Hosted by
Heather Calvin, Museum of Science
Jessica Toon, EMP Museum
Keri Mesropov, TRG Arts
WHAT PRICE
IS RIGHT?
Fear Factor
“My two cents: I’ve never thought
the public should be charged to
see their own belongings.”
- Paddy Johnson, ...
HOW DO YOU/YOUR ORG
FEEL ABOUT PRICING?
(in one word)
What do we mean
when we say…
Demand Management:
The data-driven practice of managing all
demand factors – i.e. inventory availability, pricing,
per cap...
Base prices:
The prices for admission or an exhibit
that we start from, before changing a price.
(We go to market with the...
Demand-based or dynamic pricing
Fluidly raising or dropping prices incrementally
based on data-proven demand.
(“Dynamic” m...
Peak and off-peak pricing:
Pricing differently based on specific
factors like seasonality or day of week
(This is NOT dyna...
What can
PRICING
do for you?
Pricing can…
Encourage loyalty.
Help collect data.
Optimize revenue.
Stimulate demand.
REVENUE
optimize
Pricing can
1
Pricing when:
you’ve got demand
How are you getting more
for what’s in demand at
your museum?
Follow the Data
To What Patrons Value
Seasonality
Time of day
Programming
Opening &
Closing Dates
Day of Week
Demand Evaluation
July August September October November December January February March April May June TOTALS
FY10 Total ...
Pricing at EMP
Based on peak/off-peak
DEMAND
stimulate
Pricing can
2
Pricing when:
you don’t
How do you use low
demand to drive traffic?
Pricing when:
you don’t
Pricing can encourage
loyalty (membership).
3
Pricing to:
encourage loyalty
What makes someone
“loyal” at your org?
Donors and
consummate
loyalists
The magic
of “and”
From 1st time to
second or last time
to NOW
What is loyalty?
Pricing can help
you collect data.
4
Data Collection
Your organization
How are you collecting
contact information?
Tryers, come back!
Data collection matters
Why? Revenue.
# of 1st-time visitor households in 2014: 100,000
Membership mailing to first-time v...
EMP: from 0% in 2010
to 40% in 2014
What can pricing
do for you?
Optimize revenue or stimulate demand
Research: which programs are popular?
Enhance the value ...
WHAT PRICE
IS RIGHT?
Hosted by
Heather Calvin, Museum of Science
Keri Mesropov, TRG Arts
Jessica Toon, EMP Museum
What price is right? What pricing can do for you
What price is right? What pricing can do for you
What price is right? What pricing can do for you
What price is right? What pricing can do for you
What price is right? What pricing can do for you
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What price is right? What pricing can do for you

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This session, presented at the 2014 AAM Convention in Seattle, WA, explores how museums can use demand-based pricing strategies to set admission prices, service fees, discounts, and membership levels. Hear a case example, brief tutorial, and Q&A with panelists designed to provide practical grounding and new ideas to help museum leadership determine what visitors should pay.
Panelists include:
Heather Calvin, Associate Vice President, Visitor Services and Membership for Boston’s Museum of Science
Jessica Toon, Director of Marketing and Audience Development for EMP Museum
Keri Mesropov, VP of Client Services of TRG Arts

Published in: Business, Education, Technology
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What price is right? What pricing can do for you

  1. 1. Hosted by Heather Calvin, Museum of Science Jessica Toon, EMP Museum Keri Mesropov, TRG Arts WHAT PRICE IS RIGHT?
  2. 2. Fear Factor “My two cents: I’ve never thought the public should be charged to see their own belongings.” - Paddy Johnson, arts blogger “Financial calculations and market opportunities should not trump social responsibilities.” - Bruce Altshuler, NY Times Museums and their patrons gain direct and indirect support from public money. They owe meaningful access to visitors. - Vera Zolberg, NY Times
  3. 3. HOW DO YOU/YOUR ORG FEEL ABOUT PRICING? (in one word)
  4. 4. What do we mean when we say…
  5. 5. Demand Management: The data-driven practice of managing all demand factors – i.e. inventory availability, pricing, per capita revenue, perception of demand – to optimize revenue from every admission
  6. 6. Base prices: The prices for admission or an exhibit that we start from, before changing a price. (We go to market with the base prices, then implement dynamic pricing based on demand.)
  7. 7. Demand-based or dynamic pricing Fluidly raising or dropping prices incrementally based on data-proven demand. (“Dynamic” means the price goes up or down.)
  8. 8. Peak and off-peak pricing: Pricing differently based on specific factors like seasonality or day of week (This is NOT dynamic pricing.)
  9. 9. What can PRICING do for you?
  10. 10. Pricing can… Encourage loyalty. Help collect data. Optimize revenue. Stimulate demand.
  11. 11. REVENUE optimize Pricing can 1
  12. 12. Pricing when: you’ve got demand How are you getting more for what’s in demand at your museum?
  13. 13. Follow the Data To What Patrons Value Seasonality Time of day Programming Opening & Closing Dates Day of Week
  14. 14. Demand Evaluation July August September October November December January February March April May June TOTALS FY10 Total Admissions 166,960 125,112 56,455 82,233 104,582 169,838 105,381 86,449 109,580 93,797 94,785 87,176 1,282,348 FY10 Total Revenue 570,288$ 415,793$ 163,856$ 189,301$ 249,149$ 349,453$ 230,967$ 223,897$ 324,922$ 274,463$ 279,832$ 209,101$ 2,819,966$ FY10 Per Capita 3.42$ 3.32$ 2.90$ 2.30$ 2.38$ 2.06$ 2.19$ 2.59$ 2.97$ 2.93$ 2.95$ 2.40$ 2.20$ FY10 Expense FY10 Cost of sale 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% FY11 Total Admissions 116,175 96,225 59,672 44,654 83,270 129,446 91,686 91,433 144,500 135,979 109,844 109,431 1,212,315 FY11 Total Revenue 304,112$ 252,142$ 117,526$ 117,185$ 205,822$ 280,000$ 224,997$ 353,601$ 720,408$ 711,486$ 537,854$ 440,280$ 5,389,254$ FY11 Per Capita 2.62$ 2.62$ 1.97$ 2.62$ 2.47$ 2.16$ 2.45$ 3.87$ 4.99$ 5.23$ 4.90$ 4.02$ 4.45$ FY11 Expense FY11 Cost of sale 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% FY12 Total Admissions 141,572 108,594 72,981 54,967 116,968 218,933 82,937 80,869 106,479 118,165 94,890 105,082 1,302,437 FY12 Total Revenue 585,342$ 577,721$ 313,313$ 133,921$ 268,697$ 521,633$ 197,232$ 219,009$ 486,239$ 586,083$ 475,311$ 519,368$ 4,966,766$ FY12 Per Capita 4.13$ 5.32$ 4.29$ 2.44$ 2.30$ 2.38$ 2.38$ 2.71$ 4.57$ 4.96$ 5.01$ 4.94$ 3.81$ FY12 Expense FY12 Cost of sale 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% FY13 Total Admissions 166,371 116,169 70,194 47,420 92,835 151,468 100,824 93,580 132,540 115,038 73,848 91,001 1,302,437 FY13 Total Revenue 784,388$ 571,091$ 127,443$ 113,394$ 319,929$ 567,279$ 474,595$ 469,596$ 807,565$ 761,997$ 232,862$ 239,337$ 4,620,551$ FY13 Per Capita 4.71$ 4.92$ 1.82$ 2.39$ 3.45$ 3.75$ 4.71$ 5.02$ 6.09$ 6.62$ 3.15$ 2.63$ 3.55$ FY13 Expense FY13 Cost of sale 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% CMC OVERALL Demand Evaluation Highest Admissions Highest Revenue July, December and March/April consistently see higher admissions.
  15. 15. Pricing at EMP Based on peak/off-peak
  16. 16. DEMAND stimulate Pricing can 2
  17. 17. Pricing when: you don’t How do you use low demand to drive traffic?
  18. 18. Pricing when: you don’t
  19. 19. Pricing can encourage loyalty (membership). 3
  20. 20. Pricing to: encourage loyalty What makes someone “loyal” at your org?
  21. 21. Donors and consummate loyalists The magic of “and” From 1st time to second or last time to NOW What is loyalty?
  22. 22. Pricing can help you collect data. 4
  23. 23. Data Collection Your organization How are you collecting contact information?
  24. 24. Tryers, come back!
  25. 25. Data collection matters Why? Revenue. # of 1st-time visitor households in 2014: 100,000 Membership mailing to first-time visitors: Average response rate: 2.1% Average revenue per response: $70 Data collection rate # mailed # Responded Total revenue 95% 95,000 2,000 $140,000 15% 15,000 315 $22,050 Difference: 1,685 members and $118,000
  26. 26. EMP: from 0% in 2010 to 40% in 2014
  27. 27. What can pricing do for you? Optimize revenue or stimulate demand Research: which programs are popular? Enhance the value of membership Audit: your membership messaging. Drive patrons online Calculate: your data capture rate.
  28. 28. WHAT PRICE IS RIGHT? Hosted by Heather Calvin, Museum of Science Keri Mesropov, TRG Arts Jessica Toon, EMP Museum

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