Topic 2 Product

The Product of a cultural organisation is multiple and varied, containing both services (intangible) and products (tangible)… and everything in-between, that can meet a want or need. A rough categorisation of a museum’s, a performing arts organisation’s or a festival’s many different “products” is summarised in the supporting graph below. Take a look and visit the links to some examples from cultural organisations from around the world.

Indeed, a cultural Product can vary widely, depending on the profile, resources and scope of a cultural organisation, but also on the profile, needs, tendencies and expectations of its target groups. Ultimately, the Product of cultural organisations is the Experience they offer.


– Permanent Exhibitions

(e.g. museums)

– Performances – Shows

(e.g. theatre, opera, dance, festivals)


– Temporary Exhibitions

– Lectures, Screenings

– Outreach concerts/shows

(Greek National Opera)

– Educational Programmes 

– Events linked to cultural offerings (NHM “Trials)


– Live transmissions of performances (ROH streaming)

– DVD  / CD / Digital  recordings

– Museum Guides

– Performance Programmes (Playbills)


– 3D online museum tours

(New Acropolis Museum)

– Digitisation of Collections and Cultural offerings (Google Arts & Culture)

– On-line educational programmes and resources

(National Histreplace text with: New Acropolis Museumorical Museum)

Graph by Maria Kouri

The Product of a cultural organisation lies at the core of the organisation’s very existence and its development is guided by scientific, creative, educational and artistic guidelines, expectations and standards. Moreover, a cultural product has significant particularities that discern it from purely tangible products, such as cars, drinks, computers, or pens:

  • It can be tangible or intangible, or both! (e.g. a music concert is mainly an intangible product in its “live” form, but takes on a tangible element when it is recorded on a CD).
  • It is variable and perishable: its quality is not always the same, nor can it be stored. Since the cultural product is not reproduced en masse, its quality depends on conditions that cannot be always foreseen or influenced (e.g., injury, illness or personal issues of an artist, personal disposition of visitor, or even technical malfunctions, strikes, pandemics, etc.).
  • It is usually consumed at the time of purchase and a potential “buyer” cannot easily “taste” it before (e.g. one needs to buy a ticket to see a performance or visit an exhibition, even though the digital media offer new possibilities today).
  • It is vulnerable to financial strains and its price cannot reflect its actual cost or its cultural, intellectual, or socio-psychological value.