Skip to content

Attracting Youth to Museums: 4 Ways to Get Gen Z through Your Doors

Category: Industry Advertorial
A graphic of two people sitting on the floor and looking at a tablet

This post is an advertorial written by a company that serves the museum field. The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of AAM or its employees.

Younger museum-goers are drawn to interactive, tactile, and immersive experiences. They want to feel like they’re part of an exhibition while they’re there, and go away feeling educated, entertained, and with a great photo for social media. So how do you satisfy their needs for something accessible, interactive, and photogenic? At Tiqets, the majority of our audience are millennials or younger, and we’ve seen where their interests lie from their browsing and buying behavior. Based on our research, here are five ways to attract youth to museums.

1. Reconsider your opening hours.

First off, make sure that young people can easily come and visit your museum. Attracting the youth to museums involves a balance of making your venue easily accessible but still special to visit. Nighttime visits are easier for students and teenagers (because they generally have fewer commitments in the evenings) and, because museums are usually only open during the day, they have an exclusive, out-of-the-ordinary feel.

Top tip: There’s no need to stretch yourself thin with later opening hours every day. Pick one day a week to stay open for longer and rope in more young visitors.

2. Start with the local young people first.

Is your museum located near a school or university? Do you have special offers for local students? If you’re located in a city or a medium- to large-sized town, chances are you’ve got a young target audience right under your nose.

Make sure you cater to your local students and youngsters with special offers like free student days or discounted rates. You can test out new exhibition ideas or concepts on this younger audience before you start targeting the youth on a national, or even international, level.

3. Get more out of your social media.

Your average millennial has 9.3 social media accounts, according to a 2019 Global Web Index report. So make sure you’re using social media in a way that will appeal to a younger audience. Follow the accounts of museums you admire to see what works and what doesn’t; use your social media platforms to show off your venue and exhibitions you’ve got going on; and interact with commenters and followers to show your account is active and you’re listening.

Top tip: If you aren’t a savvy social media user, don’t force it—enlist the help of someone who knows what they’re doing. Though they can be pricey, a good social media influencer is worth their price tag and can help generate buzz around your venue.

A graphic of a person using a laptop with social media reaction icons floating around next to them

4. Take the first step to appealing to a younger audience.

If you’re targeting young people with your campaigns and exhibitions, you want to know what they think of your efforts. Whether it’s setting up focus groups or asking people to fill in a survey for a chance to win a free ticket, make sure you stay in touch with your younger audience about what they like and what they don’t like. This will make it much easier for you to serve up the right stuff in the future and will ensure your success in attracting the youth to museums.

5. Try something new and different.

Gen Z museum-goers have grown up in a world that’s rife with technology, instant gratification, and… selfies. This means that a conventional setup may fail to capture their attention, let alone their imaginations.

Immersive, tech savvy exhibitions are one, potentially difficult, way to impress a younger audience. If this is a path you’re interested in, check these tips for offering a memorable immersive experience.

Another way to score points with the youth of today? Give them something that they can put themselves into–whether that’s a Van Gogh workshop where they can show off their sunflower painting skills, or a simple cardboard cut-out of a famous scene that they can stick their faces into. Anything for the ‘gram!

Looking for ways to engage visitors while you’re still in lockdown? Try offering a virtual experience. This checklist by Tiqets will help you with everything from the basics to the finishing touches.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.