Update for Associate Suppliers – April 2022

Raise your brand profile. Share your Industry Insights.

To help you make the most of your Associate Supplier membership, we’re introducing a new content strand Industry Insights and we’d be delighted if you can get involved.

Share your expertise, best practice and the latest advice with the membership across AIM communications channels, including Bulletin, website and/or webinars for AIM members.

To help you match your expertise with the current needs of AIM members, we’ve prepared this overview of what is currently top of mind with the museums at the moment.

Driving summer visitor numbers

  • Following the lockdowns and restrictions of the last two years, museums are generally all in need of a good summer season in terms of visitor numbers and income. Our Covid impact survey with members in January showed that 19% of respondents expected income to the end of December 2022 to drop by half or more compared to 2021 projections. Recovery from the Covid pandemic is slow as museums need to be able to plan ahead and be confident in hosting events that drive income.
  • There is likely to be an ongoing challenge for those museums that previously relied heavily on international visitors, especially as more domestic tourists are expected to holiday abroad this year.
  • Some museums fear the rising cost of living putting pressure on household spending will reduce visitor spend. And those same rising costs are putting pressure on museum budgets.

Cost efficiency

  • There is a general lack of funding available for core projects and / or maintenance. This is not a new problem, but has been exacerbated by the pandemic in some instances, especially as funding for core maintenance is limited and can be challenging to apply for.

Supporting staff wellbeing

  • There has been an impact on staff wellbeing and resilience following the challenges of the last couple of years. Museums are looking to the future with optimism, but as one respondent to our Covid impact survey commented “We’re all exhausted.” Support that gives museums the time, space and funding to dust off plans to refresh and revitalise would be welcomed.

Re-engaging volunteers

  • The need to recruit new volunteers, plus diversify the volunteer base is a common theme across the sector. In some places, older volunteers haven’t returned post-Covid, and in others, volunteering is no longer such an attractive opportunity as visitor numbers are lower.

Click here for more information on our January Covid impact survey>>

We find that content that is approachable (i.e. no jargon or acronyms) and suitable for those who are new to the topic works best. Our members are always keen to learn something, so practical and pragmatic top tips work really well.

If you’d like to provide content for Industry Insights just get in touch with an overview of your topic and the unique perspective you’re able to share with museums. You can discuss your ideas with either Matt on matt@aim-museums.co.uk or Catrin on catrin@aim-museums.co.uk.

Click here for more tips on maximising your Associate Supplier membership>>