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Time Ticketing

  • 1.  Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-12-2020 09:28 AM
    We are a university art museum that is free to everyone. When we reopen, we anticipate the need to limit the number of visitors at any one time in the museum to maintain safe social distancing. Is anyone aware of a free or very affordable program for reserving visit time online for people to enter the museum?  We prefer to not ask visitors to wait in line to come into the museum.

    Thank you,

    Susan McIntosh Kriz
    Sheldon Museum of Art
    University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    Susan Kriz MBA
    Associate Director
    Sheldon Museum of Art University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Lincoln NE

  • 2.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-12-2020 10:52 AM
    Contact the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC. They used the visitor reservation system for a few years.

    Gwendolyn Murphy
    Staff Assistant - Property
    National Gallery of Art
    Washington DC

  • 3.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-13-2020 09:23 AM
    We are also a free museum, but have a ticketing system.  In order to have an online Advance and Same Day as well as 24 hour call service, the visitors pay a $1.00 transaction fee to the ticketing company.  We do not receive any funds at the Museum, but the "transaction" fee is just to have the online service for our visitors.  In the Voice of the Visitor Survey, 48% wanted to the ability to reserve their "reservation or time" in advance so they could plan their visit versus waiting in line.  It has worked well.  Dana

    Dana Carroll
    Director of Museum Services
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Washington DC

  • 4.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-13-2020 10:52 AM
    Thank you Dana.  What is the address of the ticketing company?

    Fred Nation
    Executive Director
    Swope Art Museum
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    812-238-1676 ext 113
    Terre Haute
    Indiana, USA

  • 5.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-13-2020 12:24 PM
    Etix's telephone number is 1.800.514.3849 and their main address is in NC, but they have offices all over the United States.  909 Aviation Parkway, Suite 900 Morrisville, NC, 27560.  The VP for sales is Scott Sloyer and his email is below.

    Dana Carroll United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 

    Director  of Museum Services 

    100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW  Washington DC 20024-2126
    202.488.6595 Cell 202.607.7222  Fax 202.488.6568       


    Support the Campaign for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • 6.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-14-2020 06:21 AM
      |   view attached
    Hi !

    I hope all are well, safe and healthy.

    Without going into a sales pitch, Daruma Tech does work with Museums (Museum of Discovery and Science, Vizcaya, etc.) in building inexpensive custom Apps / software and has references, if interested.


    Richard Griswold
    Boca Raton FL
    (561) 990-1625

  • 7.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-13-2020 12:05 PM
    Dear Susan & other colleagues:

    A related crowdsourcing query was recently circulated on the Canadian ONMUSE-L listserve of the Ontario Museum Association that included a request for any negatives.

    I reflected on my own negative experience to that string as follows in part:

    One negative from my experience as a visitor who has purchased one timed ticket &, as a result, never another:

    Several years ago, I made a 2.5-hour train trip to the big city especially to see the Alex Colville exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  My AGO ticket was dated & timed 01/02/2015 1:00 pm.  So, just after lunch time, I accepted the sizeable line-up outside the door as what one might expect. 

    However, as soon as I walked into the gallery, I was "shocked & appalled" (as the saying goes) by the fact that the entire gallery space was already packed up to 2 or 3 deep in front of every piece of art.  I spent most of my time circulating through the middle of the gallery spaces in an attempt to find an artwork I could actually experience without looking over someone else's shoulder.  A significant number of other admittees were doing exactly the same thing.  I eventually gave up on the experience in frustration.  After leaving, I started (or continued) to wonder about what a fire marshal would have thought about the excessive number of people in this gallery space that was somewhat convoluted.

    I received a 'thank you for visiting' e-mail from the AGO, so took up the invitation to reply with comments on my experience.  OK, fine.  I then received a phone call from an AGO volunteer.  If I recall correctly, the call was made to recruit me as a member/donor (rather than to respond to my complaint).  I declined to buy a membership, citing my distance from & rare visits to Toronto as well as the above serious dissatisfaction as the reasons.  The volunteer responded by saying to me that, if I had not waited until so close to the exhibit closing date, my experience would have been better.  This may well be accurate. However, I didn't appreciate blaming the victim--especially in light of the outcome of the advertised timed ticketing . . . [compared to what one has a right to expect from the purchase of a timed ticket].

    The other day, I listened in on the AAM webinar on financial stability for museums & the timed ticket gambit was discussed briefly.  This prompted me to consider again why museums use such a method of admissions control.  Is it to improve visitor experience by limiting the numbers of viewers per hour so they don't have to compete too strenuously for contemplation time & space in front of the art?  If so, the AGO experience above failed miserably in achieving that purpose for me.  . . .

    My experience above obviously makes me extremely cautious about the effectiveness of timed ticketing. 

    One crucial variable obviously is the need to assert strict control over the length of each visitor's stay in the gallery space once their ticket allows them to enter.  If--like the AGO--a museum fails to deliberately move earlier timed ticket holders out of the space, the system is liable simply to flood the gallery with visitors who all have their own timed ticket. 

    The upshot here is my advice that the right to enter at a certain time given to a timed ticket holder must also be time-limited--especially for purpose of controlling pandemic physical distancing in the space--so the purchased right to be present in the gallery expires, thereby giving the museum the right to remove the visitor when it is time to do so.

    I trust that this will serve as more grist for this mill.

    Respectfully yours

    Paul C. Thistle

    Critical Museology Miscellanea blog

  • 8.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-14-2020 09:22 AM
    Hey Susan,

    You might want to reach out to the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania).  It is free and they have a system.  Its been a couple of years since I was there so I dont know what they are currently using.


    Conor Hepp
    Director of Visitor Services
    Barnes Foundation
    Philadelphia PA

  • 9.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-14-2020 12:25 PM
    Edited by Shelagh Grimshaw 05-14-2020 12:27 PM

    Shelagh Grimshaw
    Director of Development
    American Alliance of Museums
    Arlington VA

  • 10.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-14-2020 02:36 PM
    I guess it depends on how much you want to spend. You could use a basic scheduling system and have people show their ID, if you want to keep it cheap. Ticketing systems are often expensive, so maybe you should ask your IT team if they could set up some kind of numbered reservation system for any given appointment. This shouldn't be a difficult app to create with a simple form and database.

    Since it is likely that people will show up without an appointment, however, perhaps you could find a creative way to enforce social distancing. For example, a local artist could design a personal perimeter that people have to wear.

    Lisa Leverett
    Art Information Specialist, Owner
    Art Counsel LLC

  • 11.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 05-27-2020 02:36 PM
    Hi Susan, we've been providing pay-what-you-can access for online and in-person events for a while now, and we also have the ability to create a VR experience of your museum.  It's called  Pls reach out if you think we can help.

    Kahlil Ashanti
    Founder and CEO
    Vancouver BC

  • 12.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 07-29-2020 11:03 AM
    Edited by Brendan Ciecko 07-29-2020 11:03 AM

    Hi Susan, we'll be hosting a webinar later today (2pm EST) specifically focused on the topic of timed ticketing. Our hope to hear best practices from a few museums that have used timed ticketing for several years, as well as the experiences of museums that have recently implemented due to COVID-19. Here is the link to register/view:

    Brendan Ciecko
    CEO & Founder
    Boston MA

  • 13.  RE: Time Ticketing

    Posted 07-29-2020 01:50 PM
    Dear colleagues:

    I have purchased a 'timed ticket' & when I entered the gallery, it was already totally packed by previous visitors.

    QUESTION: How do you move 'timed ticket' holders out of the space so those who purchase later times can get in?

    Just wondering.

    Respectfully yours

    Paul C. Thistle

    Critical Museology Miscellanea blog

    Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers blog