  17. 17. • Focus on audience- research and evaluation • New visitor-centered exhibition development process • New approach to programming more participatory and experiential Change in Focus @silviaff20
  18. 18. • $18 admission to galleries and outdoors (except 100 Acres) including exhibits • Free parking • Free community days (5/7 per year) • Free first Thursdays after 4 pm • Access Pass (1$) • Membership stayed the same ($55 and $75) Change in Business Model @silviaff20
  19. 19. New Business Model: Why? • Stop nickeling and diming visitors • Be less dependent on unstable sources of funding (e.g. endowment and sponsorship) • Increase earned revenues • Increase number of members (engage visitors in a long term relation) @silviaff20
  20. 20. 18 Dollars: Why? • Survey about charge • Other institutions in similar socio-demographic contexts • Other institutions in town ($13-$32) • Make the membership “more appealing” @silviaff20
  21. 21. The Reaction Reaction @silviaff20
  22. 22. "While I understand the need for a financial sustainability, you have effectively transformed one of city's gems from an oasis of culture into a privileged club for those with disposable income.“ Antony Basso "Admission fees are one thing, but charging that much for individuals in the Indianapolis market is wrong.“ Nicole Wall “I loved the IMA, that is until the Board of Directors decided to fence the gardens and close off access to the Elder greenhouse …The gardens were my home away from home, a place I truly felt at peace. I loved visiting there. “ Coleen Stone@silviaff20
  23. 23. The Reaction Staff Morale Was Low @silviaff20
  24. 24. Impact @silviaff20
  25. 25. Attendance Dropped • Based on check-ins at the main desk, attendance drop by 15% (this doesn’t include people that previously went directly to the gardens or did not check in) • Attendance at Lilly House dropped by 40% @silviaff20 120,919 102,569 90,000 95,000 100,000 105,000 110,000 115,000 120,000 125,000 2014 Apr/Dec 2015 Apr/Dec 28,594 16,801 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 2014 Apr/Dec 2015 Apr/Dec Check-in main desk Check-in Lilly House
  26. 26. Attendance Outdoors Decreased 89% 14% 25% 7% 57% 34% 10% 59% 41% 43% 16% 30% 24% 24% Galleries Lilly Gardens The Park Store Café Greenhouse 2015 (n=835) 2014 (n=731) * * 2014 data may be biased because data collection methods followed quotas set for collection at each location. @silviaff20
  27. 27. Membership Grew by 60% 6146 7114 9618 12629 15750 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 2012 2013 2014 2015 Today @silviaff20
  28. 28. Demographics & Psychographics Visitors are more likely to be Explorers and Professional/Hobbyists Drop of 5.5% in family visitors Increase of 5% in Caucasian visitors More likely to be 55+ and less likely to be 18-34 More likely to earn $60K-$124,999 and less likely to under $60K In Apr/Dec 2015 compared to Apr/Dec 2014: @silviaff20
  29. 29. Time Spent at the IMA Increased in 2015 (138 vs. 117 min. average) 0 1 2 3 4locations n=53 location n=568 locations n=105 locations n=99 locations n=11 minutes minutesminutes minutes minutes 79 126 161 209 210 minutes minutesminutes minutes minutes @silviaff20
  30. 30. Visitation to the Permanent Galleries Decreased in 2015 54% 50% 47% 47% 46% 37% 38% 35% 32% 33% 25% 22% European Art American Art Contemporary Art Textile and Fashion Arts Contemporary Design Asian Art Clowes Pavilion African Art Decorative Arts and Furniture Glick Glass Ancient Art of the Mediterranean Native Art of the Americas *Clowes Pavilion not asked in 2014 survey, so comparison is not possible. * -20% -10% -8% -7% -13% -13% +6% +6% @silviaff20
  31. 31. Exhibition Attendance Increased April-Dec 2015 exhibitions April-Dec 2014 exhibitions 69% 81% 42% 32% 22% 67% Gustave Baumann (n=181) Dream Cars (n=351) Georgia O'Keeffe (n=113) Face to Face (n=127) Robert Indiana (n=119) Matisse (n=162) @silviaff20
  32. 32. Store and Café Awareness, Visitation and Purchases increased 41% 34% 23% 1% 58% 20% 10% 12% Aware, but did not visit Browsed Made a purchase Unaware 2015 (n=835) 2014 (n=737) 64% 34% 4% 63% 24% 13% Aware, but did not visit Visited Unaware 2015 (n=836) 2014 (n=737) Store Cafe @silviaff20
  33. 33. Satisfaction Stayed the Same (out of five) 4.85 4.59 4.85 4.86 4.65 4.88 4.4 4.45 4.5 4.55 4.6 4.65 4.7 4.75 4.8 4.85 4.9 4.95 Services and facilities Orientation Overall experience 2014 April/Dec 2015 Apr/Dec @silviaff20
  34. 34. Revenues Increased Even If Not as Much as We Had Projected @silviaff20
  35. 35. Considerations @silviaff20
  36. 36. • Better balance between membership vs. general admission • Aggressive implementation timeline • Better communication about changes • Efforts to build consensus in the community about access Issues @silviaff20
  37. 37. • Monitor attendance and demographics • Evaluate membership growth • Segmentation and community engagement studies • Invest in the gardens What’s Next? @silviaff20
  38. 38. Concluding Thought “There is no such a thing as a free museum. The issue is who is going to pay for it.” Richard Evans, Beamish Museum of the Living North @silviaff20
  39. 39. Questions? sfantoni@imamuseum.org @silviaff20

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