Museum of illusions
The Museum of Illusions has announced plans to open its largest location yet in Charlotte, North Carolina, in fall 2022. Like the other locations, this new attraction will feature mind-boggling optical illusions, interactive illusion rooms, holograms, and brain-teasing exhibits, plus retail opportunities.
About Museum illusions:
The Museum of Illusions started in 2015 and has grown rapidly since then. It currently operates 36 locations in 24 countries, including the US, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, China, Korea, and India. Another 20 locations are planned to open soon.
Charlotte was chosen as the newest area because of its reputation as one of the fastest-growing markets in the US. The city has a large population of young people and is home to several universities.
“Museum of Illusions is thrilled to expand our global footprint to a city as innovative and forward-thinking as Charlotte,” says Museum of Illusions CEO Jonathan Benjamin, a respected franchise and business executive with twenty years of experience.
Inside the Museum of Illusions
He describes the concept of the museum and says blooloop:
“It’s basically a collection of mind-altering exhibits, artwork and experiential interactive entertainment, things that just defy reality, where you look at something and say, ‘That doesn’t look good,’ so it causes your mind to change its own sense of reality.
“The other thing is that it’s also very hands-on in the sense that we encourage people to interact with some of the exhibits and take photos if possible. It’s basically an example of the type of experiential type of museums that are dotted around the world these days.”
A huge chain of museums
Since then, it has become the largest museum chain in the world and even managed to open eight new locations during the pandemic.
“I think the founders were quite impressed, not only by how well it was received but by how from the beginning visitors were asking if there were any other locations or if they could open a location somewhere else.”
Kansas City Museum of Illusions
“What started as a fun, entrepreneurial idea exploded in a very short period of time. There are now branches in 24 countries and many more opening very soon.”
This includes the flagship store in Charlotte.
“We’re also opening in Atlanta, shortly after Charlotte. This will also be the flagship. We are also opening in Rome, Italy; Brussels; Washington DC.; Montreal, Canada; Scottsdale, Arizona The list is getting longer every day.”
“I can’t explain it other than to say that it has captured people’s imaginations and is extremely popular. We have wonderful relationships with some of our existing franchisees, entrepreneurs themselves, who saw the vision, saw the opportunity and felt the need to be able to bring this type of family entertainment to their communities. It was just a huge success.”
Up until this point, all locations were franchises. Going forward, company development was added to the mix. The first two company-owned locations will be Charlotte and Atlanta. Rather than signaling a new direction for the company, he says, it’s complementary to business strategy:
Expansion of the Museum of Illusions
Touching on goals and missions in terms of expansion, he says:
“Simply put, we want to have a hundred open museums around the world in the next four, four and a half years. We now have 36 open and should easily have 50 or more by the end of next year. We have a pretty good channel that goes above and beyond what other places have. We’re on four continents right now.”
Hall of Mirrors Museum of Illusions
Something reminiscent of a Victorian cabinet of curiosities about the concept of the Museum of Illusions:
“At the same time, it’s not static at all,” emphasizes Benjamin. “We change the exhibits; we have exhibits that travel the world and occasionally we have live entertainment in the form of illusionists, magicians, or something like that. All of this helps keep people engaged and entertained. We also do private events, corporate buyouts, sponsorships, and so on.”
Repeat the connection
The menu is kept fresh and repeatable.
“We’re always trying to improve,” he says. “We go through reviews and feedback. Even though we went through the reviews posted for all the locations around the world, we didn’t find many negative comments, although of course, it’s impossible to please everyone.”
Exhibition in the museum of illusions
“However, there was one comment that kept coming up: people liked the museum but were sorry it wasn’t bigger. Based on the input, we went back to some real customers and in an effort to really address this and make a positive contribution to these concerns, we decided to make some more spectacular exhibits, increase the size of the museums themselves and their capacity, and make it a little easier for groups to follow and navigate the museum spaces.
“That’s something we’re rolling out in Charlotte and then, soon after, in Atlanta.