Network Visitor Research Initiative: Founding Event on 23 and 24 November 2021

Institut für Museumsforschung

The Netzwerk Besucherforschung (Visitor Research Network) will be launched at a conference on 23 and 24 November 2021 at the Deutsche Arbeitswelt Ausstellung (DASA, German Occupational Safety and Health Exhibition) in Dortmund. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Institute für Museumsforschung (Research and Documentation Centre) is part of the founding initiative.

In recent years, visitor and audience research has become more widespread at museums in Germany and of a higher scientific standard, although its scope of implementation continues to be varied. At some museums it has already become an integral part of their daily processes, serving to facilitate and optimise their work as well as to develop comprehensive standards, while other museums have not yet been able to seriously address the matter of their visitors and audiences.

The Time Is Ripe for a Visitor Research Network

The interest in sharing knowledge among museums and in increasing their professionalization and networking is great – an agenda that is broadly supported in the German museum community. This has been demonstrated by numerous conferences and meetings, as well as by the Deutscher Museumsbund’s (German Museum Association) publication in 2018 of the guide Hauptsache Publikum: Besucherforschung für die Museumspraxis (Attracting an Audience: Visitor Research for Museum Practice), of which more than 7,500 printed copies have already been ordered.

Founding Initiative and Position Paper

This is where the founding initiative comes in, with the DASA Arbeitswelt Ausstellung Dortmund, Deutscher Museumsbund, Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland joining forces as partners alongside the Institut für Museumsforschung. Together we aim to establish a nationwide research network that will bolster museums for the future by supporting and accompanying the dynamic advancement of visitor and audience research at these institutions.

The founding initiative’s detailed position paper is available for download here (in German) (PDF, 89 KB).

Download: Conference programme (PDF, 210 KB)