Technology for Museums: 10 Examples to Delight Your Visitors 

Tiqets for Venues Blog Team

September 9, 2022

More than 40% of travelers visit museums and attractions specifically to try something new. Visitors crave novel ways to engage with the past, art, and niche subjects. They demand memorable – also Instagrammable! – experiences, and they’re eager to learn something they didn’t know before. Does your museum give them what they want?

This is the age of both digital possibility and digital distraction. Amidst all the noise and clamor, when it comes to technology for museums, you have two jobs cut out for you:

  1. Use the power of the internet to reach new audiences
  2. Engage those audiences, both onsite and online, with the latest, greatest technology tools

Modern audiences expect more than just displays and dioramas. To capture their attention and their allegiance, truly trendsetting museums find bold new ways to engage and delight visitors – sometimes before they even arrive. Technology is the ticket to achieving these lofty goals. In addition to helping create novel experiences visitors won’t forget, when people have a technologically enhanced experience at a museum, they’re more likely to remember what they learned.

Here’s how some of the world’s most innovative venues use various new technologies to enhance their onsite and online experiences.

5 museums that use technology to elevate the onsite experience

With the help of the right use of technology in your museum, visitors will engage in entirely new ways. Here’s how five of Tiqets’ favorite museums create unique, unforgettable digital experiences for onsite visitors.

Mostra di Leonardo: Bringing da Vinci to life with projections

Mostra di Leonardo offers a fully immersive experience utilising modern technology for museums
Mostra di Leonardo offers a fully immersive experience

This Roman museum, dedicated to telling the story of Leonardo da Vinci and his inventions, brings the inventor’s creations to life with modern technologies such as digital screens, holograms, and projection techniques. Visitors literally step into projections of centuries-old artwork and gaze upon giant, high-resolution holograms projected onto the museum’s vast walls.

The digital “wow” factor comes from an absorbing 3-dimensional view of Da Vinci’s most inspired works and fascinating inventions. Owner and curator of Mostra di Leonardo, Augusto Biagi, describes the experience as “a modern way of displaying the old-but-so-innovative ideas by Leonardo da Vinci.”

Some visitors have an interactive digital experience before they ever arrive at the museum, participating in an app-led urban treasure hunt. With any tablet, they can explore Rome’s historic center and learn about the city’s history, hosted by a digital version of da Vinci himself. The treasure hunt, which ends at the museum, is a perfect lead-in to the fully immersive experience they’re about to have onsite.

Remastered: Immersing visitors in art through unique technology for museums

Visitors to Remastered can experience some of the worlds best artist's work in real life via impressive technology for museums
Visitors to Remastered can experience famous art in 3D

This museum in Rotterdam dedicated to the Dutch Old Masters has its own imaginative version of an immersive digital experience. Visitors can experience Van Gogh, Vermeer, Bosch, Rembrandt, and other legendary artists in entirely new ways: Float through a waterfall door! Fly their own UFO on a giant LED screen! Interact with schools of fish! Sail through the clouds!

To make their surreal dream a surrealist reality, the team invested in immersive technology: massive LED screens, state-of-the-art projectors, and loudspeakers. The latter technology was especially important because Remastered isn’t just a visual feast; it’s also an auditory immersion featuring DJ Sam Feldt and renowned Dutch digital sound studios. The entire effect is more “event” than “installation.”

Puy du Fou España: Engaging all the senses with technology

Puy du Fou España uses special effects to create realistic landscapes and settings - a different way to incorporate technology for museums
Puy du Fou España uses special effects to create realistic landscapes and settings

An immersive experience isn't the only way to incorporate technology into your museum. Puy du Fou España uses creative special effects to bring the Middle Ages back to life.

Evocative soundtracks especially designed by award-winning composer Nathan Stornetta are performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra as a soundtrack to accompany exhibitions. 3D video projections create realistic landscapes and settings. Curated lighting transports visitors to a time when video wasn’t even a dream.

The overall effect is both realistic and alluring. Visitors feel like they’re truly back in the Middle Ages in the ancient Spanish Capital city of Toledo.

Las Vegas Raiders: Making visitors feel like VIPs with a custom experience

Las Vegas Raiders utilise technology to give fans a VIP experience
Las Vegas Raiders utilise technology to give fans a VIP experience

When the US football team the Raiders moved from Los Angeles to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, it presented a prime opportunity to elevate the brand and get in front of a new batch of fans. Visitors to the stadium now experience a captivating story as they’re led through various areas by real live hosts, who control the experience from an app on their wrists. 

Technological special effects tell a captivating story that includes a customized LED ribbon as visitors enter the stadium bowl, an emotional musical score over the stadium’s loudspeakers, insider access to off-limits areas, and a holographic version of Coach Gruden in the Raiders Locker Room.

More than just a tour, the Raiders’ stadium offers a high-tech, next-level fan experience that has made a big splash in the city of Las Vegas.

Paris Montparnasse Top of the City: Augmenting the already stellar view

Paris Montparnasse observation deck makes use of digital storytelling
Paris Montparnasse observation deck makes use of digital storytelling

Top of the City might be an age-old Parisian tradition, but its observation deck is not just any old tired viewpoint. This gem of an attraction uses augmented reality (AR) to lend an enhanced vantage. Looking through the mounted viewers, visitors see the sights overlaid with precise facts and factoids.

This is just one of the ways in which the attraction’s curators keep a classic experience fresh and modern with digital storytelling. Tourists who can’t make it to the actual attraction can still take advantage of Magnicity, an innovative mobile app that also uses AR technology to impart the venue’s timeless secrets and stories in a new way.

This brings us to a valuable fact about digital technology: it’s not just for your onsite visitors.

5 venues that reach a wider audience with the help of technology for museums

Creative uses of technology can attract a bigger audience and keep your existing audience engaged with your brand even when not at your museum. Social media is the obvious example of this. Exceptional museums use social media to reach and entertain new audiences in creative ways, including on Instagram and TikTok — two of the most visual-heavy and popular social media channels for museum promotion.

The Victoria and Albert Museum: Taking an irreverent approach to the classics

@vamuseum queen of the selfie = reason to be featured in the V&A Design 1900 v&a collection. #learnontiktok #kimkardashian #selfie #vamuseum #museum ♬ original sound - Tik Toker

This London museum features art, design, and performance spanning from antiquity to today. The Victoria and Albert Museum brand might at first glance seem highbrow, but their TikTok feed is all fun. 

The museum’s social media team takes great creative liberty in its display of famous art, often “digitally vandalizing” the art for laughs. The team also makes a resounding effort to tie its brand to pop and celebrity culture, often with impressive results.

The Black Country Living Museum: Bringing the olden days into modern times

Those who lived in the UK’s black country in the 1800s didn’t realize their lives might turn out to be social-media worthy in the 2020s, but here we are. Thanks to TikTok, history buffs around the world satisfy their curiosity about the culture of the iron and coal industries that landed the industrial region of Dudley, England, its name. 

Today, the onsite experience consists of a rebuilt, historically accurate village where visitors can immerse themselves in the old way of industrial life. The online experience, though, is fresh and modern. The Black Country Living Museum’s TikTok account is full of cheeky historical snippets enacted by professionals and backed up by hip music.

The Empire State Building: Tapping into pop culture to tell a story

@empirestatebldg like…no one asked for you to speak #nyc #newyork #empirestatebuilding ♬ original sound - ur cute jeans

A US attraction with a saucy TikTok brand is the Empire State Building, which often uses a crude overlay of a human face on top of the iconic tower to comedic effect. By tapping into pop culture, the Empire State Building’s TikTok feed habitually attracts hundreds of thousands of views on any given post.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Tying the past to the present on Instagram

Courtesy of LA County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, aims to make art history fresh and modern in its Instagram feed. Classic artworks are given the irreverent treatment in self-aware fashion, but interspersed with these meme-worthy posts are some real teaching moments. Often, these posts touch on contemporary issues while paying homage to artworks from decades and centuries past. 

Rijksmuseum: Bringing the old stories to life in captions

Courtesy of Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum sometimes takes a refreshingly conservative approach with its posts, using Instagram captions to explain the stories and subtleties behind the famous works of art. In the context of the museum, it can be challenging to take in every detail of every artwork, so this extra insight online is well received by the 754k followers of the Dutch museum’s Instagram account.

Wield technology for museums in new, creative ways

TikTok and Instagram are just two ways to use modern technology to reach visitors from afar with your online marketing. We cover quite a few others in our free ebook Your 2022 Museum Marketing Kit: Strategies, Tips & More

When it comes to onsite marketing, the sky is truly the limit. It can be tempting to stick to what you know, but adding new technology to the mix is more important to reach and engage with younger audiences and stand out from the crowd.

Our advice? Start small: choose a direction and apply your creativity.

If you’d like more inspiration from other venues that take an innovative approach with technology, read 14 Tips on Innovation from 2021’s Most Innovative Museums and Attractions.

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