How To Use People Counting for Museums

Without question, the best thing about working in museums is sharing vast amounts, often lifetimes of history and knowledge with interested visitors of all different backgrounds. Being able to educate the public about a specific subject—and seeing their faces light up when learning something new—truly never gets old. But while we’re so focused on sharing our passions with the public, it is easy to forget to learn about those visitors that enjoy our exhibits and displays. Namely, do you know precisely how many visitors are coming to your facility, and when?

By now, you’ve probably been introduced to people counter technology: a suite of sensors positioned throughout an exhibit floor, and complementary software that collects and organizes foot traffic data, offering insights into the traffic passing through a facility. But while it sounds interesting, do you really need to keep track of the foot traffic going in and out of your museum? How could that information help to improve your operation?

After all, as long as people are showing up, exploring and enjoying themselves, that should be good enough, right? Well, was it good enough when Ross said to Rachel we were on a break!?

No, no it was not. #TeamRachel for life. But I suppose that’s beside the point.

When it comes to museums, libraries and other institutions who rely heavily on government funding, we need to think about people counting like an insurance policy. People counter technology, like the systems offered by Flonomics, gives these organizations an incredible ability to learn all kinds of information about their visitors.

Not the least of which is the ability to back up their claims about visitor traffic and engagement with cold-hard Museum People Counting data.

Imagine being able to replace educated visitor count guesses with detailed spreadsheets showing how many people are visiting, how they travel through your museum floor, and which exhibits they visit most. And, going forward, having precise forecasts of where your traffic is headed based upon data collected in the past, backed up by intelligent data modeling at your fingertips. We can’t speak for Rachel, but if Ross had backed up his excuses with data and forecasts….yeah, we’d still have dumped him. Okay, bad example.

Fortunately, the uses for people counting in museums go far beyond tracking visitor movements and improving grant proposals. Below, let’s look at at five unique ways to use people counting in museums.

How people counting can improve your museum operations and membership

1. Write more persuasive grant proposals

We mentioned this before, but the impact people counter data has on crafting a compelling grant proposal cannot be overstated. When your proposals are backed up by hard data detailing exactly how much foot traffic you are seeing day-to-day, your request instantly seems much, much more legitimate.

Read on: 6 Tips to Improve Your Grant Proposals

2. Optimize staffing levels

By collecting daily traffic data, then utilizing reports from tools like the Flonomics dashboard, over time you’ll be able to see trends in foot traffic that will allow you to confidently staff your exhibit halls, information desks and other spaces. This will help ensure that your staff are neither overwhelmed nor bored on the job. This is especially important when working with volunteer staffers, and will drastically help with retention of these employees.

Additionally, users of the Flonomics dashboard are able to upload upcoming visitor lists for school field trips or other large groups. This data, along with historical trends, allows users to effectively prepare for unusually busy days.

3. Run specialized reports

With the Flonomics Experience Manager dashboard, much like your web analytics tool like Google Marketing Platform with Google Analytics, you have the ability to run specialized reports. These reports include options for daily, weekly, monthly or custom trends in visitor traffic. This gives you a host of information to make informed decisions for your museum. These include:

  • The ability to compare historical averages to current traffic trends
  • The option to predict future traffic trends based on historical data
  • The ability to pull reports based on site location and/or camera location

4. Predict future traffic

This one is similar to using traffic data to staff your facility properly. Using historical traffic data for your facility, it’s possible to analyze traffic trends over time and extrapolate those results into future traffic forecasts. This gives users a huge head start in big picture setting and establishing visitor and membership goals for the future.

5. Track and predict traffic for specific exhibits

Is it possible to know if your next exhibit will be a smash? One extremely useful feature of people counter technology is that certain types of counters are able to track user movements throughout an exhibit floor. This allows museums to determine how many users are checking out a specific exhibit, and when in their visit they are checking it out. If your new display is seeing a large influx in traffic, and visitors are going there first thing when they walk in the door, you’ve got a hit on your hands. And it might even be safe to say that similar types of exhibits grab your visitors attention and might do well in the future.

Discover more of the latest museum trends by visiting our blog.

Are you interested in using a people counting solution to improve your museum operations? Drop us a line!