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Transforming Museums into Theme Parks

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Disclaimer : This story was first published under Bottomatik’s blog here .

Imagine going to a museum, and finding tons and tons of activities, attractions, interactions with all the museum has to offer. That is our vision at Bottomatik .

Today’s museums are trying to attract more visitors by modernizing, offering ticket sales online, offering better and better information technologies (audio-guides, applications, indoor maps) and reaching more returning customers via social media.

However, the experience indoors remains almost the same. Art lovers will spend hours in front of a piece of art, but less art-loving folks will pass by, admiring one or two pieces. The perfect example would be those mandatory high school museum visits, where kids don’t listen to a single thing, but remain in awe from time to time.

Today

Make yourself a favor and go to a museum, breathe a little, be in awe, explore! Going to a museum is quite the experience (if you can forget lengthly lines ⌚), and depending on its size you can go once, twice, maybe thrice.

You’ve now visited all there is to visit at a given museum, there will maybe be an event one day, and you might have entered your email address into the “Sign up for our newsletter” field on their website. Then, maybe one day you’ll get an invitation to said event, and might or might not be available.

That’s a lot of maybes and mights for one event… but that’s how it works today. With a little bit of luck, you also follow them on social media, and Facebook’s or Twitter’s algorithm will choose to display the event in your news feed.

Events are just an example of why you might want to return to a museum. As a matter of fact, user retention is one of the biggest issues for museums. Imagine the Louvre museum, most of the visitors are foreigners and will probably never return (source page 86), how do they handle user retention? Or Versailles for that matter, how do they keep visitors coming back?

Another problem these big museums face is indoor engagement. These museums need visitors to go see temporary expositions as well as permanent ones. But being so big, how do the communicate expositions and maps to their audiences? The best example I can think of is Nintendo’s partnership with the Louvre Museum: they offer to lend a Nintendo DS with a special Louvre “game” on it, which acts as an interactive audio-guide throughout the visit.

Chatbots to the rescue

Our vision is to improve all the things we discussed above with chatbots. User engagement, user retention, user information, and a lot more interactions can be improved with chatbots. These little personal assistants give visitors a simple-to-use, always-available custom guide for any museum.

Imagine this:

Simple example of Museum Interactions

User retention

Chatbots are an always-available mini-assistant for anyone. That means that they can receive orders, but also have some free-will and can make up decisions depending on some parameters.

Whenever a user uses a chatbot on a museum, he can store his favorite pieces of art, and some AI behind the chatbot can then prioritize events and expositions depending on each user preferences. He is then able to warn the user of any new event, any new exposition, any artwork changes that the user might find interesting.

If the user is abroad, his mini-assistant can still warn him of upcoming events that may be broadcasted or moving expositions that could reach him. If there is any fundraising it is important to still reach abroad customers and keep them posted. And as you may know, chatbots have the highest click-rate/impression ratio ever (some even reach 100%!!!!).

User engagement

Whenever someone visits a museum, he expects a simple visit, usual, common. What if they could visit the museum in a different way, interact with every piece of art, interact with the rooms, have a personal guide helping them get around.

Visitors would be able to interact and engage with the museum like it has never before been possible. Treasure hunts, interactive maps, alive statues, reminders, ticketing, all in one chatbot. Visitors to the museum would (or not) expect a whole new experience every time they come back to the museum.

The offers are endless, new treasure hunts, more information every piece could offer, more interactions with the museum, discounts, coupons, all in one simple application.

Conclusion

Imagine the next step for museum technology: virtual assistants for everyone, smart routes, interactive pieces; an ever-changing experience, driving users back to the museum and back to a whole new experience filled with thematic, playful learning. It’s happening right now, while we live the interface revolution thanks to chatbots.

magnoliaTransforming Museums into Theme Parks

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