Sometimes I get the question, “Why make a video of a museum, if that video will make people not want to go to the museum – after having seen what the museum has to offer? “
It turns out this is question is more common than you think:
So why wouldn’t visitors be tempted to abandon museums altogether in favor of scrolling Instagram? It boils down to physical experiences that make art more memorable —just like with any relationship, according to the founder and CEO of Artsy, the world’s largest online collection of art.
Ultimately, the physical experience of art is more just like online dating,” Carter Cleveland told CNBC recently. “We want to meet someone physically in the end, but it’s spurred with online platforms.”
Will the rise of museum “virtual tours” cause physical attendance to decline?
The basic answer is NO.
People that visit museums are not deterred by videos. Sometimes they watch them to plan their visit but for the most part people that watch videos of museums are a different population all together. They are usually homebound or international; however, most people that take a video tour of a museum will visit it at some point in their life. The British Museum has found most people that take a virtual tour first eventually do visit, even internationally.
What about smaller museums, will people still visit them if they have already seen a virtual tour?
Most smaller museums cater to tourist population:
They’re used as deliberate family time or fulfill a trend. That is where the tech comes in…it caters to the visitors on the fence, making museums seem like an easier choice.”
The video gives them a taste, they watch and think ‘oh that looks fun’, or ‘I want to see that’, etc. It does not hurt attendance but it only enhances it.
One can imagine that after a year like 2020, museum visitors are itching to get back into the physical locations, and museums need all the financial help they can get…it is a win-win with technology.