Small museums embrace mobile innovation


16 May, 2013

Small museums embrace mobile innovation


One more year, the Museums & Mobile Survey takes the pulse of innovation in the cultural sector. In the 2013 edition, 551 professionals from museums and cultural institutions have participated , mainly from the United States (75%), but also from United Kingdom, Canada and 26 other countries. Given their obvious interest, we will address the main findings in two consecutive articles.

The results highlight the commitment and initiative shown by smaller museums. In 2012  the link between the technological levels in the museum and visitor volume was broken. Small museums are taking the lead in mobile innovation. Last year it was the big museums – with more than 250,000 visitors a year- who invested more in implementing mobile guidance technology. But in 2013 there has been a change in trend, as most implementations are being carried out by the smaller museums who have less than 50,000 visitors a year.

On the other hand, the main reason that encourages professionals to implement mobile technology is to experiment with the interaction between the museum and its visitors. The least important factor is the economic objective, as only 9% said that this aspect is important to them.

These projects are aimed at two different audiences: visitors hoping to get a “deeeper” experience and young visitors between 18 and 35. Moreover,  institutions deny that their projects are directed primarily to users who like audio guides, but rather, they seek new audiences and try to differentiate themselves providing a new way to visit museums.

The survey shows that there is no single solution for all museums regarding the use of mobile technologies. The strategy will vary depending on the purpose and target audience. For example, museums that want to generate income from its technological innovations will target a more demanding and older audience, who is more willing to pay for the service.

* In the picture we highlight some of the results of the 2013 Museums & Mobile survey. The full report is available on its website.