Visitor Surveys

It goes without saying that the staff of a museum is not only interested in socio-demographic profil of museum goers in general, but especially in the visitors of the own museums. Who are these visitors, what are their motives for visiting the museum or the special exhibition, how much time do they spend in the museum, are they satisfied  with the permanent or temporary collection and museum facilities? What is the share of single visitors, couples, families, groups and school children in the total number of visits? What is the opinion of different kinds of visitors about the activities in the museum (such as guided tour, or lectures)?

To answer such questions many big museums carry out quantitative and qualitative studies of their visitors. The results of such studies are, however, seldom published. They are mostly used in the marketing policies of the museums themselves.

A visitor study can be too expensive for middle-sized and small museums. That’s why the Netherlands Museum Association took initiative for the launching of the so called Museummonitor in the beginning of 21st century. A professional research firm conducts visitor surveys for the Members of the Association for a reasonable price: between 1300 and 7000 Euros, depending on the size of the sample. Every year about 40 middle-sized and small museums make use of the Museummonitor. As the composition of the visitors of an individual museum doesn’t change rapidly, the museums taking part in this project differ from one year to another.

See: http://www.museumvereniging.nl/Landingspagina/Museumberichten2011/nr6juni2011/Museummonitor.aspx

­The general results of the monitor and the sociological analysis of these results are also being published, albeit a few years later.

For the most recent publication see:

Letty Ranshuisen, Museummonitor 2009. IJzeren wetten en trends. http://www.lettyranshuysen.nl/pdf/2010_MM%202009.pdf

GERMANY

In 2005 the Institute for Museum Research in Germany published the results of several visitor surveys conducted at the State Museums in Berlin.

SPAIN

In our view, there are several ways to obtain information about audience:

A) Data supplied directly by the museums, although not directly obtained from visitor’s survey

B) Data obtained from population surveys.

A) Regards to data supplied directly by the museums and museum collections, the General Sub-Directorate of Statistics and Studies could offer the following references:

Statistics on Museums and Museum Collections in Spain.  This statistic includes, among other estimates, data about the number of visitors, foreigners visitors, price of tickets, education programmes, activities, equipment, etc.., provided each two years by the museums that filled the questionnaire. The directory used is the Census of Museums and Museum Collections.

Details on the methodological aspects of this statistic, as well as the detailed results are available on:  

Statistics on Museums and Museum Collections in Spain

http://www.mecd.gob.es/servicios-al-ciudadano-mecd/estadisticas/cultura/mc/em/portada.html

http://www.mcu.es/culturabase/cgi/um?M=/t11/p11&O=culturabase&N=&L=0

A data selection is included in Cultural Statistics Yearbook in Spain 2015

http://www.mecd.gob.es/servicios-al-ciudadano-mecd/estadisticas/cultura/mc/naec/portada.html

The statistical database CULTURAbase

http://www.mcu.es/culturabase/cgi/um?L=0

All these data are available on Web:  Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

http://www.mecd.gob.es/servicios-al-ciudadano-mecd/estadisticas/cultura.html

 

SWEDEN

Visitors surveys – Sweden

Statistics Sweden (SCB) has been commissioned by the Swedish Arts Council to carry out a comprehensive survey of the Swedish population’s cultural habits. The previous report Cultural Welfare 1976–99 (Swedish Arts Council 2002) has, in terms of its con­tent and structure, formed the basis for the latest report, which covers cul­tural habits over a 30- year pe­riod: 1976–2006.

The statistical data has been taken from the Living Conditions Surveys (ULF) which SCB has carried out annually since 1975. The purpose of ULF is to monitor trends in the population in several welfare areas.

The results of the ULF surveys largely confirm the already well-known major differ­ences in cultural habits between men and women, young and old, native Swedes and immigrants, blue-collar and white-collar workers, urban and rural residents, and so on.

Visits to art galleries or art exhibitions have increased by 7 percentage points for women and 6 percentage points for men. 39 percent of women and 32 percent of men make such visits. Once again, older people account for a large part of the increase, and the gap between them and the younger age groups remains very high. There has been a slight increase among na­tive-born Swedes with native-born Swedish parents, while there has been no change among people of foreign birth. We can also see that the population in the cities has pulled away from other regions by another few per­centage points.

Visits to non-art-related museums have not changed to any great degree across the population as a whole during the period 1982–2006. However, among young people, visits have dropped significantly by 17 percentage points. Among older people, there has been a rise of 10 percentage points. The difference between the age groups now ap­pears to have evened off.

Cultural activities decrease as the level of disability increases. Visiting the theatre, con­certs, art galleries, museums and particularly the cinema is ex­tremely uncommon among people who are disabled or severely disabled, compared with people with nor­mal mobility. However, with the exception of theatre visits, the percentages in­crease considerably for disabled people after gender and age standardisation, al­though they remain much lower than for those in the population with normal mobil­ity.

The report New Cultural Habits can be downloaded here:

http://www.kulturradet.se/upload/kr/publikationer/2008/nya_kulturvanor_del2.pdf

(For text in English see page 343 and forward)

List of related tables in the report:

Tables A – People aged 16–74, 1976–2006

Table A2a. Visited art gallery or museum. People aged 16–74 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1976–2006. Percent......................................................148

Table A2b. Visited art gallery or museum. Men aged 16–74 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1976–2006. Percent......................................................149

Table A2c. Visited art gallery or museum. Women aged 16–74 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1976–2006. Percent..........................................150

Tables B – People aged 16–84, 1982–2006

Table B4a. Visited art gallery or art exhibition. People aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent..........................................190

Table B4b. Visited art gallery or art exhibition. Men aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent..........................................191

Table B4c. Visited art gallery or art exhibition. Women aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent..........................................192

Table B5a. Visited a museum (non-art). People aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent......................................................193

Table B5b. Visited a museum (non-art). Men aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent............................................................194

Table B5c. Visited a museum (non-art). Women aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent......................................................195

Table B6a. Visited art gallery or museum. People aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent......................................................196

Table B6b. Visited art gallery or museum. Men aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent......................................................197

Table B6c. Visited art gallery or museum. Women aged 16–84 who, in their leisure time, carried out the activity in the past 12 months, 1982–2006. Percent..........................................198


THE NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands' Museum Association (Nederlandse Museumvereniging) has initiated the so called Museummonitor