Case Studies

MSI Chicago Grows Membership, Sells More Packages

The Museum of Science and Industry consulted with Operation Pineapple in order to help increase our box office sales. The training and support from Operation Pineapple was more than promised. Based on using the Operation Pineapple methods, MSI was able to increase sales by more than $55,000 in the first month.
All I can say is, Wow!”

— Gil Perez
Director of Film & Guest Operations

he Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (known to locals as MSI) is the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere. MSI is home to more than 35,000 artifacts and nearly 14 acres of hands-on experiences along with an array of special experiences including a tour of a coal mine, an on-board tour of a German U-boat, Omnimax films, and traveling exhibitions. Above and beyond the basic Museum Entry admission ticket, MSI offers admission together with these special experiences.

During the summer of 2013, MSI introduced new packages to their point of sale offerings. These packages included Museum Entry plus a choice of one, two, or three special experiences. When the packages were first introduced, MSI created placemat-like sales mats to help their Guest Admissions Representative (GARs) in explaining the ticket packages and inclusions to arriving guests. Each of the museum’s three package offerings were displayed on a single page alongside a detailed description and the price of each package. While many Chicagoland locals visit the museum and purchase their tickets at the same ticket counter where day visitors do, the sales mats did not include any mention of membership products or their inclusions.

Like many similar institutions, the museum’s GARs were committed to providing exceptional service interactions with their arriving guests—that much was clear. However, their sales dialogue was unfocused and inconsistent. Some GARs were effective at upselling from Museum Entry to premium products while others practiced more of a passive approach. Additionally, MSI enjoys a large number of Chicago locals who visit each year yet the GARs efforts to proactively identify locals and recommend membership products were absent from their sales collateral. MSI needed to find a way to put more arriving museum guests into the best-suited product while continuing to provide fantastic guest service.


MSI approached Operation: Pineapple to identify tools and processes that would support their new packaging structure and drive incremental revenue. After conducting a careful revenue and process analysis, Operation: Pineapple made two important recommendations:

  • Introduce the BLOOM Sales Program to teach the GARs a better way of connecting more arriving guests with memberships and Explore packages.
  • Replace the placemat-like sales mats with Operation: Pineapple’s state-of-the-art eaSel S3 digital sales mats.

Operation: Pineapple developed custom eaSel S3 software for MSI Chicago which was first implemented at MSI in September of 2013. The eaSel S3 digital sales mats allows the museum’s GARs to introduce the Explorer packages in sequence, From Best-to-Basic. Rather than upselling, GARs now offer premium products first—starting with either the Explore 3 package or the Premium Membership and working their way down based on resistance. For Chicago area residents, GARs present membership products with particular enthusiasm, extolling the virtues of becoming part of the MSI membership family.

Operation: Pineapple conducted a five-day launch of the program, providing comprehensive on-site sales training, on-the-job coaching, and sales spot-talks with the GARs and their support team. Both the eaSel S3 digital sales mat and the BLOOM Sales Program have been tremendously successful.

Gil Perez, the Director of Film & Operations raves, “The Museum of Science and Industry consulted with Operation: Pineapple in order to help increase our box office sales. I worked directly with Marty Desrochers and his scope of knowledge and experience was evident from the start. The training and support from Operation: Pineapple was more than promised. Based on using the Operation: Pineapple methods, MSI was able to increase sales by more than $55,000 in the first month. All I can say is, Wow!”