M+, Hong Kong’s first-ever museum dedicated to visual culture, saw over half a million visits since opening its doors in November. But sure enough, the heavy footfall generated a constant demand for supplementary materials designed to enhance visitor experience—prompting the venue to count on Beaconstac for managing instant and seamless content delivery. We sat down with Diane Wang, head of digital technology at M+, to discover how Beaconstac helped the organization drive 148,000+ visitor engagements and 113,000+ unique interactions over a short period.
M+ is Hong Kong’s premier visual culture museum
148,000+ scans and 113,000+ unique users reached
The museum landscape is no stranger to the creative distribution of supplementary information, such as printed maps, brochures, and hand-held audio guides. But venues today are moving towards digital, allowing visitors to access content using mobile devices. M+, which sits on a multi-million dollar facility, is definitely no different.
For Diane and the digital team, efficient distribution of supplementary content meant eliminating frictions. They wanted to take visitors exactly where they needed to be, and for the same reason, QR Code implementation was the ideal course of action. These physical-to-digital touchpoints allowed guests to conveniently access value-adding resources like program details, exhibit maps, and audio guides easily.
“There’s always going to be ‘ad-hoc’ visitor situations happening within the museum. For instance, we might suddenly run out of audio guide devices to lend to visitors. In these scenarios, visitors could turn to QR Codes for listening to our audio guides from our website and consume other content using their own devices.”
M+ was already making use of QR Codes long before its public grand opening. But the application was mainly for improving the museum’s digital presence. According to Diane, their marketing team used a free QR Code solution during these pre-opening stages. But as soon as M+ opened its physical location and visitors started pouring in, the digital team realized they had to rely on a more robust QR Code platform–one they could manage dynamically
“Pre-Beaconstac, the marketing team was using a free QR Code solution, which was definitely not centralized. You create a QR Code, and it’s just there. We wanted a service where you could redirect your code since the links or resources could change. The flexibility of not having to change our printed signs every time that happened was really important.”
The team began looking into various alternative platforms more suited to help M+ manage its QR Code-based services. And needless to say, the venue was on the lookout for marketing features that would improve their visitors’ immersion while providing insights into their behavior:
“We were doing some research across platforms. And some of the criteria that we were looking at were QR Code customization, analytics, and multi-lingual support.”
Eventually, the team decided to work with Beaconstac, seeing how the platform catered to their must-have requirements while serving as a powerful QR Code management system:
“We’ve been using QR Codes long before opening our doors in November. But we’re a new museum, and we didn’t have such a high need for QR Codes at the time. Now that we’ve opened our physical location, we found that the need for QR Codes has risen quite significantly. We needed a robust QR Code management platform for our requirements, and Beaconstac fit the bill quite nicely.”
M+ began deploying Beaconstac’s dynamic QR Codes at different stages of the visitor journey, starting with guest onboarding. The QR Codes served as a convenient tool for visitors to get information on how they could navigate the museum and personalize their own experience:
“QR Codes form an important part of the onboarding experience for visitors coming into the museum. They can scan the QR Codes at the point of orientation to understand where they are, where they want to go, and what kind of activities they want to engage with.”
The QR Codes also allowed guests to access various digital resources alongside the museum’s physical materials. The museum docents in the galleries were equipped with QR Codes they could easily offer to visitors for quick access to any of the museum’s digital supplements.
“We use QR Codes to allow visitors who come in to search for our programs, find our maps (if no more printed maps are available), and access our audio guides.”
High-traffic venues can greatly benefit from tracking customer interactions at physical engagement touchpoints. So it goes without saying that analytics and data capturing capabilities should be a staple for any robust QR Code management system. It all comes down to forming insights from readily available data to improve guest experiences.
Beaconstac’s dynamic QR Codes provided the attribution tracking and analytics necessary to determine precisely when and how visitors engage at different physical touchpoints. The museum could pinpoint where exactly bottlenecks might exist within the visitor journey by analyzing the data each QR Code collects.
Each QR Code captured data on every user interaction, such as unique engagements, total scans, and specific scan times and dates. This data was presented in intuitive graphs, charts, and figures the museum was able to consult for engagement insights.
“In terms of delivering an ideal visitor experience, QR Codes have definitely helped. It helped us understand where people are having trouble in their journey. For instance, if someone is scanning a QR Code instead of using an audio guide, then there might be something wrong that we need to look into.”
Besides additional content delivery, the museum also uses dynamic QR Codes on traditional collaterals throughout its galleries, where the codes would link to different targeted online destinations. One, in particular, is their social media. This implementation provided attribution tracking to what was once a one-way traffic marketing channel.
A good part of the museum’s audience consisted of Chinese speakers. So the team initially offered three distinct languages for its content delivery: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and English. For Diane, one of the things that made Beaconstac stand out was its ability to support multiple languages:
“I think Beaconstac was the only platform we’ve looked at that had multi-lingual support. That really intrigued us because that’s something we could grow into since we support multiple languages. Without multi-lingual support, the alternative would be to have one QR Code per language, which, as you know, might confuse visitors.”
Each dynamic QR Code generated within Beaconstac provided smart redirection to each user’s preferred dialect based on their mobile device’s language setting. Currently, the platform supports 221 languages, with more language support soon to come.
After five years of preparation, M+ finally opened its doors to a very eager audience. And as soon as the doors were open, Beaconstac provided a physical-to-digital engagement medium geared towards a large-scale audience.
Within just a couple of months, M+ gathered more than 148,000+ scans and reached over 113,000+ unique visitors—all coming from only 42 distinct, strategically-placed dynamic QR Codes. Each code served as a convenient gateway connecting the museum’s physical experience to ready-to-access digital content in multiple languages.
“The platform is useful for anyone that offers on-site experiences while also providing digital supplements—allowing people to dive deeper and learn more without asking anyone for assistance.”
Besides helping the museum build direct connections with guests, the QR Codes were also a source of first-party data each team could use to further improve the visitor journey—from orientation all the way to exhibit experiences. Ultimately, for Diane and the digital team, managing all of these functions within a single easy-to-use and intuitive platform was key:
“We’re delighted with the platform. It offers us organization, making it easy for the different museum teams who manage QR Codes to stay consistent and aligned. Using Beaconstac’s dashboard for our QR Code management allowed for more coherence and less confusion.”
unique visitors engaged
QR Codes deployed
“We’re very happy with Beaconstac. It gave us exactly what we needed to provide a better visitor journey from start to finish. With detailed QR Code analytics, we could easily find and fix any bottlenecks that could compromise the quality of visitor experiences. The platform also provided an intuitive dashboard where each team could track and manage any of the museum’s QR Code-related services.”
Digital Products Manager, M+ Museum, Hong Kong