Busting Museum Boredom in Millennials with Beacon Technology


Busting Museum Boredom in Millennials with Beacon Technology

Times have changed, and with millennials entering the work force, and making up more and more of the adult population, museums and attractions have had to get creative to gain and retain the attention of said millennials. It is no secret that museum attendance has dipped in the last decade. In fact, museumgoers age 75 and older were the only age group to increase over that same time frame. Museum curators worry most about millennials, and engaging them. Many refer to millennials as the most diverse and easily accessible generation in U.S. history due to the unpredictability, their lack of loyalty within the marketplace, and the technology they grew up with as opposed to older generations who can remember a time without internet and smart phones. Therefore, museums are turning to Bluetooth beacon technology to reach this generation.

What Can Museums Do?

Museums are facing the technologically-driven world and competing with social media and the internet on a daily basis. How can these museums engage a generation raised on instant gratification of “clicks” and “swipes” with canvases hanging on the wall and exhibits of ancient (and stagnant) artifacts, for example? Recently, many museums have turned to Bluetooth beacon technology to engage more visitors, focusing primarily on millennials. Once an app is downloaded by the visitor, the beacon can detect which exhibit the person is looking at, in real time, and offer information about the exhibit through audios, videos, and reviews. These beacons help to enrich the experience of the visitor, and engage them in a way never done before. These beacons offer a more diverse museum experience, because it allows the individual to act as their own tour guide, using their smart phones in lieu of a headset and recording of the same old information in the order set forth by the museum curators.

Push Notifications

Beacon technology allows for push notifications to the museumgoer upon the download of the attraction app. Because millennials stay connected, the engagement tool of notifications has helped to put museums back on the radar as something fun and interesting to do for this younger generation. Not only does the visitor receive notifications throughout the exploration of the museum as it relates to each exhibit, there are also notifications that can be sent offering coupons to the gift store or discounts for the restaurants onsite. This not only improves revenue streams for the museum, but engages the visitors and entices them to return to redeem their offers.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

Relatively new to the museum and attraction space, beacon technology is paving the way for creating a unique and exciting experience for users of all ages. As technology continues to develop, these Bluetooth enhancements will only get better, as well. Beacon technology is allowing museums and attractions to remain educational and retain their history, while offering a fresh and unique take on the exhibits that may have been around for years. By targeting millennials through what they know best, their phones and tablets, they are reaching a group that otherwise may not ever choose or have a reason to visit some of these attractions. This technology will continue to engage people of all ages, and breathe new life into the museum-going experience in the coming years.

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