Introducing admission charges for your site, exhibition or events

From Our Toolkit

If you have been offering your site, exhibition or activities for free up until now, introducing charges may be a suitable way to generate a new stream of income. However you need to make sure you have researched your market and understand the impact this move may have on the numbers of people who may visit and the reputation of your organisation.

Done well moving to charging for some or all of your activity is an effective way to ascribe value to what you are doing as well as helping to make it more sustainable.


Speak to other who have done this, look at what others are doing who have either similar collections / heritage, capacity and resources. Make sure that what you are offering / planning to charge for is not already being offered by someone else nearby. Having a Unique Selling Point (USP) will make your offer more attractive to customers.

Market research

Test your market. Speak to those in your target audience and explain your plans and ask them for their feedback. For advice on running focus groups see: Using Focus Groups in a Museum Setting document.

Admission charges

For museums:


When you are trying out a new type of event it is always best to try one as a pilot. You can even use the ‘pilot’ idea as part of your martketing for example: ‘We are trying something new, tell us if you like it…’ Once you have piloted your event you can tweak it where needed until you are confident it will run successfully in the future.

Aim for quality not quantity, especially to start with. Well run events brings with it positive non-tangible benefits such as positive word-of-mouth promotion, longer dwell times on-site which can lead to other associated spend in your shop or cafe.

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