Optimising ticket sales and the guest experience at museums and attractions

Oct 9, 2020

The Van Gogh Museum is at the forefront of optimising ticket sales while providing an outstanding experience for its guests. Myriam Bruinje, Head of Ticketing, took to the virtual stage during the second day of WYSTC 2020 Online to discuss the museum’s sales strategy and solutions implemented to overcome the capacity challenges experienced due to COVID-19 

Timeslot ticketing has allowed the Van Gogh Museum to strategise its sales, gain insights into the museum’s customer base and optimise the customer experience through 

  • Tracking the duration of visits (on average 90 minutes) across the year and understanding visitor behaviour based on external factors such as the weather. A visit usually is shorter if it is a sunny day.  
  • Based on time slots already sold, the museum has the insight to understand how many last-minute tickets are available without overcrowding exhibits. During the peak season, pre-booked tickets are capped at 90% to allow on-the-day sales providing more space for visitors to enjoy the gallery 
  • The museum welcomes groups without overcrowding the museum. Group visits are capped at 15% of total daily visitors.  

These measures led to an increase in guest satisfaction as recorded with feedback points in the museum.  

When COVID-19 hit Europe, museums in Amsterdam closed for 6 months. Social distancing measures put in place means the Van Gogh Museums maximum daily sales decreased by 4,000 tickets. Using time-slot ticketing allows the museum to identify new market, when customers visit and enable the museum to implement different strategies to respond to the challenges faced through a decrease in ticket sales by 

  • Welcoming group visits, up to a maximum of 5 people.  
  • Setting up the exhibition space to allow a 1.5m distance between all guests. As the museum implemented a strategy to cap ticket sales, it already has a process that enables smart restrictive ticket sales 
  • Investing in virtual education solutions and virtual tours of the museum for vulnerable visitors who are unable to attend the museum in person.  

Museums and attractions face challenging times, but the Van Gogh Museum has demonstrated how through strategic time-slot ticket selling it is possible to continue welcoming visitors safely.