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Museums With a Single Focus: How to Attract The Non-Enthusiast

Category: Visitor Experience
Face of an unhappy lemur with the caption "The Non-Enthusiast" above it.

Using a mythical antique coffee can museum as an example, Jones shares tips and tricks for helping the non-enthusiast museum visitor create meaning and make connections with a narrowly focused collection.

“If you’ve determined that you have a dwindling or limited diehard fan base, the next step is to re-design your visitor experience to reach the non-enthusiasts as well as the hard-core devotees…Even if your museum’s narrow focus attracts enough hard-core fans to keep the doors open, it’s still a good exercise to think about the non-enthusiast. Think about the family members who are dragged through the doors of a specialty museum so that their spouse or parent can “nerd out.””

-Andrea Jones

When I arrived at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum to discover dozens and dozens of recreational wooden boats so lovingly displayed, I could tell there was a lot of passion for this collection. There are legions of volunteers, dedicated board members, and a three-person staff with the energy of fifteen.

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