As one of the country’s leading natural history museum’s resumed onsite member programming following a full shutdown during the pandemic, it recognized that not all members were returning to onsite programs, and understood the need to continue providing ways for members to participate virtually. But the team wanted to better understand measure member preferences and value to determine if their efforts should continue.
To answer those questions, over a single month, the museum offered 4 programs for members. Each program gave members the option to attend either onsite at the museum or virtually.
“It was kind of an experiment,” explains the museum’s director of membership. “We knew that visitation patterns had changed, but we weren’t sure whether there was an ongoing appetite for virtual programs, and whether the continued investment in them was worth it.”
Using Gather MXP's hybrid registration feature, members were offered a singular registration point where they could easily choose how they wanted to participate--onsite or online--and automatically received the appropriate confirmations, reminders, and instructions that matched their mode of participation.
“Making the options clear and easy for members in a single place was important. In the past we’d had separate registration processes for each type of program and that often resulted in member confusion, including registering for the wrong option,” adds the museum’s membership coordinator.
- Overall attendance was +30% greater with both options available than previous programs with one option
- Online participation was 2.6x greater than onsite participation (overall 72% online/28% onsite)
- 45% of onsite participants brought guests
- Fewer than 10% of online participants had visited the museum in the previous 10 months
This is about both access and member retention, and Gather made it easy for us and seamless for our members.” —Director of Membership
“When we gave members a choice, we were able to better understand their preferences, but maybe even more, we now understand both the value that those options have for our members–especially those who haven’t or even can’t visit the museum in person–as well as for us….This is about both access and member retention, and Gather made it easy for us and seamless for our members.”
Because Gather MXP is integrated with the museum’s member CRM, it’s easy for the membership team to track both onsite and virtual engagement and participation. With a fuller profile of each member, the team can segment its member population in ways that can help drive both engagement and participation.
Gather’s MXP proved to be a powerful partner to the museum in both expanding access and value for their members community, as well as giving a small team with limited bandwidth the tools they need to serve their members.
In addition to continuing its hybrid programming, the museum is using Gather MXP’s full suite of features to serve its ongoing onsite, online, and on-demand programs for members.
Read the full case study here.