What Can Museums Expect When They Are Expecting to Reopen?

  • September 01, 2020 11:34

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Yoko Ono (b. 1933, Japan), DREAM TOGETHER, 2020, installed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art © Yoko Ono. Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen.

Museums across the U.S. are slowly reopening as local, state and Centers for Disease Control guidelines allow. After nearly six months of closures due to the pandemic, cultural institutions are navigating new territory with health precautions in place and other needed controls.

Since reopening is essential for museums' bottomline, Colleen Dilenschneider of IMPACTS Experience provided data considering market potential in terms of onsite attendance numbers (i.e. volume of visitation). 

Will crowds clamor for culture? Limited ticketing to allow social distancing will affect the numbers. The location of the museum will also be a factor. Data indicates that smaller institutions outside of major cities could attract more culture seekers looking for escapes in less dense settings. 

Some of the largest institutions will have the advantage of space. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York opened August 29 and Dan Weiss, President and CEO, and Max Hollein, Director, pointed out the vastness of its galleries in a blog: "We invite you back to the Museum to explore our two million square feet, where there is always something new to uncover."

The current market potential for exhibit-based organizations for the calendar year 2020 is 37.2% of their 2019 attendance, according Dilenschneider's blog. (The trajectory of the virus, travel restrictions and other impacts can add uncertainty to the data.)

View graph models of the data here and more information.

Listen to this Museum Confidential podcast interview with Dilenschneider.

Read more at Colleen Dilenschneider

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