M for member – V for visitor service
The membership season begins in autumn, when the subscription forms for the coming year are sent out. At no other time of the year are we inundated with so much news from our members: people moving house, emigrating, moving in together or getting married - and then on top of this come enquiries from those wanting to make a gift of membership for forthcoming birthdays. In the membership office I often have the feeling that I’m personally involved in the lives of our members.
Once the subscription forms have been sent it is time for the members to pay their subscriptions. And it isn’t long before the money starts to flood in. During the high season from the end of October up until the end of December we print between 300 and 700 membership cards per day. These are all packed by hand and then sent out. Most members have paid by mid January. In February/March we send out a reminder to all those who have still not replied. During the major exhibitions we gain a lot of new members – on a busy Sunday we can have as many as up to 50 new subscriptions. In recent years we have seen an average increase of around 1,000 new members per year. Today total membership stands at approximately 21,000 – a figure we are very proud of.
By the start of March the main membership season is over and I can concentrate increasingly on other projects: visitor services.
At the information desk visitors will receive informed, professional information. The desk staff can help, for example, if you want to know whether a specific picture is hanging in the Collection, have a question about how to book a private tour, if you need a taxi or you’re a journalist looking for a press folder, or if you have an appointment with a member of the Kunsthaus staff.
You don’t need a ticket to visit the café and shop, and to allow this freedom of movement we needed to come up with another means of checking admission. Naturally, we didn’t want to ask visitors to show their ticket at every staircase, lift and entrance. So now instead of a ticket visitors will receive a smart little tinplated badge which can be easily attached to lapels without a needle. The new membership cards (with the holder’s name on the back) are also designed to be worn. This means that attendants can be sure that you have paid, and at the shop your member status will be instantly visible, enabling you to get your discount without having to ask.
M for member is also an M for more service, more efficiency and more comfort for the benefit of all visitors.