Cultural heritage is recognised as one of the major contributors to the economy. As a result, museums have moved away from their traditional role as collectors and conservators of artefacts of historical importance, to become more audience focused. The recognition by museums of an obligation to meet the needs and wants of its visitors has resulted in an improved museum experience, and museums are increasingly offering specially curated after-hours event experiences to attract and engage new audiences, and to re-engage with core museum visitors. The research uses National Museums Scotland as a case study to explore the effectiveness of after-hours events in attracting, engaging and retaining new museums audiences, and employs qualitative semi-structured interviews, and a quantitative on-line self-completion survey to collect the necessary data. The research findings suggest that after-hours events have been successful in attracting and engaging new museum audiences, and also encourage repeat visits. The research concludes with recommendations that could be adopted by the organisation to further encourage repeat visits.
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