Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Staff time on visitor participation?


We wanted to check in and ask the general museum community how it's going with your visitor contribution exhibits. Things like post-it walls, maps, and other non-digital participatory experiences that require upkeep.

Has it had any impact on staff time? Maintenance? We'd love to hear from you.

Image: National Constitution Center by Gyroscope.

2 comments:

Hillary said...

In two different museums, I've found that the pros outweigh the cons with message boards. at the Natural History Museum in Los angeles, we had a message/photo board with the Dogs exhibit, where people could post photos of their dogs. It increased repeat visitors, as people felt their dog was a part of the exhibit and returned to see if their picture was still there, or sent a friend to see.

At the Long Island Children's Museum, we had an art exhibit where we encouraged people to comment in a bound notebook. That required constant monitoring, since some children were drawn to write things like "F@#K" when no one was watching... BUT the comments about the exhibit were great. I don't necessarily recommend the book format, as if there is a "bad word," the entire page would have to be removed, taking away what might be good and valid comments, or torn, adding to a messy look.

Maria Mortati said...

Hey thanks, Hillary. I love the dogs exhibit concept. That's a fantastic way to get repeat visitation. Do you have any photos of it you could share?

Excellent point about issues with using books as a feedback mechanism. You could cover problems with a giant "oops" sticker, but it does create a look that some museums may not want to have.

I agree that pros definitely outweigh the cons. It's great to hear experiences with managing them. Especially as it becomes a more prevalent exhibit component... or exhibit!