IDENTITY AND THE MUSEUM VISITOR EXPERIENCE
Understanding the visitor experience provides essential insights into how museums can affect people’s lives. Personal drives, group identity, decision-making and meaning-making strategies, memory, and leisure preferences, all enter into the visitor experience, which extends far beyond the walls of the institution both in time and space. Drawing upon a career in studying museum visitors, renowned researcher John Falk attempts to create a predictive model of visitor experience, one that can help museum professionals better meet those visitors’ needs. He identifies five key types of visitors who attend museums and then defines the internal processes that drive them there over and over again. Through an understanding of how museums shape and reflect their personal and group identity, Falk is able to show not only how museums can increase their attendance and revenue, but also their meaningfulness to their constituents.
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