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Making the most of Corporate Social Responsibility and Volunteer-collected visitor data

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Paper presented to the Museums Australia National Conference, Adelaide, September 2012

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Making the most of Corporate Social Responsibility and Volunteer-collected visitor data

  1. 1. Jenny Parsons, South Australian MuseumRegan Forrest, South Australian Museum (UQ)
  2. 2. Presentation Overview Project contextVolunteer data collectionWhat to do with the data?Data analysisApplying the findingsLessons learned
  3. 3. Project context  The Opportunity Official Reason Unofficial Reason Desired Outcomes  A better visitor experience  Relationship development  Institutional learning
  4. 4. Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery (AACG)  10yr old gallery What needed to be updated? What was missing? Or worse, what was broken….. Opening up our internal discussions in order to consider the visitor experience
  5. 5. Volunteer-led data collection  The idea: The Museum is Watching You, WSJ August 18, 2010 Consultation with Matt Sikora, Detroit Institute of Arts director of evaluation Creating the map, evaluator letters, signage & learning about “stops” Dream Team: financial analysts No budget, entrepreneurial approach
  6. 6. Sample tracking sheets
  7. 7. Descriptive Statistics  Sample size n=92, 59 males and 64 females (G Floor)Mean Dwell Time: 9.1 minutes 13-18Median Dwell Time: 5.0 minutes 19-39 40-65Mode Dwell Time: 5.0 minutes 65+Approx. SRI* = 600 sq.ft. / min(*SRI= Sweep Rate Index as defined in Serrell, B. (1998) Paying Attention: Visitors and Museum Exhibitions. Published by the American Association of Museums)
  8. 8. AACG Dwell Time 35  30 25Number of visitors 20 15 10 5 0 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13-15 16-18 19-21 22-24 25-27 28-30 30+ Minutes spent in gallery
  9. 9. Visitor Entry Paths:  64% 20% 18%
  10. 10. Median Dwell Visitors (n=11) 
  11. 11. Gallery zoning – example from the literature Klein, HJ (1993) Tracking Visitor Circulation in Museum Settings. Environment and Behavior 1993 25:782-800. p. 792
  12. 12. Zoning the AACG 1 entry Direction = 90 2 entries Direction = n/a 1 entry Direction =• Overlay gallery plan to divide 135 into 24 „zones‟• Count each entry into a zone as 1 entry well as overall direction where Direction = n/a applicable• Code direction numerically (0, 45, 90, 135, 180, 235, 270, 315) 2 entries Direction = 90
  13. 13. Number Crunching  Rest assured – this looks a lot nastier than it really is!  Sum ofentries foreach zone Compare Comparison Mode reveals with to „average‟ (Total entries most opposite for all zones common direction /24) direction
  14. 14. Visually Representing Visitor Movement 
  15. 15. What this told us and how we used it  Important sections were in „visitation deserts‟  brought the light levels up Clear biases in visitor routes  moved the new introductory wall The first floor was a racetrack  new colourful display with seating & touchscreens
  16. 16. The AACG Renovation  Before After
  17. 17. Lessons learned  Visitor tracking relies on expert knowledge It‟s essential in understanding and improving the experience of our visitors It has given us a better gallery It needs to reside somewhere in the Museum Beta exercise. Activating Corporate Social Responsibility takes strong collaboration internally but can build relationships & lead to giving.
  18. 18. Questions? 

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