Saturday, April 1, 2023

Museums: All In The Attractions Family

By Judith Rubin, IPM Co-Editor

Museums around the world are in a state of crossover, convergence and dramatic growth.

Cinematic content is better than ever and can travel from one platform to another, thanks to digital tools. Will it play in a planetarium or a science museum? On a flat screen or a dome? Or outside, on the building façade? Many facilities have multiple digital exhibition spaces. A distributor’s job is to find the right fit. AV and integration specialists are guiding museums to tap today’s tech sweet spot of reliability, quality and affordability in everything from exhibition to retail, never forgetting the power of audio.

We focus a lot on museum projects in these pages, and the people and companies helping them realize their visions and fulfill their missions. It may surprise some, but the stories reveal a very porous border between museums and theme parks. There are parallel cycles playing out with very much the same tools, technologies, creatives and suppliers. The same need to constantly re-invent/re-invest; to differentiate from home leisure options and motivate people to make the trip out.

Increasingly, both sectors draw on like content, IPs and operational models. An exploration of exhibitors and sessions at, for instance, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Museum Expo backs this up. But there’s more. Every year, museum projects receive honors at the prestigious Thea Awards of the Themed Entertainment Association, held at Disneyland. Museum Day is part of every IAAPA Attractions Expo, in Orlando.

Our perspective as a media outlet is similar. Museums and theme parks all exist within the family visitor attractions market.

That’s a vital, expanding market. As Asia and especially China develop major cultural hubs, an historic and dramatic surge in the quantity and quality of museums is underway. And in Asia – just as in the Middle East, Europe and North America – there are clear parallels in entertainment and leisure, with extensive crossover. It’s all part of the global market that InPark is pleased to chronicle and to serve.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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