AIM Event: UK Launch of AIM Admissions Research Report and AIM Hallmarks in Wales

This is a bilingual webpage / Mae hon yn dudalen we dwyieithog

Thursday 8 September 2016, The Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Cardiff

 11:00am – 4.00pm with lunch included

Free event for AIM members. AIM members are welcome to attend either or both events and enjoy lunch with additional networking opportunities

UK Launch of AIM Admissions Research Report

This morning event will launch the official report containing vital research into the impact of charging for admissions on museums and heritage sites, including results from the recent admissions survey. Attendees will receive copies of the summarised report before enjoying a buffet lunch. Twitter hashtag: #AIMCharge

11.00: Arrival and coffee

11.30: Introduction

An introduction to the AIM Admissions Research Report by Dr Matthew Tanner, Vice Chair of the Association of Independent Museums

11.45: Report presentation by Dr Stephen Connolly from DC Research with case studies from two participant museums

Stephen will summarise the main findings about the impact of charging, explaining the complexity and diversity of the picture around charging for admissions by museums. Two museums that have changed their charging policy recently will outline their experience. Finally, Stephen will summarise the key lessons for museums to consider when reviewing their own charging position.

1.00 – 2.00: Buffet lunch and networking

AIM Hallmarks in Wales

Attendees are invited to lunch followed by an afternoon session exploring the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums. Guest speakers will reflect on their own leadership approaches and organisational development in light of the Hallmarks and there will be more information about the AIM Hallmarks programme. Thanks to funding from Welsh Government, AIM members in Wales are now eligible to apply for grants via the AIM Hallmarks Awards. Twitter hashtag: #AIMHM

2.15: Introduction to the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums by Tamalie Newbery, AIM Executive Director

2.30: Emmie Kell, Chief Executive of the Cornwall Museums Partnership

2.55: Traci Dix-Wiliams, Director of Operations, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust

Engaging all staff in your museum’s purpose

3.20: Discussion with all three speakers

3.40: The AIM Hallmarks Awards: maximising your chance of success

4.00: Event closes

To find out more about the AIM Hallmarks Awards in Wales please visit:

AIM Hallmarks Awards Round Two Now Open in England And Wales

Shakespeare Trust-138

Visitors at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (Image ©The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust)


Digwyddiad AIM: Lansiad y DU o Adroddiad Ymchwil Mynediadau AIM a Dilysnodau AIM yng Nghymru

Dydd Iau 8 Medi 2016, Clwb Criced Sir Morgannwg, Caerdydd

11:00yb – 4.00yh gyda chinio

Digwyddiad di-dâl i aelodau AIM. Mae croeso i aelodau AIM fynychu’r naill ddigwyddiad neu’r llall, neu’r ddau ddigwyddiad ac i fwynhau cinio gyda chyfleoedd rhwydweithio ychwanegol.

 Lansiad y DU o Adroddiad Ymchwil Mynediadau AIM

Bydd y digwyddiad hwn yn y bore yn lansio’r adroddiad swyddogol sydd yn cynnwys ymchwil hanfodol i’r effaith o godi tâl ar gyfer mynediad ar amgueddfeydd a safleoedd treftadaeth, gan gynnwys canlyniadau’r arolwg mynediadau diweddar. Bydd y bobl sydd yn mynychu yn derbyn copïau o grynodeb yr adroddiad cyn mwynhau cinio bwffe. ‘Hashtag’ Trydar: #AIMCharge

11.00: Cyrraedd a choffi

11.30: Cyflwyniad

Cyflwyniad i Adroddiad Ymchwil Mynediadau AIM gan Dr Matthew Tanner, Dirprwy Gadeirydd Cymdeithas yr Amgueddfeydd Annibynnol.

11.45: Cyflwyniad adroddiad gan Dr Stephen Connolly o DC Research gydag astudiaethau achos o ddwy amgueddfa sydd yn cyfranogi.

Bydd Stephen yn crynhoi’r prif gasgliadau am effaith codi tâl, gan egluro cymhlethdod ac amrywiaeth y darlun o gwmpas codi tâl ar gyfer mynediad i amgueddfeydd. Bydd dwy amgueddfa sydd wedi newid eu polisi codi tâl yn ddiweddar yn amlinellu eu profiad. Yn olaf, bydd Stephen yn crynhoi’r gwersi allweddol i amgueddfeydd eu hystyried wrth adolygu eu safbwynt codi tâl eu hunain.

1.00- 2.00: Cinio bwffe a rhwydweithio

Dilysnodau AIM yng Nghymru

Gwahoddir y bobl sydd yn mynychu i gael cinio wedi’i ddilyn gan sesiwn prynhawn yn archwilio Dilysnodau AIM o Amgueddfeydd sydd yn Ffynnu. Bydd siaradwyr gwadd yn adlewyrchu ar eu dulliau gweithredu arweinyddiaeth a datblygiad cyfundrefnol eu hunain yng ngoleuni’r Dilysnodau a bydd rhagor o wybodaeth am raglen Dilysnodau AIM. Diolch i gyllid gan Lywodraeth Cymru, mae aelodau AIM yng Nghymru yn awr yn gymwys i ymgeisio ar gyfer grantiau drwy Wobrau Dilysnod AIM. ‘Hashtag’ Trydar: #AIMHM

2.15: Cyflwyniad i Ddilysnodau AIM o Amgueddfeydd sydd yn Ffynnu gan Tamalie Newbery, Cyfarwyddwr Gweithredol AIM

2.30: Emmie Kell, Prif Weithredwr Partneriaeth Amgueddfwydd Cernyw

2.55: Traci Dix-Wiliams, Cyfarwyddwr Gweithredu, Ymddiriedolaeth Amgueddfeydd Ironbridge Gorge

Ymgysylltu pob aelod o staff mewn pwrpas eich amgueddfa

3.20: Trafodaeth gyda’r siaradwyr i gyd

3.40: Gwobrau Dilysnod AIM: manteisio ar eich cyfle o lwyddiant

4.00: Digwyddiad yn cau

I ddarganfod rhagor am Wobrau Dilysnod AIM yng Nghymru, gweler:

Rownd Dau o Wobrau Dilysnod AIM Hallmarks yn awr Ar Agor yng Nghymru a Lloegr

 Booking / Archebu

English:  AIM Wales Events Booking Form

Cymraeg: Ffurflen Archebu Digwyddiadau AIM Cymru

WG and ACE logos largeUntitled


First Annual VisitorVerdict Members Forum This July

The first annual VisitorVerdict Members Forum will take place on 11 July at BMA House, Tavistock Square in London and will celebrate the widespread commitment to measuring and benchmarking museum visitor experience. The Members Forum offers subscribing museums the opportunity to ensure they get the most from the service.  BDRC, with the support of the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), are hosting the event which will include a mixture of talks, tutorials, insights and networking.

Attendees can expect a productive day learning and sharing best practice for data collection and analysis. Insights and issues will be brought to life with stories from fellow member museums, AIM staff, regional museum development officers and the VisitorVerdict team. “Too often museums conduct the hard work of collecting visitor research and analysis in isolation,” explained Max Clapham, the Client Services Director at BDRC Conteminetal. “The member’s forum is a unique platform for staff and volunteers with a common bond and shared experience to promote the evaluation they do and get real practical help that supports them on their journey.”

VV 1

The event will celebrate the widespread commitment to measuring and benchmarking museum visitor experience

VisitorVerdict Awards will be also announced over lunch to recognise some of the great work happening country-wide. This is an invitation only event for current VisitorVerdict subscribers, but museums signing up to the service between now and early July will also have the opportunity to attend for free. VisitorVerdict is now the UK’s foremost visitor survey and benchmarking service for small/medium sized visitor attractions and museums are using VisitorVerdict to prioritise investment, improve visitor experience, inform marketing messages and media, for staff and volunteer training, contractor briefing and to attract and retain sponsors and investors.

Find out more about the service at



“It was just stuff in glass cages” – The importance of ‘Things To Do’ at attractions

Our colleagues at BDRC (who many will know as AIM’s partner in delivering Visitor Verdict) have been working on a challenge for 2014 – trying to visit 100 attractions and tweet and blog about their experiences.

They have given us permission to share their latest blog with you. You can read more of their insights on their blog, BDRC Stories. This article is packed full of the different ways that museums provide visitors with ‘Things To Do’ (not just for children!) and why it’s so important.

“It was just stuff in glass cages” – The importance of Things To Do at attractions.

By Jon Young.
Tourism, Travel & Leisure team Associate Director at BDRC Continental.

'Things to do' at National Trust's Baddesley Clinton

In April this year, we embarked on the #visit100 challenge – a quest to visit 100 unique venues, exhibitions and events across the UK, taking a flattering selfie at each. Aside from perfecting the selfie (a skill few of us have managed), the main aim of #visit100 is to add granularity to our findings from the ALVA Visitor Experience Benchmarking Survey.

A consistent driver of a positive experience in our ALVA work is ‘what there is to do’ at a venue. The presentation of objects with written interpretation is sufficient for specialists (the ALVA [and Visitor Verdict] ‘topic interest’ segment), but expectations are much higher for ‘tick box’ or ‘broadening horizons’ visitors, particularly those who are new to the subject area.

The desire for ‘things to do’ is in part driven by the availability or ‘democratisation’ of knowledge via the internet and the technology that supports it. Cultural venues are no longer the main custodians of the information they exhibit. One of my first #visit100 trips was to Flamsteed House in Royal Observatory Greenwich. Between Herons Quay and Mudchute on the DLR, I had processed (although not remembered) enough information about Sir Christopher Wren to use it as a specialist subject on Mastermind. Wind back ten years, and this would not have been possible. Modern-day visitor are equipped with far more knowledge, or at the very least know that they can easily access it should they want to.

The internet – via the rise of social media – has also acted as a catalyst for FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Facebook check-ins and photo uploads allow us to shape how we are seen (our personal brand), and create a desire for our friends or followers to be seen similarly. Through creating and promoting tick-box experiences, attractions are in a great position to harness FOMO. You only need to look at the queue of people waiting by the Meridian Line (even though the actual line extends into the park below) to see FOMO’s power.

The recession has also played a part in driving this shift. VisitEngland’s report on domestic leisure trends for the next decade talks about Cultural Capital – a movement away from transactional experiences to learning new skills. Trendswatch by the American Alliance of Museums makes a similar point.

Venues continue to be presented in multi-sensory ways, opening the door to a more immersive experience. ‘The Rain Room’ at the Barbican and ‘David Bowie is’ at the V&A are great examples of how this can be done using technology. Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy demonstrated how it can be done using the sights and smells of nature.

Our #visit100 experiences have revealed lots of good examples of ‘things to do’. At National Trust’s Baddesley Clinton, our director’s children got dressed up in period clothes (although he didn’t). At Thinktank Birmingham, the Science Garden taught me about science in hands-on ways that school failed to and the internet never could.

But ‘things to do’ isn’t just for children, and it doesn’t have to be too interactive. The British Library’s Comics Unmasked exhibition invited visitors to sketch their own comics, and entries were put on the wall. Down the road, The Wellcome Collection’s A to Z of the Human Condition sought entries for each letter of the alphabet – onsite and online. Another installation in Sensing Spaces was made solely of plastic piping that visitors had created themselves. At the National Gallery, visitors are invited to take a photo mimicking the subjects of the artwork they are standing next to.

So should all venues be packed with things to do? Well, given their importance in driving a positive visit, it’s a good place to start. But ‘things to do’ is just one way of generating deeper engagement. During my #visit100 travels, two guided tours developed my understanding of impressionism (at National Gallery) and encouraged me to buy a print (at Tate). Staff interaction taught me what fur is on the Queen’s crown at the Tower of London (it’s stoat) and the whole of Queen Victoria’s family tree at Kensington Palace.

The key challenge is to get people to think about objects or exhibits, to help them understand their context. It’s about telling stories, taking visitors back in time, delving beyond the case (or ‘cage’ as one focus group respondent put it) that they are stored in.

A small selection of our recent #Visit100 selfies.

BDRC’s Tourism, Culture and Leisure sector research team have been taking selfies on their travels to visitor attractions in 2014 – view them all here #Visit100.

Visitor Verdict – Top Tips for Collecting Email Addresses

With over 200 museums now taking part in AIM Visitor Verdict – a free visitor research and benchmarking programme – we thought now would be a good time to share some top tips for making collecting visitors’ email addresses as easy as possible.

1.    The best time

You don’t have to bring up the survey at the beginning of a visit, when you probably have a lot of other things to say. Visitors tend to be more relaxed later on in their visit so this could be a good time to ask.

2.    The best place

Pick a point where the majority of your visitors will pass.

3.     Keep it varied

Approach visitors on different days of the week and at different times throughout the day. Include school holidays and term-time and both normal opening and event days.

4.     Only one e-mail per visitor party

You only need to collect one e-mail per group of people visiting together (remember this person must be 16yrs+).

5.    The more the better!

Most visitors are pleased to give feedback and are used to giving out their e-mail addresses so be confident in asking. The more feedback you get, the more confident you can be in your results.

6.     Smile

Ask visitors whether they’ve had a good visit when you approach them to participate in the survey, their experience of being asked is all part of their visit!

7.     Accuracy

E-mail addresses are easy to get wrong. Don’t waste your efforts: be sure to record e-mails carefully.

8.     Reduce workload

Enter e-mails directly into the system. Use the ‘Add a Visit’ tool to add them one-by-one or collect them electronically in a spreadsheet and upload them all in one go using the ‘Upload Tool’.

9.    Engage your team

Help staff and volunteers to understand why the research is important and how it’s helping. This should make them feel happier asking visitors to take part. Share results with your team and keep them updated on how things are going.

10.  Support your team

  • Ask staff/volunteers what would make collecting e-mails easier for them
  • Give them confidence to approach visitors by supplying them with the Visitor Verdict Certificate
  • Set a weekly target of e-mails to collect; work together and celebrate with a treat if you reach it
  • Run a competition with a small prize for whoever collects the most e-mail addresses
  • Click here to download a one-page leaflet to help staff and volunteers understand their task

These tips have been compiled with suggestions and feedback from our recent workshop with AIM Visitor Verdict members.

For more tips from the workshop click here.

For any queries please contact Amy Randle, AIM Visitor Verdict Manager on: tel; 0207 400 0382 / email;

Paid attractions lead a strong rise in visits across English visitor attractions in 2013

Visit England has recently published the official visitor attraction figures for 2013. Whilst the overall 4% rise in visitor figures for museums is to be welcomed, it is not as strong as the 5% rise across attractions as a whole. A look at the detail of the report sheds some interesting light on these figures.

The Visit England report states:

Overall there was a +5% annual increase in in total visits to attractions in 2013, representing a strong recovery following the -1% decline reported in 2012.

This increase was driven by a recovery in visits to attractions charging for admission, where there was growth of +7%, following the -3% decline observed in 2012. Visits to free attractions grew by +3%.

Despite being more likely to be closed seasonally in 2013, historic attractions experienced strong growth, historic houses/castles increasing visits by +7% and other historic properties by +10%. Visits to this sector are now around a quarter higher than they were in 2008.

Revenues from admissions rose by 5%, attributed to a 4% rise in prices and the increase in visitor numbers. The percentage of attractions increasing their spend on marketing rose for the first time in eight years. 18% now offer some form of mobile app and 21% offer online booking. Facebook and twitter are now used widely by even small attractions, corresponding with the findings from AIM’s Visitor Verdict benchmarking, although use of mobile apps is much lower amongst museums and galleries (8%) than for many other types of attractions.

Larger attractions with more than 50,000 visitors have seen the highest rates of increase. Smaller attractions (fewer than 20,000 visits p.a.) have grown at the slowest rate.

The report also looks at family and school visits:

There was a strong bounce-back in visits to family attractions in 2013, with a +6% increase in visits to attractions with over 30% of their visits accounted for by children. This contrasts with a –2% decline in 2012. …

Schoolchildren admissions also saw a strong increase in 2013. Although increasing at a rate lower than admissions as a whole (+4%), this was a notable turnaround on the -16% decline observed in 2012.

Overseas visits increased for almost all types of attractions and in all English regions apart from the South West. However it was driven by free attractions, primarily by the national museums.

Other than country parks and gardens, all attraction categories reported 2013 local visitor numbers up on 2012. The lower overall performance of attractions in terms of visit numbers in the North West and West Midlands appears to have been driven by declines in local visitors. These are the only two regions in which local visitor numbers fell in 2013.

Local visitors appear to have driven the increase in visits to paid admission attractions in 2013. Local visitors to these attractions increased by +11% in 2013 compared with an overall +7% increase in visits to paid attractions.

The report also looks at trends in admission prices:

41% of attractions charging admission, charge £5 or less for entry – a slight decline on the 43% observed in 2012. One in six charge over £10. The average entry charge stands at £7.30 in 2013. The average child admission charge amongst those sites charging is £5.18. A quarter of charging sites (23%) charge over £5 for child entry, with 6% now charging over £10.00.

The average increase in adult admission fees is 4% this year – consistent with increases during the previous five years, with increases of 4% (2012), 5% (2011), 5% (2010), 4% (2009) and 5% (2008).

The average increase for museums and galleries was 5%, giving an average charge of £4.41 and for ‘other historic properties’ the average increase was 7% giving an average charge of £5.38.

Growth in visitor numbers was stronger for attractions that offered deals or discounts (offered by 61% of charging attractions), particularly in relation to chid admissions (the family market). However the impact on revenues was less noticeable between those offering deals/discounts (6% increase) and those that did not (5% increase).

The report looks at the link between revenues, visitor numbers and marketing spend and notes that those attractions that increased their marketing spends saw bigger rises in both compared to those that did not.

In relation to employment, the report notes across visitor attractions that the previous trend of declining employment has been arrested:

Heritage attractions appear to have driven the increase in full-time permanent staff, plus visitor / heritage centres and places of worship. Conversely, museums and art galleries, country parks, gardens, farms and workplaces continue to be more likely to be reducing these members of staff. Paid admission attractions have led the drive in taking on full-time permanent staff in 2013.

It also notes a strong increase in volunteering in almost all types of attraction, paid and unpaid.

The report also has information about regional variations, employment and volunteering and long-term trends in visitor numbers across different types of visitor attractions.

One of the most interesting parts is the graphs on pages 14 and 16, showing the long-term visitor trends for different types of attractions. Museums and galleries have just out performed the market since 1989 but this is largely driven by the 150% increase in visits to national museums since free admission was introduced in 2001. Historic properties have under-performed the market since 1989 but since 2008 have seen very strong growth. Heritage Railways had been outperforming the market until 2011 but have since had two years of decline or stagnation in visitor numbers. Gardens, farms and heritage/visitor centres have seen extremely strong growth across the whole period since 1989 and have been the best performers. Whilst some AIM members fall into these categories, the report left us wondering if there are things we could be learning from other types of visitor attraction?



Visitor Attraction index

How Visitor Verdict helps – income, marketing, fundraising and visitor experience

A Visitor Verdict Results Workshop was held recently to help museums and heritage sites get even more out of their membership of the free, AIM Visitor Verdict benchmarking and visitor research programme.

During the session Steve Mills of BDRC Continental explained about four areas where Visitor Verdict can help museums and the workshop participants then used the data from their own sites to explore further how Visitor Verdict can help them improve their offer to visitors and be more profitable, with Steve and his team on hand to provide expert guidance. To find out more about the workshop click here.

Here is some of what they learnt:

  1. Income Generation

The key Visitor Verdict reports here are the financial benchmarks for ticket pricing, catering and retail spending. It was useful to look at the benchmarks compared to similar types of museums and also your own museum’s value for money scores, compared to benchmarks in looking at whether there was flexibitily to increase prices. Either indicator on its own doesn’t tell you much but together they provide useful insight. If your current prices are lower than similar museums and your value for money scores are higher than similar museums, then there may be flexibility to increase prices.

The retail and catering spends are supported by details about how visitors find the quality, range of products and value for money, which can help pinpoint areas to be addressed. It also identifies the percentage of visitors who don’t visit retail, who browse but don’t buy and who make a purchase.

My looking at the results by types of visitor or by their motivation for visiting, it was possible to see that in some cases the retail offer was appealing to those with a strong interest in the subject of the museum but not to those who came for more general interest reasons, for instance.

  1. Marketing and Communications

There were lots of Visitor Verdict reports which helped museums understand how they could make their marketing and communications messages more effective including demographic information about visitors, understanding the motivations for their visits and therefore thinking about whether marketing messages are appealing to those motivations, the communications channels which have been most effective in triggering a visit, spend on marketing and use of social media and websites. All of these indicators are much more powerful because of the benchmarking element.

Steve emphasised the important difference between motivations for visiting (e.g. child engagement, topic interest, broadening horizons – some of the Visitor Verdict motivational segments) and triggers for a specific visit (the marketing channel which prompted a visit, e.g. leaflet, advertising, word of mouth recommendation).

  1. Improving the visitor experience

Visitor Verdict has 24 measures for visitor experience divided into three sections: service delivery (or customer service), content (linked to your interpretation) and emotional (how visitors feel about your museum and their visit). By looking at the content (interpretation) scores for different visitor  segments, you can see whether you are meeting the needs of all types of visitor and this can indicate where you might be able to adapt your content to meet the requirements of a wider range of people.

For instance visitors whose motivation is ‘topic interest’ (interest in the particular subject of your museum) may want quite detailed content, but this detailed content won’t appeal so much to those who are ‘tick box’ visitors (those visiting because they see your museum as a ‘must-see’ destination). Those whose motivation is ‘child engagment’ will be interested in how child-friendly your content is and may rate their experience very differently from those with ‘topic interest’ because of their different reason for visiting. Visitor Verdict also measures how well your museum or site delivers against different visitors’ primary motive for visiting, which also helps identify areas for improvement, for different types of visitors that you may wish to target.

  1. Funding

By understanding and being able to evidence in more detail how your interpretation could be improved to meet the needs of wider audiences or new types of visitors, you can make a better case to funders like the Heritage Lottery Fund about why investment is needed and the benefits it could bring. It can also underpin your evaluation strategy to show funders how their grants have made a difference. The information in Visitor Verdict gives you the information you need to answer the HLF application questions (and Activity Plan section) about who your visitors are, why they visit and what they gain from visiting. You can then track this over time to see the impact of the improvements made through a grant.

Visitor Verdict can also help you prove who is visiting and who is not visiting, how broad a socio-demographic profile you are reaching and how this compares to other similar museums, which can be useful for advocacy.  It can help you identify areas for large of small investments such as an under-performing shop or café.

The team at BDRC are always happy to answer any questions about getting set up with Visitor Verdict or about what results mean. Contact

Please also email Amy if you would be interested in attending a future Visitor Verdict Workshop, if you’d like to host one in your area or if you would be interested in joining a webinar.

If you haven’t signed up for Visitor Verdict yet, you still can – go to

If you aren’t a member of AIM it costs between £40 and £95 depending on the size of your museum, and Visitor Verdict is then free to use. Joining information can be found on

Tips from the first AIM Visitor Verdict Results Workshop

“I wish I’d collected more email addresses” was the overwhelming response from the 14 representatives of museums and heritage sites who attended the first AIM Visitor Verdict Results workshop, as they discovered the huge range of insights that Visitor Verdict can give into every element of the visitor experience.

Sites with larger numbers of completed surveys were able to look at their results in even more detail, identifying the differences in visitors’ experience depending on their motivation to visit, whether they had children in their party or whether this was their first visit, for instance.

AIM Visitor Verdict is an online visitor research and benchmarking tool, which is free for all AIM members to use. Museums collect email addresses from visitors who are then sent an online survey. The museum can log into the results website and see their data benchmarked against other similar types of museums as well as trends over time.

Visitor Verdict’s particular strengths are:

  • The low burden on the museum in participating with little time required and no cost
  • The benchmarking which makes it clear which elements of your results are significant

The workshop was organised by BDRC Continental and AIM to help sites in the early stages of using Visitor Verdict understand more about how it can help them, as well as to address any questions or problems on the practical elements of collecting email addresses and using the system.

Steve Mills of BDRC shared some of the ways that Visitor Verdict can help museums focusing on four areas:

  1. How to generate more income
  2. Marketing and communications
  3. Improving the visitor experience
  4. Fundraising, investment and advocacy

Click here for more details about how Visitor Verdict helped in these four areas.

The museums then worked in groups to look at how they could use their own data to explore some of these issues. The AIM and BDRC team were on hand to help with tips and guidance.

Some overall things that the museums took away from the workshop were:

  • Keep collecting the email addresses – Visitor Verdict can tell you so much more if you have a good sample size of completed surveys.
  • Use the benchmarking section first to highlight areas of concern compared to similar museums.
  • Use the filters to further analyse problem areas to see if the results change by type of visitor, when they visit or for other reasons.
  • Share what you’re learning with other staff and volunteers so they can see how the email addresses are helping and feel even more motivated to keep collecting them.
  • Try collecting email addresses during the visit or at the end of a visit rather than on arrival when there’s already lots to tell visitors.

The team at BDRC are always happy to answer any questions about getting set up with Visitor Verdict or about what results mean. Contact

Please also email Amy if you would be interested in attending a future Visitor Verdict Workshop, if you’d like to host one in your area or if you would be interested in joining a webinar.

If you haven’t signed up for Visitor Verdict yet, you still can – go to

If you aren’t a member of AIM it costs between £40 and £95 depending on the size of your museum, and Visitor Verdict is then free to use. Joining information can be found on

Free workshop to learn more about how to use #VisitorVerdict – sign up now

If you’ve already signed up for AIM Visitor Verdict, we’d like to invite you to attend a free Visitor Verdict workshop on Monday 14th July 2014 to help you get even more out of it.

What will you get from attending?

  • Examples of how Visitor Verdict can help your museum
    e.g. increasing visitor numbers; improving the visitor experience; fundraising; growing secondary spend
  • Explore how Visitor Verdict can help address problems and achieve goals for your museum
  • Hands on session developing reports that meet your needs
  • If you have 25+ completed surveys, the chance to use and explore your own results during the workshop
  • Expert guidance on all aspects of the service
    Including: collecting visitor’s details; using the online system; interpreting results & using benchmarking
  • Top tips to make running Visitor Verdict easy to manage
  • Sharing experiences so far and the opportunity to suggest improvements
When:    Monday 14th July 2014, 11am until 4pm – lunch and refreshments will be provided
Where:   Close by Holborn underground station, Central LondonBook your free place on this workshop 
There are limited places available so we recommend registering early.

If you are unable to attend, someone else in your organisation who
uses Visitor Verdict would be very welcome to register in your place.

When you register there will be the opportunity to share examples of current challenges facing your museum.  During the workshop we will explore some of these and show you how visitor research and benchmarking can help.

If you have any questions/problems please get in touch:
Tamalie Newbery, AIM Executive Director  0777 333 6164
Amy Randle, BDRC Continental Research Manager 0207 400 0382

We will both be available to talk to in person on the day of the workshop too.

Free AIM Talks at Museums + Heritage Show 15th May 2014


AIM is delighted to announce that we will be providing a series of free talks on trade, enterprise and funding at the Museum + Heritage Show in London on 15th May 2014. We hope you will come along to enjoy the talks and visit us on our stand.

We will also be signing up new participants for AIM’s visitor research and benchmarking scheme, Visitor Verdict and announcing a new scheme to help members save money on their energy bills. The AIM sponsored Winstan Bond Trophy for Trading and Enterprise will be announced at the M+H Awards Dinner on 14th May.

The AIM strand of talks will feature on Thursday 15th May and include some excellent speakers from Leeds Castle, ss Great Britain, London Transport Museum, Kelvingrove, AIM and Arts Council England. AIM’s partner BDRC Continental will also be speaking about visitor research, including Visitor Verdict, on Wednesday 14th May.

10.25 – 11.05

Great products = successful shop

Michael Walton is Head of Trading at London Transport Museum, with its extremely successful museum shop and online retail. He has recently contributed to the 2nd edition of “Successful Retailing in Museums”. Michael will talk about how the right products are fundamental to increasing turnover and profitability and will share his top tips for sourcing exciting and relevant products for your shop. Michael Walton, Head of Trading, London Transport Museum

11.35 – 12.15

A world of opportunities from ACE and AIM
Arts Council England will provide the latest information on their current opportunities and funding plans for 2015 to 2018. AIM will discuss their five grant giving schemes as well as other money saving opportunities.
Matthew Tanner, Chair of the Association of Independent Museums and Mary Godwin, Relationship Manager for Museums, Arts Council England

12.45 – 13.25

Welcome (now give us your money)! 
We work endlessly on our programming and our presentation, we focus hard on our grant applications and our outcomes – and yet sometimes forget some basic steps that make every visitor feel better, relax and spend more. Victoria will help you to ensure that your museum or heritage site is offering a great welcome, happy customer service and still generating good spend. Surprisingly simple, but surprisingly difficult to do….
Victoria Wallace, Chief Executive, Leeds Castle

13.55 – 14.35

Jack Vettriano, Record-breaking retail!
The Vettriano exhibition produced £1.35 million in retail sales in 5 months. This presentation will illustrate the exhibition’s background and context, before describing the business of creating a record-breaking retail outlet for a temporary exhibition. We will describe our methodology of creating a successful shop and focus on the lessons learned along the way.
Catherine McGurk, Retail Trading Manager and Dr Neil Ballantyne, Museum Manager, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Life

15.05 – 15.45 

Top 10 tips – fundraising opportunities and challenges in the museums and heritage sector 
Fundraising for museums and heritage organisations is exactly the same as fundraising for any charity. Or is it? Louisa – who joined the cultural sector 12 months ago and has many year’s fundraising experience from outside the sector – will discuss what she found challenging and what opportunities exist, when fundraising for a heritage site and museum. She will run through the top 10 things she has learnt since joining the sector and you will walk away with some top tips to implement in your fundraising strategy. Louisa Pharoah, Head of Development, ss Great Britain Trust