The Experience Economy

This reading is an interesting expansion on the idea of what it means to encourage people to have active engagement in a space: on the museum visitor level, and also beyond that. Many of us have heard of the new “instagram” focused, “selfie museums” (the Museum of Ice Cream, the Museum of Color) that have become another selling point where they provide visitors a thematic place to play and take pictures. I have been through several phases of appreciating these pop ups and looking critically at their comparatively shallow purpose, but to their credit, they perfectly follow Pine and Gilmore’s principles of creating an experience. And perhaps there is a possibility to learn about engaging younger audiences from them. A mild digression, but it is also interesting to me, looking back on it, why they decided to market themselves as Museums.

First Time and Repeat Visitors

The distinction on how museums appeal to first time or repeat visitors is an interesting aspect of their design, and I feel is a factor for all experience-centered attractions. I found the study relatively matching for what seems to be common sense, and a bit limited in scope to a single museum. I am also curious about what percentage of visitors are there for their first time, and how many are there for repeats (essentially who is the audience most of the time within the museum). This reminds me of the Disneyland distinction also, in dealing with too many guests and too few resources (time), how do they build systems and which guests do they prioritize (From Defunctland’s Video on Disney’s Fast Pass: A Complicated History). The free online fast pass system was initially designed to prioritize first time guests who would be paying a lot more to visit parks- but it was complicated, and so the people who used it and were able to benefit from it the most, were actually repeat visitors. This meant significantly longer waiting times for the first timers, and in general is correlated to a lower quality of experience. What in museums, might this correlate to, and what resources or extra knowledge does a first time visitor miss out on? Or perhaps this is actually better since it gives repeat visitors something new to explore?