How to Get More Than 500,000 Visitors in 6 Months
How to Get More Than 500,000 Visitors in 6 Months:
Conzett: Founder and Director of the MoneyMuseum
In 1997, Dr. Jürg (pronounced Yorg) Conzett, came up with the idea to have a special place where people could come to in order to think about the meaning of money and itís affect on society. This special place should allow food for thought and produce critical discussions on the subject. The target group should be the "intellectually curious." Dr. Conzett, a financial consultant, has had many opportunities in his life to observe people in their behavior when handling finances and is therefore in the forefront when it comes to knowing the trials and temptations of money.
Coming from a long line of book publishers, Dr. Conzett has been able to realize his discoveries and publicize his ideas. Firstly, through a series of "Money" books he publishes, and secondly through the production of the "MoneyMuseum" as a place where all can seek knowledge on the subject and allowing for an open debate on the theme.
The Idea of a Virtual Museum
A medium was needed to reach the greatest number of people with a MoneyMuseum. The first idea to work directly with a real museum was rejected. The MoneyMuseum should also be fun and exciting and allow the opportunity to be actively involved in whatís happening in the museum.
The second idea was to produce the museum as a CD-ROM, but the inflexibility and the difficulty in updating and revising the museum spoke against this option.
With itís amazingly development and speedy spread around the world, the Internet proved to be the ideal platform.
A virtual museum had itís many advantages:
The basic concept: Each of the three floors are divided into three further departments that open up into three other departments. Therefore the "9-Room-Concept."
The first floor is divided into:
Basically the MoneyMuseum is targeted to the "intellectually curious". According to strength of knowledge and thirst for information the museum visitor can choose between the following three floors:
The first floor covers general subjects. The goal of this floor is to grab the interest and excite the general audience. Therefore, language and presentation is kept simple. In an amusing and witty way the visitor is presented with information and curiosities about money.
The way how money is stolen, counterfeited and how it is made is presented. In the Cafe the visitors can chat with other visitors, find out what type of money personality they have and much more.
The second floor deals with the many eras of civilization. Divided into the subjects "Antiquity, Middle Ages and Modern Age", the visitors are presented with coins, information and maps of these eras. Here one would find out, for example, about the Spanish Peso and how it spread throughout the world as well as who the relevant personalities in each era were.
The third floor is for specialists. Coin collections and those of famous collectors are presented. Numismatists and coin lovers have the opportunity to present and trade their own coins.
It was purposefully kept in mind that the visitors should be presented with a visit to a real museum and this is shown by its design. An architecturally classic style was chosen for the building front. Three different existing buildings lend their design to the building on the home page. The drawings of people convey an busy picture and hence invite the visitor to enter the museum.
The entrance hall or foyer has three stories. Directly from this standpoint the visitor can enter all departments of the museum. All departments and rooms are labeled. The foyer (as well as the first page) takes its design from a real existing building. (Taken from Berlinís Museum for Communication with which a close cooperation could be built.) It was a coincidence that the Museum for Communication has exactly the same concept that the MoneyMuseum has with its three stories divided into three rooms each.
The navigation was kept as intuitive as possible. A stair-symbol brings the visitor always back to the foyer. A large "A" brings one to the glossary where 100 of the wittiest and most interesting money items are explained. A click on the hourglass brings one to an overview of the history of money. The question mark brings one to the help page which explains the various functions of the MoneyMuseum. The "Triangle" (one level/chapter up) brings the visitor one level back in the structural design.
On the second story weíve added three more buttons to the usual navigation-symbols. These enable the visitor to move within each era problem free.
The first floor was built with the programming language HTML. In the meantime, as of February, 2000, the MoneyMuseum has grown to over 1,000 HTML pages. Interactive pages are perlscript operated.
The second floor will be presented by databank. The databank uses pictures and text to dynamically produce an internet page. Animations are partly gif-animations and partly flash-animations. Particularly the nightly Witching Hour was built entirely with Flash 4 and integrated with sound.
The success of the MoneyMuseum depends, according to us, on many factors:
Introducing the MoneyMuseum to the Public
On the 29th of April, 1999 the MoneyMuseum was presented to the public. It was important that this introduction take place in a real location so that interpretation by the media, especially television, could take place. At the same time a location had to be chosen that didnít lead the public to think that a real existing museum was being presented. We wanted to avoid that our future visitors would enter the internet and search for an existing museum. Therefore, we rejected the possibility of a real museum as the event location.
The Berlin Memorial Church was an ideal choice: A worldwide well known building where no one would get the idea that this is in fact a money museum, and therefore, the fact that the MoneyMuseum only exists in the internet would be communicated.
The MoneyMuseum presents itself as an old and honorable building. Itís no wonder that ghosts spook the old building. In October of 1999 ghosts were discovered for the first time around midnight by the janitor Krawuppke. A speedy decision to take advantage of the opportunity and present the "cyber-ghosts" to the public was made and since the 27th of November, 1999 spirits spook the MoneyMuseum from midnight to 1:00 am. (But of course these are middle European ghosts and only show themselves at Central European Time. )
For the opening, three different mailings of press kits were done and the representatives of the press were invited to a conference in the Memorial Church.
In order to excite the press photographers and TV crews to record the event, 18,000 MoneyMuseum "bank notes" were printed and thrown into the public by two hired actors on stilts. These notes would then be cashed in for real Deutsche marks directly on site. At the same time a question and answer prize game-event pertaining to the MoneyMuseum was shown on a huge video screen. Two winners would win 1,000. DM each.
These measures lead to media-effective coverage. The "raining bank notes" were in all daily newspapers and countless television reports by the next day. This high regard of an opening event has the result that the MoneyMuseum in the space of a few hours was respected in the most relevant PR circles.
Escorting the opening event advertisements were printed in all the biggest computer and technical magazines in Germany. In all 100,000 DM flowed into the advertising budget.
Results: TV, Radio and Print
Based on the described PR and marketing activities the following results were reached:
Print: In the period from the 29th of April to July, 1999 a total of 132 newspaper reports were revealed.
Internet: A mention in the biggest newsgroups and search engines.
TV Reports: In the period of time between the 29th of April and June, 1999 21 television reports were revealed.
Radio: The manager and the director of the MoneyMuseum were guests on countless talkshows.
Visitors and Page Views per Month