Visitor Studies: The Museum Experience

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Visitor Studies Visitor studies are way for museum employees to help to understand who is visiting their museum. Different studies can be conducted to help determine the different types of people that visit a museum, why people are visiting, when they are visiting, how often, and how they feel while there. Simple surveys can be executed to determine the answer to these questions and many more.1 With these questions, and many more answered through surveys, the museum employee, specifically the exhibit staff, can use these to help construct their exhibits. For example, if the surveys predict that more families come in the summer, the exhibition designer can produce an exhibit in the summer months that will appeal to a more family friendly population,…show more content…
John Falk and Lynn D. Dierking, The Museum Experience, (Washington, DC: Whalesback Books, 2011.), 14-17. 2. Witteborg, Lother, Good Show! A Practical Guide for Temporary Exhibitions (Smithsonian Institution, 1990), 2.…show more content…
An exhibit is an experience and different exhibits can focus on visitor’s individual learning styles: imaginative, analytic, common sense and dynamic.5 Another reason visitor studies are important to exhibition workers, is that it can help to determine which types of exhibits to create. Based on the data retrieved from surveys, the exhibitioner can create individual and unique exhibits based on the most popular learning styles. Art, history, natural science, and technology are all different types of subjects an exhibit can be focused. 6 Exhibit can be object based, demonstrate a phenomenon, topical exhibits, along with permanent, temporary, and traveling exhibits, each one requiring different means of planning and designing. Object based involves just that, objects that are set in the exhibit for _________________ 3. Ibid., 2. 4. Ibid., 3. 5. McLean, Kathleen, Planning for People in Museum, (Exhibitions Association of Science- Technology Centers, 1993), 10-12. 6. Ibid., 21. interpretation whether it be specimens, art, or artifacts. Exhibits that demonstrate phenomena are typically seen in science museums. These involve demonstrating through the exhibit how light, temperature, electricity, gravity, sound, and wave motion work. Topical exhibits are based on abstract themes

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