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WAM Exhibition Research Findings

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Presentation on theme: "WAM Exhibition Research Findings"— Presentation transcript:

1 WAM Exhibition Research Findings
Secrets of the Afterlife: Magic, Mummies and Immortality in ancient Egypt

2 Formative testing: Results Preferred Images
In early 2013 Morris Hargreaves McIntyre and Western Australian Museum ran an online population survey, testing the levels of interest in an upcoming touring exhibition from the British Museum, the appeal of titles and advertising materials, and assessing levels of price resistance. The research found that the forthcoming exhibition at WAM was likely to have blockbuster appeal, and therefore likely to attract a broad audience. Title testing revealed a market hoping to have a time-travelling experience with unexpected twists and turns. This was reflected in the preferred title of the exhibition: Secrets of the Afterlife. The broad appeal of the subject matter and the partnership with the British Museum made the exhibition a ‘hot ticket’, with the majority of the market willing to pay up to $20 to visit. Preferred Images

3 Summative evaluation: Methodology
Visitors were approached at random on exit from the exhibition and asked to fill in a short self-completion survey. 316 surveys were completed. Visitors’ behaviour and levels of engagement were also observed in the exhibition space by trained researchers. 239 visitors were observed and recorded across the exhibition’s 12 zones. For context, comparisons have been made with the Unveiled, Extraordinary Stories and Debt of Honour exhibitions as well as the results of the most recent general WAM visitor research (April to June 2013).

4 Before the Visit FREQUENCY
The exhibition attracted large numbers of visits by regular and repeat WAM Perth attenders; the majority from the local area Secrets of the Afterlife successfully attracted return visitors to WAM Perth. 31% of visits to the exhibition were made by regular visitors and 33% by first time visitors. This compares to Debt of Honour which had much higher levels of first time visitation, at 59%. Please note the 2.8 figure refers to the number of visits those who had visited in the past 12 months had made during those 12 months; i.e. those who had visited in the past 12 months (repeat visitors) had made 2.8 visits during that time. 4

Levels of pre-existing awareness were extremely high (99%) with visits often planned in advance. This compares to 100% pre-awareness for Unveiled, 81% for Extraordinary Stories and 59% for Debt of Honour. For the vast majority (79%) the exhibition was the main reason for their visit, much higher than the proportions for previous exhibitions (except Unveiled (88%) 5

Advertising, TV and the WAM website played a more significant role Although, most recalled seeing some form of posters or print ahead of their visit advertising, mentions on TV, and the WAM website played a more significant role than they did for previous WAM Perth exhibitions. TV coverage and articles in newspapers and magazines were strongly linked to visits by lapsed / infrequent visitors. 6

Before your visit today, which if any of the following did you read, see or hear about the Secrets of the Afterlife exhibition? Total Base 319 Signs outside the building 50% Article in a newspaper/magazine 24% Advertisement in a newspaper/magazine 14% Mention on TV 35% Mention on radio 6% Brochures or postcards 4% Tourist or visitor guide book Tourist information centre/iSite 3% Tourist map Social networking site 5% WA Museum website 27% WA Museum e-newsletter Other website, blog or ed information Recommendation from friend/family/teacher/colleague 25% Other 10% Don't know/can't remember 1% None of these 2% No reply 8 And which was the main source of information for your visit today? Total Base 312 Signs outside the building 19% Article in a newspaper/magazine 11% Advertisement in a newspaper/magazine 6% Mention on TV 21% Mention on radio 1% Brochures or postcards Tourist or visitor guide book Tourist information centre/iSite - Tourist map Social networking site 2% WA Museum website WA Museum e-newsletter Other website, blog or ed information Recommendation from friend/family/teacher/colleague 15% Other Don't know/can't remember None of these No reply 15 Please note this information comes from two different questions – on the left the question asks visitors to tick all that apply; on the right they pick their one main source.

Visits to Secrets of the Afterlife tended to be planned beforehand with over a third of visits planned at least a week in advance, and another third planned earlier than this (35%). This is consistent with high levels of pre-awareness amongst visitors. More in line with Extraordinary Stories and Unveiled than Debt of Honour or the general WAM audience who tend to plan visits much closer to the day 8

9 Before the Visit MOTIVATIONS
Visitors had high expectations linked to intellectual motivations for themselves and their children Visitors with primarily intellectual motivations made 48% of visits to Afterlife, and those with primarily emotional motivations made 24% of visits. Motivations are more consistent with the general WAM audience or Unveiled than either Debt of Honour or Extraordinary Stories. Both were more likely to have Social motivations, and much less likely to have Emotional or Spiritual motivations than Afterlife 9

10 Visitor Profile ORIGIN: ALL VISITORS Unveiled exhibition comparison:
95% Australia 0% New Zealand 5% Overseas Debt of Honour exhibition comparison: 70% Australia 5% New Zealand 25% Overseas Extraordinary Stories exhibition comparison: 89% Australia 3% New Zealand 7% Overseas Domestic visits played a key role for Secrets of the Afterlife, with 96% from within Australia. It’s worth noting that the exhibition took place at a time of year when international tourist arrivals are comparatively low, however during Q4 WAM Perth attracted 15% of its general audience from overseas. Previous exhibitions attracted a higher proportion of overseas visits, for example Debt of Honour (25%). Debt of Honour may have been particularly popular for overseas visitors due to its strongly Australian subject matter. 10

11 Visitor Profile ORIGIN: AUSTRALIAN VISITORS Unveiled:
94% Western Australia 3% Victoria 2% New South Wales Extraordinary Stories: 85% Western Australia 7% New South Wales 4% Queensland 4% Victoria Debt of Honour: 74% Western Australia 8% Queensland 7% Victoria 6% New South Wales 5% South Australia Of the Australian audience 93% came form Western Australia; the majority originated from Perth and surrounding areas. This represents an Australian profile that is more similar to Unveiled (94% from Western Australia) and Extraordinary Stories (85%) than Debt of Honour (74%). Leading Districts – Secrets of the Afterlife Brand (WA) 24% Tangney (WA) 21% Curtin (WA) 17% Stirling (WA) 17% 11

12 Visitor Profile FREQUENCY First time visitors: origin breakdown:
Australia 88% Other 12% Repeat visitors: origin breakdown: Australia 100% Other 0% 12

13 Visitor Profile PARTY SIZE
The average party size is more in line with the profile for all WAM Perth visitors during Q4 and at Extraordinary Stories (2.7) than that seen at Unveiled (2.5) and Debt of Honour (1.9); this is unsurprising considering the attractiveness of the exhibition for families with school-age children. 13

WITH HISTORY OR MUSEUMS Extraordinary Stories: 22% Unveiled: 13% Debt of Honour: 12% General WAM audience: 8% Includes a greater than usual proportion of students (11%) 14

15 Visitor Profile SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE 15

16 Culture Segments IN BRIEF 16

17 Culture Segments Culture Segment profile for the audience at the Secrets of the Afterlife exhibition is consistent with WAM Perth’s general audience. Expression is the dominant segment and this exhibition is particularly likely to resonate with their active imaginations, spiritual side and love of learning. 17

18 During the Visit DWELL TIME Exhibition Comparison
Debt of Honour: 1 hour 39 minutes Unveiled: 1 hour 14 minutes Extraordinary Stories: 1 hour 1 minute Visitors spent an average of 75 minutes in the Secrets of the Afterlife exhibition, with 55% stating that they spent about the same length of time as they expected. 24% of visits to Secrets of the Afterlife were shorter than expected, though the survey did not ask why this was the case. From the general comments left around the exhibition experience, it’s possible that overcrowding may have been a contributing factor for this. 18

19 During the Visit MEANING MAKING
Visitors’ overall level of behaviour in each zone was observed and measured using the following: Browsing: Selecting random objects and displays in no apparent narrative or sequence Following: Looking at a number of objects and displays in a sequential pattern Searching: Very applied following, reading everything and engaging with all of the objects 19

20 During the Visit MEANING MAKING
Many exhibitions see visitors begin in a browsing mode, but in this case visitors tended to be in searching mode right from the beginning and carry on for most of the exhibition. This only changes around zones 9 and 10. Although, the end of the exhibition saw most return to an intensive searching mode. 20

21 During the Visit ENGAGEMENT LEVELS 21

22 During the Visit ENGAGEMENT LEVELS
Although most visits lasted as long as people anticipated they tended to be highly immersive, right from the start, with many of the objects attracting significant attention – especially those in the first six zones. The level of engagement shows a similar pattern to behaviour, with most visitors fully immersed throughout the exhibition. The first half of the exhibition was most immersive, especially zones 3 (60%) and 4 (50%), with attention focussed on the objects in these zones. The final zones were less engaging to visitors, especially zones 8, 10 and 12. 22

23 During the Visit WHAT DID VISITORS DO?
Please note that an orange circle reflects an object or stand alone panel usage, while a green circle represents the accompanying interpretation to an object. For the three objects outside of the main exhibition space, just 5% of visitors looked at the text panel by the lift, 51% of visitors engaged with the photos of the 1918 dress and 81% engaged with the actual 1918 dress. The star object of the exhibition was Gwen Stefani’s wedding dress, attracting 93% of visitors. Levels of interest were high across all objects in this exhibition, but less popular items were the men’s waistcoats in zone 3, the interactive touch table in zone 3, and Ian and Marcel’s dress and coat in zone 8. 80% of visitors read the introductory panel for the whole exhibition. Visitors made an effort across the exhibition to read introductory panels, object labels and segment introductions. However, some of the segment introductory panels were not well used, in particular the Victorian Bridegroom (10%) and the WA Museum’s own collection items introduction (5%). 23

Many reported social rather than intellectual outcomes. Although social motivations such as the desire to see one of the major attractions in Perth or spend quality time with friends and family were not frequently mentioned as motivation for visits, many more visitors reported these as positive outcomes. The picture for emotional and intellectual outcomes was more mixed, with outcomes relating to children’s imagination and creativity or furthering personal interests less likely to have been satisfied by the visit. 24

Visitors’ expectations were generally satisfied or exceeded In 11% of visits, visitors were ‘blown away’ - they thought that the exhibition was going to be absolutely excellent, but still found that the actual experience was much better than expected. 12% of visits ended with the visitor ‘delighted’ – the expectation for these visitors was that the exhibition was going to be good, however the experience was much better than they’d anticipated. 31% of visits resulted in the visitor being content with the experience. For 11% of the exhibition audience the experience did not live up to expectation; as mentioned previously the comments suggest that overcrowding and disappointment with the number of exhibits on display (particularly when considering the ticket price) are most likely to be the reasons for this. 25

26 Some responses by theme (1)
Quality and number of exhibits It is a good display of artefacts that WA residents do not get to see unless they travel overseas. It is an excellent collection, very informative. A wonderful insight into the afterlife expectations and related practices of ancient Egyptians. A good exhibition, but expected a few more exhibits Some responses by theme (1) For children It is an excellent place to take children to learn about another culture. I think it would be a great place for my relatives to take their children and my friends would be fascinated by the many artefacts on display. Kids need to be older than 6 or 7, especially for those few children with short attention spans The Mummies It was very interesting with amazing artefacts. It was cool to see real mummies! I saw two mummies! 26

27 Some responses by theme (2)
Value for Money It was great to visit and understand Ancient Egyptian culture, and definitely cheaper then if I visited the UK! Interesting, though a bit expensive for its size. Some responses by theme (2) Exhibition Space A well presented informative exhibition. Well laid out with plenty to keep the children interested. Very interesting and informative, if a little crowded. Go at a quiet time Information and descriptions The staff were very knowledgeable and helpful and the exhibition was very well organised and well-lit. The interactive displays and videos were a nice added extra. It was nice to have the opportunity to see all these artefacts, though there not enough detail in the explanations. 27

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