Differences in visitor characteristics and experiences on episodic free admission days

Catherine D.D. Bowman, Adrianna Adkins, Brooke L. Owen, Kyle J. Rogers, Edgar Escalante, Judd Bowman, Brian Nelson, Alison Stoltman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To increase access, most U.S. museums provide free admission opportunities, either through episodic free days or other means. Although studies document the effects of museums transitioning from paid to free entry for museums considering a less extreme change, such as adding (or subtracting) a free day, detailed comparative data on the characteristics and experiences of visitors attending episodic free days and standard days are needed to inform decision making. This post-hoc analysis of data (n = 370) from the control condition of a larger study [authors] outlines significant differences in visitor characteristics, group composition, group behavior, and interest in and experience with the exhibit on free and standard days at a mid-sized natural history museum, highlighting the affordances and drawbacks of offering episodic free days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-280
Number of pages17
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2020


  • Museum access
  • admission
  • demographics
  • equity
  • visitorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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