Data Cuts, Broader Population Comparison, & Current Participants

When you sign up for the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers, you receive data on your museum and how it compares to the field at-large.

When at least five museums of the same type or geographic location (city or state) sign up for the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers, you may also receive additional comparative data cuts, giving you even more benchmarking data.

So far, the 2022 Annual Survey of Museum-Goers data can be cut further for:

By Museum Type

Art museums
Regional art museums
College or university art museum
Botanic gardens
Historic sites
History museums
Natural history museums
Science centers
General/multi-disciplinary museums
Multi-disciplinary museums with a local or state emphasis
Children’s museums 
Historic house museums
Local history museums
City history museums 
Military history museums
State history museums 
Contemporary art museums
Encyclopedic art museums
Estates or mansions
Decorative arts
Maritime museums


By Location

San Francisco Bay Area
Massachusetts (1 more needed)
Illinois (2 more needed)
Washington, DC (2 more needed)
Indiana (2 more needed)
Pennsylvania (2 more needed)
Washington (2 more needed)
Wisconsin (2 more needed)

Broader Population Comparison

Broader population sampling collects data from casual visitors and non-visitors in your city or state. When you think of your museum and your local population, there are three main groups of people: 

Frequent visitors

Potential Annual Survey of Museum-Goers respondents; typically your repeat visitors and/or members.

Casual visitors

Potential broader population sampling respondent; someone who may visit once a year, or every couple of years.


Potential broader population sampling respondent; someone who has never visited or hasn’t visited in many years.

By adding on Broader Population Sampling in your area, you can create a more complete picture of who does and doesn’t engage with your museum, as well as their values, attitudes, and behaviors. This can then help you develop a more informed audience engagement strategy to broaden audiences.

About Broader Population Sampling

The Survey: Because we want to ask the same questions of all population segments, we create a survey that is nearly identical to the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers. The main difference is that since we can’t assume respondents have visited your museum, we don’t ask them to assess the visitor experience at your museum. Instead, they are asked about leisure-time activities and more general attitudes towards museums and lifelong learning. 

Identifying casual visitors from non-visitors: The survey includes a question asking about visitation at local attractions, including your museum. We use this question to identify your casual visitors and your non-visitors. (This also tells you the other places and organizations you’re competing with for leisure time and educational activities.)

The sample: We purchase the sample from our survey vendor, Alchemer. They do a great job filling samples with a demographic mix that is typically pretty close to the broader population in a state or metro area, including by race and ethnicity and educational attainment.

The geographic area: We can offer this for either an individual metro area or by state. If you are in a small city or rural area, we may have to do it by state, but we’ll discuss this with you and only field the survey if you agree with this decision.

Reporting: Wilkening Consulting will include the broader population results in your reports. For your results spreadsheet, this includes directly comparing your frequent visitors, casual visitors, and non-visitors. On your slide deck results, the broader population results will be visually represented as one of your comps.

Cost: There are two factors that affect the cost–the cost of purchasing the sample itself and the time of Wilkening Consulting staff to extensively customize your reports to include your local broader population comparison. The base fee of $2,000 includes the extra reporting and the sample fee for 250 respondents (this is in addition to your $1,000 Annual Survey participation fee).

Adding respondents: If you want a sample of more than 250, you can do so for the cost of procuring the sample (our reporting fee doesn’t change). We’ll know in January what it will cost but we estimate $3.50-$4.00 per completed response.

Partnering with other area museums: If multiple museums in a metro area or state wish to field the broader population sampling, the sampling fee can be split among all of them (also enabling you to get a larger, more robust sample). The portion of your fee that covers reporting ($1,000) remains unchanged. It is strongly encouraged that this partnering take place prior to fielding the broader population sample to ensure the possibility of sampling fee-splitting.

Custom questions: We may be able to include the custom questions you select for the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers into your broader population sample. It depends on whether those questions are appropriate for respondents who may have never visited your museum.

Current Participants

We will update the current list of participants as public enrollment becomes available in late 2021.

American Civil War Museum
Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
Armstrong Air & Space Museum
Bard Graduate Center Gallery
Blanton Museum of Art
Calvert Marine Museum
Chicago Zoological Society
Cincinnati Art Museum
Columbus Museum of Art
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Denver Botanic Gardens
Desert Botanical Garden
Discovery Museum
Florida Museum of Natural History
Green Bay Botanical Garden
London Town Foundation
Longmont Museum / City of Longmont
National Museum of American History
Neville Public Museum

Newport Historical Society
Norman Rockwell Museum
Ohio History Center
Omaha Children’s Museum
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Roger Tory Peterson Institute
Springfield Museum of Art
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
Virginia Museum of History & Culture
Wichita Art Museum

Participant stories

Browse the stories of those who have participated in the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers and learn how they applied the data in practice.

Data Stories

Check out the data stories from previous years’ surveys covering themes from masking in museums to how to spark curiosity among visitors.

Ready to sign up?

Complete the form to sign up or get in touch with Wilkening Consulting for more information.