Yesterday I played hooky from work…
…and attended the annual meeting of the Connecticut League of History Organizations, held at the New England Air Museum. There, the president of the museum welcomed us with a warm yet provocative speech.
In sum, he said that museum attendance is declining (which solicited many sympathetic nods from the audience), but cultural institutions are responding the wrong way (which solicited many stiffened backs). The answer isn’t to ask donors for more money, he said, nor to blame the populace for “not getting it.”
The answer involves connection — connecting what the museums have with what people want.
In other words — I couldn’t help thinking to myself — it’s a classic marketing communications challenge: taking the substance of who or what you are and connecting it to the needs/desires/passions of your audience.
As you can see on their website, the NE Air Museum houses a stunning collection of classic aircraft. How would you connect this museum and others like it to a new generation addicted to video games, iPods and multi-tasking?