Today marks the 100th day since the Pen started being distributed to visitors. Its been a wild ride and the latest figures are far beyond our estimations.
As of today, Pens have been handed out to 40,846 visitors which represents about 93% of all eligible visitors so far. We’re not currently distributing Pens on Saturday nights, nor to education groups, so they’re excluded from the count.
When we were thinking about the Pen and its integration into the museum, ubiquity was a critical concern. We knew that making it an ‘addon’ or ‘optional’ wasn’t going to achieve the behavior change that we desired, so continuing to make the on-boarding process easier for visitors and staff has been very important.
All of that would be for nought, if those Pens weren’t being used. Those Pens have collected 889,156 objects – averaging nearly 22 per Pen. That’s really surprised us! With a median of 11 we are still working on new methods in the galleries to help visitors collect more with their Pens, and in some cases, get started.
We’ve been equally excited that visitors have chosen to save 35,138 of their own creations from the wallpaper room, 3D designs, and Sketchbot portraits.
We’ve seen dwell times on the campus – from the times visitors take the Pen to when they return on exit – balloon out to a current average of 102 minutes, slightly less on weekends.
Another surprise has been the ‘most collected object’. It is the Noah’s Ark cut paper from 1982, an object that is on display towards the back of Making Design on the 2nd floor – certainly not the first object a visitor encounters. We probably shouldn’t be very surprised though, as it does also show up frequently as a visitor favorite on Instagram.
If you’d like to see what else is popular then hop over to our newly public ‘basic statistics‘ page where the top six objects and other numbers update daily.
And as for the post-visit experience? Just over 25% of ticketed visitors check out their collections after their visit, and a third of them decide to create accounts to permanently store their collection.
Over the coming months we’ll be working on continuously improving the Pen experience in the galleries – and as next week’s new exhibitions open to the public, the museum will have changed over almost every gallery since December. A lot of those improvements are going to be, as we’ve already seen, not technical in nature, but about more human-to-human interaction and assistance.
The digital experience at Cooper Hewitt is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.