November 16, 2018

Mayflower passengers at the first Thanksgiving—and who was still alive for the second Thanksgiving

 

All of the passengers on the Mayflower, grouped by family, and which individuals were alive for the second Thanksgiving and who perished the first year.

This outstanding example of visualizing historical information from the Pilgrim Hall Museum is now available through The History List store.  

To see larger versions of these photos, click any photo to be taken to Flickr, where these appear.  Once on Flicker, click any photo to enlarge it.

 

The Mayflower Passengers - First Thanksgiving and alive for the second Thanksgiving

This poster is available through The History List Store.

 

 

 

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June 24, 2017

Creating a smartphone tour or virtual tour for your historic site

There is a growing number of applications, platforms, and services that enable you to create a tour of your historic site that users can experience on their smartphone or remotely from a desktop.

The types of tours you can create range from cell phone audio tours to smartphone tours to virtual tours. This list is a work in progress. If you know of companies that should be listed here, please let me know. Or, if you have used any of these or evaluated any of these, please send me your insights and recommendations.

I started this list after coming across yet another company that was new to me. Rather than waiting to find the time to put together a comprehensive list, I'll build this as I come across companies as people refer them to me.

Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List  |  History Camp
June 23, 2017

 

Virtual tours

WalkInto - Platform to create and host virtual tours similar to Google Streetview that can be embedded in your site. Includes connections to photographers. Price: $0 (ad-supported) or $30/year. Example: The Genesee Country Village & Museum

 

Smartphone tours

Izi - Platform to create a downloadable audio tour. User must have (free) Izi app installed. No cost to create and no monthly cost for hosting. Example: The Freedom Trail

Tour Buddy -   Platform to create and publish tour apps that can be offered within an institution or as downloadable apps from an app store. Price: Varies.  Thirty-day free trial available. Example of a GPS Walking Tour: Sparks, Nevada

 

 

 


Please send recommendations for additions and feedback on ones you've used or evaluated.

 

 

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December 13, 2015

Marketing gift memberships at the holidays with #MembershipMonday

A membership to your historical society or history museum is a great holiday gift.  

Here's how you can market memberships as a Christmas gift or other holiday gift, including participating in #MembershipMonday on the Monday of Christmas week.

 

Why your historical society or history organization should be promoting gift memberships

Memberships are a great gift that helps your historical society, history museum, or historic site in three ways: (1) You earn additional revenue; (2) you now have the opportunity to communicate with and market to a person who has been introduced to your organization by someone who cares about them; and, (3) if your marketing and member communication is persuasive, you organization will have a new member who is engaged with your organization, coming to your events, and telling their friends and family about the experience and posting to social media.

To generate more revenue and membership sales from gift memberships, there are four things to consider:

  1. Turning a membership to your history organization into an attractive gift
  2. Generating interest in giving memberships with a special promotion
  3. Marketing gift memberships and the #MembershipMonday marketing bundle
  4. Making it easy for people to buy and give a membership as a gift

 

Turning a membership into an attractive gift 

People will be more likely to consider giving a membership if it feels like a gift to them and to the recipient.  This is especially important at the holidays.

There are two scenarios to consider:

  • The gift giver is going to be with the gift recipient for Christmas (or whatever other holiday or festive event they're celebrating) and needs to have something physical to give them. 
  • The gift giver isn't going to be with the them and will want to send them something electronically.  

In both cases memberships make a great last-minute gift because we can create things that don't need to be shipped.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a PDF that the gift giver can print out and slip in an envelop or small box. 

The Cincinnati Museum Center has this attractive "gift certificate" that can be downloaded and printed out from their membership page.

You might add, on the "gift certificate" or on a companion piece, a list of the benefits the gift recipient will receive, a list of your upcoming programs and special events, and background on the organization.

You can create this using your own graphics or use some of the graphics included in the #MembershipMonday gift membership marketing bundle.  Download here, or read more below.

  • Create a short video that welcomes a new member.  This is an idea that's suitable year 'round.

This might be a short message from the executive director or a costumed interpreter.  It could be embedded on a special page on your site or simply posted to YouTube if it’s difficult to get things embedded in your organization’s site.  This could all be shot using a smartphone or tablet and using available light. 

Three tips: Keep it short (60 - 90 seconds); skip any title "card" and open immediately with the "action;" and make it simple, such as very short clips edited together.  For a living history site, this might be as simple as shooting a few-second clip of each interpreter, in their building, saying "thank you," "I'm looking forward to meeting you," "come see me in the [building]," "come see us at [our site]," or similar.  Focus on authenticity and creating a feeling of genuine interest and appreciation and don't get bogged down with trying to do something fancy.

 

Generating interest in giving memberships with a special promotion

At this time of the year every retailer has a special offer.  Why not create a special offer to help stimulate interest in giving gift memberships?  Here are some ideas:

The Wisconsin Historical Society is offering 40% off of gift memberships through the end of the year and promoting it at the bWisconsin Historical Society's banner for gift membershipsottom of their home page.  (An offer that big and time-sensitive probably deserves a place "above the fold.")

Royal House & Slave Quarters membership marketing for #MembershipMonday

  • A higher level membership for the price of basic membership

  • A 10% discount in the gift shop when you buy a gift membership—The Maidu Museum and Historic Site in California includes a 10% discount on gift memberships as an ongoing member benefit, treating it like other gift shop purchases, which are also discounted 10% for members.

  • $5 off on a special book when you buy a gift membership

  • A special gift—The Baseball Hall of Fame is offering a "personalized mini-bat (22 inches long) with a desktop display stand. . . Buy three or more gift memberships and receive a full-size personalized bat with a wall-mount display."

The Detroit Historical Society gift membership, which starts at $45, includes a ". . . beautiful holiday ornament featuring an image from our collection of Detroit’s legendary Ice Fountain."

  • A free ticket to a special annual event when you buy a gift membership

  • A special behind-the-scenes tour with a curator or the executive director

Do you have others we should add?  If so, let me know.

 

Marketing gift memberships and the #MembershipMonday marketing bundle

Memberships are a great gift and are especially well-suited to being a last minute gift.

To raise awareness of memberships as a last minute gift, let's make the Monday of the week of Christmas #MembershipMonday.  (There are some years in which this will also work for Hanukkah, such as 2016, and others were it won't, such as this year.  Organizations should adapt this idea to fit their membership and target audiences.)

If your organization is going to have a special gift membership offer on the Monday of Christmas week, send it in with #MembershipMonday in the subject line and we’ll promote it on our gifts page and on social media.

The #MembershipMonday gift membership marketing bundle

We created a special #MembershipMonday marketing bundle with professional graphics and it's available as a free download.  It includes JPGs, such as the one on the right, that you can use in any of your materials, as well as PDFs you can print out and use as tabletop signs.  Some graphics include "#MembershipMonday;" others don't. 

 

Making it easy for people to buy and give a membership as a gift

When memberships are marketed as gifts, especially as last-minute gifts, it is critical that they are easy for the gift giver to buy.  Even if you don't normally offer memberships online, you can do something as simple as providing a phone number to call and an e-mail address to send basic details (but not payment information) and then call the person back the next business day if the message came in overnight.

Here are some ways that organizations of different types and sizes handle gift memberships today on their site:

  • The Boston Athenæum makes it easy for someone to purchase a gift membership online, by phone, and in-person and includes options for how their welcome packet is handled.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts includes the option to give any membership as a gift right on their membership page.
  • The Peabody Essex Museum's form for giving a gift membership.
  • The Cambridge Historical Society use PayPal for online purchases.  Gift recipients " . . . will receive a certificate that announces the gift, who gave it and its benefits, as well as a copy of our latest newsletter, and our book Rediscovering the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House."

If there is a good example that belongs here, let me know.

 

"Make this holiday historic!"

More information on the overall campaign is on the "Make this holiday historic!" campaign page, including a link to download additional marketing material, as well as market research on attracting new visitors to your site or organization's events at the holidays. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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October 14, 2015

Income Ideas: Marketing your site as an event space

 

The Chester County Historical Society has a large event space that is marketed with it's own name, logo, dedicated area of their website, Facebook page, and listings on venue websites, such as the one shown that has wedding venues.  They also have a dedicated person handling rentals.

By connecting their Facebook and Twitter accounts, their posts to Facebook, including one shown promoting the Cultural Center, are also posted to their Twitter feed.

While few organizations have as much space to rent out as the Chester County Historical Society, all organizations that want to generate additional revenue from renting part of their facility for special events can adapt some of these tactics. 

 

 

 

 

 

Send us your "Income Idea" and you may see it, and your name and institution, here.

 

 

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