“The research transformed our approach to family audiences and helped us build a fun integrated campaign that ultimately paid off, both in terms of engagement and return on investment.”

Matteo Plachesi, Head of Marketing and Communications, Design Museum

There can be a perception that external evaluation will cost you: time, money, curatorial control… but not in our book. We believe that exhibitions should always be completely vision-led. From the curators to the designers and the marketers, it’s your expert vision that really matters – it’s the key thing that will drive success. But it’s not the only thing. Testing the exhibition concept, proposition and impact with your audience at key strategic points across the exhibition’s lifecycle will allow more people to engage more deeply, and for you to better understand your successes and lessons for next time.

We have been guiding cultural organisations through audience development plans and market appraisals for over 20 years. We know that the audience has all the answers; we just need to find the right questions to ask.


In 2018, we partnered with the Design Museum to test four potential exhibition ideas. Our overall objectives for each exhibition idea were to identify the size of the market so that the Design Museum could confidently set targets and plan; identify which Culture Segments each exhibition would most appeal to and their needs; assess the best way to position (and deliver) the exhibitions to attract and satisfy those segments.

This extensive background combined with Culture Segments means we are perfectly positioned to help you size the market to set good targets, establish which audience segments show the most interest and position the exhibition accordingly. The right insight can help you not just maximise the success of the exhibition but ensure you are thinking about the wider programme strategically.

Looking for inspiration?

  • Find out how the Design Museum used Culture Segments in its insight-driven exhibition planning to ensure that Moving to Mars exceeded its visitor estimates by almost 10%, making it the Museum’s most-attended themed exhibition ever.

Need help?

Ask how we can help you to use Culture Segments in your exhibition planning!

Design Museum – Moving to Mars

With limited resources and time to plan and deliver what was going to be the most immersive experience at the museum to date, we sought help to identify which stories mattered most to audiences.

Learn more

Optimizing the impact of exhibition planning

For museums everywhere, the need to think strategically about upcoming exhibitions has never been more acute. If your organisation is looking to conduct a formative audience evaluation for an upcoming exhibition, read here for an introduction to MHM’s strategic exhibition mapping.

Learn more

Culture Segments Curriculum 

Culture Segments Curriculum is a growing programme designed to empower the international community of Culture Segments users to apply insights across their organisations.

Learn more