Exploring the Benefits of Integrating AV into Museums and Galleries

Curators are looking for dynamic and engaging solutions to keep the attention of their increasingly tech-savvy visitors.

Kevin Kelly

Commercial integrators looking for exciting new business opportunities need look no further than their local museum to realize these “monuments to the past” are rapidly becoming showcases for 21st century interactive digital signage and pro AV solutions.

History does not change — but the delivery of information always will. Museums and galleries need to be engaging, like the ever-evolving world they showcase in.

Museums like the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, and the Professor Wellbody Exhibit at Pacific Science Center in Seattle are pointing the way to the future when it comes to creating compelling environments that make history come to life.

Integrating AV into museums and galleries has many benefits. Displays harness the ability to educate and promote to a single person or a vast audience at the same time. This instance of practicality caters to guests’ different preferences; some visitors seek a more intimate one-on-one conversation with staff, other visitors want to explore the museum at their own pace. Introducing technology into this market allows for both options to be employed simultaneously, so museums and galleries can effectively capture guests’ attention.

The Bishop Museum in Hawaii, the premier place to experience the history, arts and culture of the Hawaiian people, represents an instance in which tradition meets technology. The museum enhances scientific research, educational programs, and extensive collections with interactive displays for guests. The displays do not hinder or devalue historical pieces, but rather, enhance them. Digital displays also greatly enhance material in science and education.

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At the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, five floors house 11 permanent exhibit halls containing state-of-the-art video and 3D computer animation provoking curiosity in children and adults alike. Visitors can engage in hands-on activities, interactive kiosks and educational games. The museum as a whole serves as a living science lesson, offering illustrations of engineering, technology and conservation.

Aside from its ability to interactively educate, AV integration allows museum and gallery directors to save money by updating information through visual displays. Our senior relationship manager, Todd Teachenor, has pointed out to us that AV integrators can work closely with the museum or gallery to explore many cost-saving options, while also promoting the vision the museum wants to maintain. Further, the integration of AV equipment into this market is a proactive method of promoting and educating the visitors, even when staff is not readily available.

Within museums, the greatest opportunity for AV integrators is to convert traditional static signs to interactive displays. This can be achieved extremely cost-efficiently, while tripling or quadrupling the total of size of your digital signage market. Think about the revenue that will produce!

The Professor Wellbody Exhibit at Pacific Science Center in Seattle showcases the latest progress in health-related research occurring in the Pacific Northwest. The featured theme and content in “The Studio” changes every six months, offering visitors an opportunity to learn about new advances in health research. To do so, museum curators use interactive displays so that switching content is easy, effective and cost-saving.

Traditional museums will always have a place in society. They, along with countless other public venues, will greatly benefit from information technology to present guests with a renewed focus on our history. Enhancing facilities with AV equipment is not replacing exhibits. With the right focus and design creation, museums and galleries will capture increasingly tech-savvy generations by focusing on the priceless works of art or wonders of science with their own story to tell.