Here is one of my favorite innovations for museums in 2018…
Consider this, the first sentence from a March, 2018 New York Times article:
“As guests walk into the lobby of the Indianapolis Museum of Art they are greeted by a seven-and-a-half-foot blue plastic snail, often surrounded by a group of squealing, joyful children daring to touch it.”
As institutions of all types begin shifting to appeal to younger generations, this means fitting into their lifestyle and engaging young people where they are most comfortable. A huge part of that lifestyle is their experience on social media. Social media users are always hungry for their next great post, and even casual users will plan their daily activities around different instagram-worthy endeavors. This could range from drinking a unicorn frappuccino, doing yoga atop a tall peak, or, sadly, that whole Tide Pod craze (we really don’t deserve the internet, do we?)
How can museums be more Instagram-worthy?
There really is no one-size-fits-all formula for Insta-friendliness. For the Indianapolis Museum of art, it was a flashy installation like the giant blue plastic snail. For others, the secret comes from providing an experience that will have people posting, such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis’ annual artist-designed mini-golf course, or yoga classes amongst the exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The point is to create some kind of visual, exciting feature or experience that visitors will just have to tell their friends about through their preferred social channels. Museums who do this right will be greatly rewarded in both free exposure and visitorship.