The next time you head into a museum to view some fine art, don't plan on turning your smart phone off before you go in. Depending on which museum you choose to visit, your smart phone might be a necessity -- thanks to the use of beacons.
As RFIDJournal.com wrote about museum beacons in a recent September 2015 article:
At many museums around the world, visitors' smartphones are starting to become as central to the cultural experience as the art hanging on the walls, thanks to beacon-based interpretive programming that turns old-school placards into dynamic audio tours.
A Netherland-based company that specializes in "smart audio tours" has created a beacon-based app that museums cannot refuse. It supports five languages, uses one app for all museums (making it very convenient for both museum visitors and operators alike), and it even features audio tours recorded by the artists themselves.
How Museums are Using Beacon Technology to Enhance the Visitor Experience
Museums around the globe are investing in beacon technology to make the museum experience more interactive.
Here are just a few of the ways beacons and location based marketing are bringing museums to life with location-based, rich media content.
- Gamification. Museums are enhancing visits with riddles, quizzes and treasure hunts ,ran from the museum app.
- Self-Guided Tours: Instead of visitors searching through a brochure for the right exhibit, museums are using discreetly placed beacons to pinpoint a visitors location, giving patrons the ability to give self guided tours. This not only provides a more personalized experience, it also reduces overall museum resources.
- Mobile Apps: The museum’s mobile app facilitates push notifications to send alerts or special discounts and offers to visitors who have willingly opted-in to receive notifications. The location-based nature of the beacons will allow the marketing content to be closely tailored to the museum experience itself, making the marketing relevant and personalized.
- Equipment: Beacons help museums reduce overall equipment expenses. With beacons, museums no longer carry the burden of keeping museum audio tour equipment on hand. The patron’s smartphone can be used instead.
- Analytics: The museum is able to see valuable real-time analytics about patrons and create visitor surveys for immediate feedback. Additionally, the museum can gain insights on visitor behavior and to generate more revenue.
The Future of Beacons in Museums
40 museums across Europe, mostly in the Netherlands, now have these beacons (and the corresponding app) that enhance the experience of visitors. As this proven technology catches on in the world of fine art, it won't be long before beacons find themselves in museums everywhere.
Visitors are not the only ones benefiting from beacon technology; the museum staff are as well. When beacons are used to enhance a real life experience with relevant information, this adds a factor of personalization and convenience that can boost brand loyalty, and, subsequently, sales.