Hear from a Bruce Museum Visitor and Employee

Listen to interviews about the benefits of using Guide by Cell from a museum visitor and employee perspective. Journalist Jerry Kay talks to a local museum-goer, Bob Donnalley, and the Bruce Museum New Media Developer Mary Ann Lendenmann about the ease of using the technology and how it has enhanced the visitor experience.

Find out why museum visitors love tours using Guide by Cell, and why the Bruce Museum uses Guide by Cell services at most of its exhibitions.

Mobile Solution to Museums’ Millennial Dilemma

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If your cultural institution has been debating how best to reverse a trend in declining attendance, the conversation has undoubtedly focused on attracting millennials. You may have read in a recent National Attitudes, Awareness, and Usage Study (NAAU) report that Millennials are more likely than any other demographic to return for multiple visits, and to talk about those visits with others. In other words, attracting Millennials can turn your attendance around.

But attracting Millennials is also a quandary for many cultural institutions.

The NAAU surveys museums, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens and performing arts groups to understand their audiences and make informed business decisions. According to its study, Millennials should be museum’s and other cultural institutions’ most sought-after audience.

More so than Baby Boomers or Generation Xers, Millennials are willing to return for a second visit within a year, share the experience on social media and with their friends and families, and are also more connected to the Internet. Because they return multiple times, they’re typically the most represented group at successful institutions.

To attract millennials, you have to find them where they are: typically online and swimming in technology. Cultural institutions should incorporate mobile learning and two-way communication with millennial visitors to get them to return. If you impress them by introducing technology they prefer, you’ll get them to return and share their positive experiences via social media. According to The New York Times, a Henri Mattise exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art was so packed that the institution had to open its doors around the clock during the exhibit’s closing weekend. The museum is one of the country’s most technologically advanced.

The same article began by declaring that “museums face an uncertain future.” Overall, art museum attendance declined by 5 percent between 2002 and 2012, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. The only demographic that increased during that time was 75-and-older.

“Curators worry most about millennials,” the NYT reported. “How do static galleries of canvas and artifact engage a generation raised on the reactive pleasures of right swipes and hyperlinks?”

Hyperlinks is exactly where you need to follow them. That’s also where Guide by Cell thrives. Our mobile, text-based platform allows you to provide your visitors information, narrative and color where they already expect it: at their fingertips. Guests are able to text in a unique code and access more up-to-date insights, history and meaning than could ever be conveyed on printed placards that, once printed, remain stagnant for months or even years.

With Guide by Cell, you’re able to convey rich media like videos, images and a mobile website with any information you want; be it a tour, specific exhibit information or updates. You can engage visitors to participate in group communication such as polls and quizzes, take them on fun learning activities like treasure hunts, or communicate directly by text or mobile website. And the system is highly flexible. Our platform is drag-and-drop. You can publish content on the fly and revise content within seconds.

Returning to the NAAU study, one key finding directly connected all visitors who returned to cultural institutions as being “super-connected” to the web. And Millennials are far more super-connected to the web than any key demographic. To attract more millennials, your institution need to better incorporate mobile technology to engage with the demographic.

Visit GuidebyCell.com to learn more about how you can increase engagement, repeat visits and lifetime value with a web-based mobile platform.

Young Storytellers in Los Angeles Use Mobile Giving to Create Buzz

Young storytellers in Los Angeles engages creativity through the art of storytelling. Their mission is to inspire young people to discover the power of their own voice in Los Angeles and New York.

Isn’t that really the goal that most of us in the museum and cultural space share?

Every non-profit holds fundraising events, and a growing trend is to insert some very engaging mobile exercises into these events to significantly increase donations and create greater audience participation and awareness.

Young Storytellers approached Guide by Cell’s sister company Give by Cell with such a request. Their event last week was a success. They asked attendees to text in their donation and it instantly appeared on a giant screen with a thermometer racing to the top as pledges poured in.

To learn more about how to use mobile to supercharge your next fundraising event, complete the form below to sign up for a quick demo and one of our reps will reach out to you to schedule a time.


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Hidden Ways to Attract a Younger Audience by Using Technology

The No. 1 question we’re asked here is how to get younger people to visit their cultural organization.

Millennials in particular are not visiting as frequently as older generations, or even as much as they did five years ago.

Our findings show the problem is not with the relevance of what you are offering to their lives. The problem is more with the visit itself. The way material is interpreted, the lack of social media engagement throughout the venue, and in general the lack of technology to make the visit fit the way younger people learn and engage is more of the problem. It’s dated and not interactive.

And thankfully, those problems are fairly easy to fix.

At Guide by Cell, we have helped over 5,000 cultural organizations use mobile services to put a dent in that problem, and our clients tell us every day what a significant difference mobile solutions have made.

Free analysis

We are offering a free analysis of your current technologies, with a written summary of quick and inexpensive fixes you can make. Our CEO & Founder, Dave Asheim, has consulted with over 500 cultural venues in the ten years our mobile technology company has been in existence. Dave and the Marketing team at Guide by Cell will interview your team and suggest improvements that will definitely help you attract a younger audience.

Simply complete the form below, and one of our reps will reach out to you to schedule a time.


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BPOC Brown Bag: Mobile Trends with Guide by Cell

Tuesday March 22, 11:45am-1:00pm

San Diego Hall of Champions Banquet Room

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Mobile is becoming the principal means of learning, engaging and communicating for many people. How can San Diego cultural institutions use the power of mobile to engage with their audience?

The Balboa Park Online Collaborative is hosting a brown bag lunch on March 22 from 11:45am to 1:00pm in the San Diego Hall of Champions Banquet Room to answer this question. Our guest moderator is Dave Asheim, founder of Guide by Cell, the largest provider of mobile interactive services in the world. This is not a sales pitch, but an interactive discussion that covers what is working for different organizations using mobile.

Bring your mobile device and your lunch for a highly interactive session. You will experience first-hand over 15 ways institutions are using mobile for engagement. Scavenger hunts, mobile web games, selfie photo shoots, text message alerts, fundraising, membership drives, and more will be demoed and reviewed.


This event is free and open, but please register here if you plan on attending:



What Would George Washington Think About Text Messaging?

You’ve scheduled a big event and are eager to let attendees know about all the happenings and details of the day. Unfortunately, getting this information to every attendee is very challenging.

David Rosehill, Visual Information Specialist of Valley Forge National Park, implemented our new Crowd Notification SMS Service in preparation for the significant crowds expected on July 4.

“We knew the park would be extremely busy on the 4th of July. Notifying visitors of all the activities taking place during the day was challenging since not everyone steps into the visitor center and picks up a flyer. But we implemented the new Guide by Cell system, and it was a big success.”

“Visitors were asked to text into the SMS system to sign up for text message alerts notifying them of the many exciting events occurring throughout the day. Our park is vast – over 3,500 acres – and having the ability to pre-schedule and auto send text messages to visitors was extremely helpful. Our visitors enjoyed the text alerts very much.”

NMC Horizon Report 2015, Museum Edition

NMC and Balboa Park Online Collaborative Release the

NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition


San Diego, CA (April 20) — Today the NMC and Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) are jointly releasing the NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition at the 2015 Smith Leadership Symposium at Balboa Park in San Diego. The fifth museum edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry across various education sectors. There is also be a special edition published to commemorate BPOC’s Centennial.


With contributions from museum leaders and advocates, including our own CEO Dave Asheim, this report features thoughts about the latest in museum technology trends. Click here to download and read the report.