Enabling Mobile Point of Sale for Museum Staff

Diana Pan, The Museum of Modern Art, USA, Manish Engineer, Seattle Art Museum, USA, Rich Cherry, The Broad

Published paper: Enabling mobile point of sale for museum staff

In July 2014, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York introduced an iOS based point of sale (POS) application to support membership sales in the lobby of the main Museum entrance. This solution enabled MoMA staff to be completely mobile when providing membership services, such as welcoming members or renewing memberships. In August 2015, the Museum also introduced mobile ticketing. In addition, secondary functionality was added to support the sale of retail items, member services for MoMA’s corporate donors, group ticketing sales, and ad hoc donation processing, among others. In summary, the staff at MoMA now have the ability to operate in a mobile capacity, thus freeing them from being tied to any specific location. 

The Broad in Los Angeles, which opened in September 2015, has also deployed a mobile ticketing POS, as well as a mobile-first retail POS. Guests meet a Broad guest services staff member near the entrance to the Museum. This staff person checks to see if the guest is pre-registered and, if not, provide them with the next available reservation and also with parking validation, tickets for events and other local venues, and special deals, as well as reservations for dinning in The Broad’s partner restaurant. This efficient solution has allowed the Broad lobby to forgo the traditional admissions desk. The shop experience is similar, with sales associates working one on one with customers to check them out.

This paper and subsequent presentation look at the technical and business challenges in implementing the mobile POS solutions at MoMA and The Broad. We consider the concepts and ideas that led to these solutions; the evolution of each solution to support an encompassing range of functionality across ticketing, events, membership, and retail services; the process of user adoption by museum staff to leverage mobile capability; and the results of how mobility has changed the way each museum operates.