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New research and guidance on setting museum admission prices

Groups of visitors explore the gallery space at Gairloch Museum. The walls, floor and ceiling of the gallery are all made of grey, unfinished concrete. A black metal balcony overlooks a large lighthouse lamp in the centre of the gallery.

In partnership with Arts Council England, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Welsh Government, the National Museum Directors’ Council, and Art Fund, AIM commissioned DC Research Ltd and Durnin Research Ltd to explore current admissions pricing policy in museums and their impact.

This new work updates related research AIM commissioned in 2016 and should help museums and galleries consider how they might optimise their income, position themselves effectively in the market, whilst maintaining their accessibility.

Those looking to the data will find a comprehensive and detailed overview of current charging approaches, useful benchmarking data and a range of case studies.

Alongside the in-depth research report, an accompanying Success Guide condenses crucial findings and is designed to help inform museums in the process of reviewing their pricing strategies. Key topics include the importance of business planning, 2023 pricing benchmarks, effective communication, audience targeting, and specific lessons for charging and non-charging institutions.

We’re delighted to have coordinated the production of this new and vital research and guidance. The breadth and detail of the findings, candour of the case studies and pragmatism of the Success Guide should prove invaluable to museum of all sizes. The research emphasis on how pricing should align with an institution’s values, as well as its business planning, is welcome. It’s also testament to the sector’s agility to see that even in the midst of the challenge of the pandemic quick, adaptive decisions regarding pricing were possible.

AIM Director Lisa Ollerhead

The full Research Report
Executive Summary of the research report
Success Guide

– The authors of the report will be presenting the findings in a dedicated webinar 11am on 14 December. Book your place.
– A free workshop exploring the research and the Success Guide recommendations is taking place exclusively for AIM members at 11am on 25 January.