Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Audio Guides

    Posted 03-25-2019 07:56 AM
    Hi all, i'm trying to find out whether developing an audio guide program for my museum could be a financially viable option. I'm looking for any information people have on their own audio guide programs. My museum will be free when it opens, but we will charge for the use of audio guides, which people will be able to purchase when they reserve their free ticket online, or in person at the museum once they get there. 

    If you have audio guides at your museum, could you share whether it is free, has a fee, or is included in the ticket price; whether the program is marketed; and what the take up rate is? And any other information you think could be pertinent is appreciated! Thanks!

    Emmy French
    Assist. Dir., Museum Operations
    Army Historical Foundation / National Museum of the U.S. Army
    Arlington VA
    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 2.  RE: Audio Guides

    Posted 03-26-2019 07:03 AM
    We charge admission (nominal) and use audio guides (free) which are not very popular for some reason.  We make it downloadable as well.  We were fortunate to have received a grant for the equipment and servicing and produced the content and voice over ourselves.  I doubt it would be a money-maker.  Granted, this is without research on my part, but most museums who charge admission make their audio guides available free of charge.

    Vivian F. Zoë, Director
    Slater Memorial Museum
    108 Crescent Street, Norwich CT 06360
    860-425-5560 vox
    860-885-0379 fax

    "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work," Chuck Close, 2003

    Please note:  The information contained in this e-mail and any attachments hereto is intended only for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipients.  If the reader/recipient of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this e-mail and all attachments hereto in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail or any of its attachments is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and destroy the original message received.  Thank You.

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 3.  RE: Audio Guides

    Posted 03-26-2019 08:43 AM
    Hey Emmy,

    A few years ago, I worked at a free museum that charged for the audio tours.  We charged $5 at first, with a rather low pick up rate.  When it was dropped to $3 we saw an increase.  We never really got push back from the guests on it.  Depending on your pick up rate and return visitation (whether GA or Member) looking into starting with a freemium model and having your initial offering free to guests and having an upcharge for additional content.  I would assume that a museum with subject like yours may see some diehards willing to spend extra money for the content.

    Also, dont know if you have already or not, but you might want to go pay-what-you-wish/donation admission.  You can earn a lot at the entrance with well trained staff.


    Conor Hepp
    Director of Visitor Services
    Barnes Foundation
    Philadelphia PA

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 4.  RE: Audio Guides

    Posted 03-26-2019 09:09 AM
    An important note for the use of audio guides: please make sure a complete transcript is available for deaf and hard of hearing visitors who wish to access the additional information!

    Meredith Peruzzi
    Gallaudet University Museum
    Washington DC

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 5.  RE: Audio Guides

    Posted 03-26-2019 09:34 AM
    Hi Emmy,

    We may be able to help, but would ideally want to hear a bit more about your vision for the type of experience you wish to create. 

    Cuseum works with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, public and private companies to help them better engage their visitors using best-in-class digital tools. One of those tools provides the visitor with a content-rich, digital tour guide experience that they can follow along on their own mobile device or a device that you provide for them. Here is a video we put together explaining this: Digital Tour Guide Video. On our website you can see some examples at of some of these experiences. 

    We pride ourselves on being able to help every single institution, regardless of budget, so don't hesitate to reach out if you think this would be valuable. 

    Regarding your questions about free vs paid: Most institutions with whom we work provide the experience at no cost for visitors doing so on their own device. If visitors choose to rent a device, some institutions will charge a nominal fee, while others will provide those experiences at no cost. Cost of this could certainly be included in the ticketed price. 

    Please let me know what else I can help with! Feel free to reach out if you wish to speak further about this (!

    Dan Sullivan
    Head of Growth and Partnerships
    Boston, MA

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more