The Weserburg Museum of Modern Art in Germany has reported an increase in visitor numbers following a flexible pricing experiment.

After implementing a ‘pay as you stay’ model, the Bremen museum noted a 42 per cent rise in the number of visitors compared to the same four-week period in 2018.

Under the new model, visitors have been able to pay €1 per 10 minutes, though prices were capped at €9, which is usual daily rate.

Tom Schoessler, the managing director at Weserburg Museum, said, according to Arts Professional: “Like many museums, we usually offer a ticket that allows for an all day visit. And although our prices probably don’t keep the interested out, they may prohibit a short visit, or coming back for a second and third view, or a casual look inside from those who don’t know what to expect.

“These are all arguments for free admission, of course, but since we cannot afford to forfeit the ticket income, we started looking for alternatives.”

After some research, the institution decided on the €1 per 10 minute model, with a full day ticket priced at €9, no matter how long the person remained at the venue. Schoessler said it was the “perfect fit” as the results of a past survey indicated that most visitors spent roughly 90 minutes walking around.

During the trial period, the museum used a survey to gauge visitors’ opinions of the ‘pay as you stay model’. When asking customers under which circumstances they would visit the museum more often, during regular pricing days, the highest scoring answer was ‘if I had more time’. But during the ‘pay as you stay’ experiment, the answer ‘if the price were always €1 per 10 minutes’ outscored the lack of time argument by far.

Three out of four visitors said in the survey that the model created fair prices, which Schoessler said seems to be due to the individual’s ability to influence their price directly.

Image: Dr. Bernd Gross