Yekaterinburg Planetarium: New Marketing Strategies & Scientific Programs - 3rd Russian Planetarium Conference Diary

Supported by Magna-Tech and opened in 2014, the Yekaterinburg digital planetarium is a great alternative to a traditional planetarium as it's placed in the local cinema hall – to help it attact more visitors – and it is much more flexible than most of the other educational facilities.
Planetarium plans

Plans showing the position of the planetarium dome and seats.
Photo credit: Yekaterinburg Planetarium

Equipped with a 7.2m dome, 34 seats, a mini museum, and a souvenir store, this planetarium tries to use the latest marketing strategies in order to popularize science:
  • a completely revamped website
  • heavy use of social networks
  • eNewsletters to subscribers
  • specific membership programs
  • discount coupons on GrabON
  • introducing "Pay What You Want" days: the visitors decide to pay as much as they think the show was worth it, which (suprisingly?) increased the revenues quite a lot.
Popularizing science is the main goal of the Planetarium, so the organizers hold scientific lectures on a wide range of topics, including "Russian dinosaurs", "How to become an aircraft designer", "Animals and plants in space", and "Brain-machine interfaces". Besides these weekly lectures, there're also special meetings with Russian astronauts from the ISS. During a buffet party, everyone who bought tickets to the planetarium could talk with them, anyone!
Planetarium interior

The Yekaterinburg Planetarium interior and its young visitors.
Photo credit: Yekaterinburg Planetarium

Young visitors find it especially cool to create something with their own hands or get new information in the form of a game, so the planetarium crew worked out a Mars project: designed for children at the age from 5 to 8  years, these 4-hour workshops teach them how to construct a rocket, how to reach Mars and build a shelter there, as well as how to get water and grow plants on its surface. Alongside scientific events, the Yekaterinburg planetarium also holds concerts, music installations, and performances (for example, Ural music night), takes part in the Night of Museums, demonstrates fulldome shows and new action movies that are somehow connected with space. The planetarium is ready to provide assistance and support to fellow planetarians who'd like to open their first mobile planetarium and don't know where to start.  
Planetarium concert

Music concert under the dome of the Yekaterinburg Planetarium.
Photo credit: Yekaterinburg Planetarium

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