Survey on new technologies and innovations in museums

© Image: Christian Fregna Two people have their backs to the camera as they both take a photo of a painting hanging on the wall. The person in the back is taking her photo of the painting through the phone screen of the person of the person standing in front of her.

© Image: Christian Fregna

The Museum Innovation Barometer 2021 provides an overview of the current and planned implementation of technology enhanced tools​ and approaches among museums around the world. 

The survey, conducted by NEMO member Museum Booster, inquires about grow-into areas and strategic planning for the upcoming three years in the fields of visitor experience, digital infrastructure, data collection and revenue generation. ​The 2021 edition also looks into the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on technological developments in the museum sector. 

More than 200 museums from 39 countries participated in the survey, which ran from December 2020 to May 2021.

Amongst others, the survey finds that only 23% of respondents managed to design and  launch new formats and tools for digital revenue in order to cope with the pandemic. One third of those who designed tools for digital revenue did it through online workshops, lessons, presentations and exhibitions.

When asked about the reasons for applying new technologies in 2020, the top answers were audience-related: to attract more online visitors, to diversify museum audiences and to increase the relevance of content creation and mediation.

A positive effect of more museums going digital was gaining new and more diverse audiences. Museum digital offers became more visible and available despite geography, open for those who could not visit the museum in-person due to various reasons, enabling them to wander through the digital halls and see what museum collections have to offer, oftentimes way beyond the constraints of exhibition displays.