Museum Dates on the Rise: How to Market Your Museum or Attraction

Lauren Voges

February 7, 2020

When it comes to marketing museums, landmarks and attractions, the focus is often turned towards tourists, families or niche interests. But this new study on the perfect date suggests that couples could be a target audience too.

Museum dates are the new dinner dates

dinner date

A recent survey conducted across the UK and US suggests that over 70% of people in both countries agree that new cultural experiences bring fresh energy into relationships. So, a visit to a museum instead of another dinner date might be what couples opt for this Valentine’s Day.

In the UK, 40% of respondents reported that they would not be going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. Interestingly, 51% of the respondents reported that they would be impressed by a fun date and 35% reported that a “surprising” date would be impressive to them. 

Going out for dinner still proved to be fairly popular in the US, with only 20% of respondents saying that they would not go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. But when it came to the question of what kinds of dates would be considered impressive, the respondents answered similarly to those in the UK survey: 52% reported that something fun would impress them, while 47% reported that something surprising would impress them.

In addition to museums, the study revealed a general preference for outdoor activities as part of a date. 35% of the US respondents picked visiting a park or botanical gardens as the best daytime date, 26% chose visiting the zoo, and 20% selected river/canal cruises. As for the UK, 45% of respondents chose the park or botanical gardens as the best daytime date, 30% selected a river or canal cruise and 28% picked going to the zoo (participants could select up to three options from the list of activities).

About the survey

survey on the perfect date

The survey-based study was commissioned by Tiqets in February 2020 to gain better insights into what people consider to be the perfect date. It was conducted by market-research company OnePoll and was distributed in the UK and the US. 

2,000 people participated in the UK survey. 51% of the respondents identified as female and 49% identified as male, and people from the age of 18 and upwards were surveyed. In the US survey, there were also 2,000 participants. 51% of the respondents identified as male and 49% identified as female, and people from the age of 18 and upwards were surveyed.

How to capitalise on this museum dates trend

Outdoor attractions and venues with a cultural spin could capitalise on this trend in a number of ways.

Explore evening hours

While the dinner date may be losing its lustre, it’s still more convenient than planning a visit to a museum or attraction around a full day of work. Venues that extend their hours to allow evening visits would likely attract more couples who have a 9-5 weekday schedule. New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada are examples of venues that have adjusted their hours to cover peak date hours, which include evenings.

museum date evening hours

Offer discounts for couples

museum date

For the average date-goer, coming up with fun or surprising date ideas may seem mentally daunting or financially demanding. By offering discounts that target couples, venues can help remove the mental blocks to creative date ideas and dispel concerns over the financial demands around doing something different.

Try out seasonal campaigns

the perfect date

The perfect moment to reach this new target audience? Valentine’s Day, of course. Trial new discounts for couples or extended hours during the most romantic time of the year and run a Valentine’s Day campaign.

A summary of the study’s results

Top 10 daytime dates

UK survey results

  1. Walk in a park or botanical garden e.g. Kew Gardens
  2. A river or canal cruise
  3. Going to the zoo
  4. Historical attraction e.g. Independence Hall
  5. Boat ride
  6. Visiting a castle or palace
  7. A modern culture attraction e.g. Madame Tussauds or Warner Bros studio tour
  8. Observation deck over a city
  9. Amusement or water park
  10. A a visit to a museum with an art/music focus

US survey results

  1. Walk in a park or botanical garden e.g. Central Park 
  2. Going to the zoo
  3. A river or canal cruise
  4. A modern culture attraction e.g. Empire State Building or Warner Bros studio tour
  5. Historical attraction e.g. Independence Hall
  6. Amusement or Water park 
  7. Boat ride
  8. Visiting a castle or palace
  9. Aquarium
  10. A visit to a museum with an art/music focus

Top 5 places to propose

UK survey results

  1. Eiffel Tower
  2. Niagara Falls
  3. A Gondola in Venice
  4. London Eye
  5. Central Park

US survey results

  1. Central Park
  2. Eiffel Tower
  3. Niagara Falls
  4. A Gondola in Venice 
  5. London Eye

5 Most impressive kinds of dates

UK survey results

  1. Fun
  2. Surprising
  3. Picturesque
  4. Well-planned
  5. Spontaneous

US survey results

  1. Fun
  2. Surprising
  3. Well-planned
  4. Spontaneous
  5. Unexpected

Looking for more ways to market your museum? We’ve got a few creative marketing ideas.

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