Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

Real Places 2019: Happy Hours? Fun Runs?

How To Successfully Diversify The Visitor Experience To Engage New Audiences

Breakout 1E

Day/Time: Thursday, January 17, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
Location: Capitol Salon FGH, 3rd Floor
Speakers: Colleen Dilenschneider, IMPACTS Research

From garden shows to yoga, museums and historic sites are creating diverse programs in an effort to engage new visitors. In this interactive session, Colleen Dilenschneider of IMPACTS Research and author of the popular website, Know Your Own Bone, will build upon research shared in the morning's opening keynote session by focusing on a key strategy for engaging inactive visitors: diversifying the visitor experience. Data suggests that thoughtfully diversifying the visitor experience with new events, programs, and partnerships that match audience interests can help attract new guests. But long-term engagement is more than hosting happy hours for the sake of hosting happy hours. Dilenschneider will encourage open conversation and share deeper insight into the motivations, behaviors, and interests of potential visitors. She will explain how the programming that organizations offer onsite that relates to their missions may be more important than ever before.


As chief market engagement officer at IMPACTS Research,Colleen Dilenschneider uses data to help cultural organizations maintain their relevance and secure long-term financial success. She is the author and publisher of the popular Know Your Own Bone website, a resource for cultural professionals that has been prominently featured in several national publications and is required reading for numerous graduate programs and conferences. She has been featured as an expert on audience behaviors at cultural institutions in outlets ranging from the American Alliance of Museums to NPR, and she conducts speaking engagements and workshops internationally. Dilenschneider graduated from the University of Chicago and received a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. She has also completed professional programs at the London School of Economics, Yale, and Harvard, and she serves on the board of directors of the National Aquarium.