Visitor Verdict, the Association of Independent Museum’s visitor research and benchmarking tool for museums, has been going from strength to strength. AIM and partner BDRC-Continental, have just announced a further 80 museums can join, after all the places offered last year have been filled.
For the first time, these can be taken up by museums in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as England. Independent, local authority and other types of museums are all eligible, if they are members of AIM.
Visitor Verdict is an industry-leading and powerful visitor-research tool. Its strength is the low burden it places on the museums participating in it: only visitor email addresses have to be collected by the museum and then the online system sends out personalised email surveys and collates and analyses visitors’ responses. Museums log into the Visitor Verdict website to see their results.
The other feature of great benefit is the ability to compare the museum’s own results with the anonymised results of other similar groups of museums, by size, subject, location and other variables. This ability to benchmark performance in every area from spends per head to the quality of the visitor experience makes the insights gained much more useful.
Visitor Verdict is funded by Arts Council England until September 2015, but additional places have now been agreed for those outside England. Participation is free until then for all AIM members. Membership of AIM starts from as little as £40 a year and is open to all museums, galleries and heritage attractions, including local authority museums. As well as access to Visitor Verdict, those who join will also get all the other benefits of AIM’s advice and support on income generation, volunteering and many other areas. More information is available on AIM’s website www.aim-museums.co.uk Visitor Verdict has its own website, www.aimvisitorverdict.com or contact AIM’s Executive Director, Tamalie Newbery
Diane Clements, Director at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, explains how she’s using this new insight resource in many different ways. She shares the overall enjoyment score with staff “as it’s a concept that they can take on board and work to improve.” The insights also helped her understand the main motivation of different visitors and their demographic profile. Of particular benefit was the revelation that 40% of visitors were not even looking in the shop, a higher figure than for similar museums. She explains, “Our shop is an important source of funding. This is useful for us to make sure we tell visitors about the shop and food for thought for the Shop Manager.”