How AV Innovation Is Artfully Adding to Museum Attractions

Portable planetariums, pro-sumer products and social media help museums earn bigger bang for fewer bucks


With high-profile events like Art Basel in Miami, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of urban “art crawls,” it’s not surprising that the art museum sits atop that category, comprising 42 percent of the museum segment, according to an industry analysis by market researcher IBIS.

But the reality is that museums in general have been experiencing growth in recent years. AV is playing a more critical role in museum displays.

That same study finds that museums of all types generated $10.6 billion in revenue last year and that number is expected to continue to grow at nearly 2 percent a year.

Art museums may dominate, but historical and science & technology museums, with market shares of 22 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively, make up a substantial part of this expanding category — and these categories are especially reliant on AVL (audio, video, lighting) systems for visitor engagement and differentiation.

Integrators are looking to use AV systems in unique ways, as museum clients look to stand out in a crowded market. Integrating audio into museum exhibits is increasingly taking advantage of the wide range of tools for pro audio in general.

Museums are chronically budget challenged, but that hasn’t restrained the ever-higher expectations that visitors and curators impose on them. Another way consumer technology is impacting museum installations is the growing use of social media, which adds design and experiential possibilities before, during and after a visit.