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Museum Talk: Who comes to the museum? Who does not? Visitor research in museum practice

Museum Talk: Besucherforschung

An online colloquium for practitioners and interested people

Visitor research has become well established in the German museum landscape. Many museums now conduct regular surveys to analyze the structure of their audiences, and evaluate their exhibitions, educational activities, and public events. Various methods, such as focus group discussions or eye-tracking procedures are used for this purpose. In support of the museums, a "Guide to Visitor Research" was recently published by the German Museum Association.

But how are the results from visitor research transferred to museum practice? How can they become an integral part of the conception and realization of museum offers? Who should be actively involved in the conception of visitor studies, to ensure that relevant results are generated and later implemented into the museum's work? And should this process be preceded by an "institutional change" towards an open museum? What kind of reservations are opposed to the concept of visitor orientation?

We would like to investigate these and similar questions in the second Museum Talk. In three sessions experts from visitor research will present their experiences and results from current studies. As a prelude, the keynote speaker raises critical questions about the diversification of museums. In the first session, current public structure analyses will be presented. There will be a discussion about the way the structure of visitors has been altered by the Corona pandemic and free entry, which has lately been introduced by some museums. In the second session, the speakers will critically analyze the long-standing visitor research at their museums as well as discuss perspectives for the future. The last session will focus on how visitor research should be integrated into museum practice.


Event information

This event is part of the action plan of the Leibniz Research Museums titled "Eine Welt in Bewegung" (A world on the move) and is being carried out in cooperation with the “Deutsches Museum”, the “German Maritime Museum” and the “German Institute for Adult Education Bonn”.