When I scrolled through my overnight tweets this morning (yes, this is another Twitter-related post) I saw this, from Will Cary, the membership manager at Brooklyn Museum:
And just now I spotted this, re-tweeted from the Brooklyn Museum account:
The show they're talking about is 'Who Shot Rock and Roll', which closes today in the US (yesterday for us New Zealanders). It's been very popular, and it sounds like lines to get into the show for its final weekend are significant.
One of the benefits of a Brooklyn Museum membership is that you get to bypass the lines. A normal individual membership costs $55. Suggested admission at the Museum is $10 for adults. This weekend, more than six times the normal number of people bought a membership, presumably so they could bypass the lines. I can't see any special promotion of the queue-skipping powers of membership attached to the exhibition promotion on the Museum website, but it's strongly featured on their Twitter feed; lots of people are talking about the show on Twitter as well.
It's tempting to see this as a little parable about what will tip people over from thinking about buying a membership to actually doing it. They're not buying a discount on entry (a normal Friends benefit in New Zealand) - they'e buying something that gives them the advantage of easier access.
Contrast this with City Gallery Wellington's current Yayoi Kusama show. Friends of the Gallery get a 20% discount on the entry charge ($8 instead of $10) but no queue-skipping privileges. There don't appear to be any members-only days or extended hours for Friends - based on the above, I predict that this would have attracted a bunch of new sign-ups, especially if implemented after people had seen the crazy free Wednesday queues. It might be something for galleries hosting blockbusters to look into - after all, sometimes there's nothing nicer than flashing a card and getting waved through ....