VSA is today’s premier professional organization focusing on all facets of the visitor experience in museums, zoos, nature centers, visitor centers, historic sites, parks and other informal learning settings. We’re committed to understanding and enhancing visitor experiences in informal learning settings through research, evaluation, and dialogue.

VSA's members are a diverse and dynamic group of individuals including evaluators, educators, exhibit developers, designers, marketing professionals, planners, academics, and directors who share a passion for improving the quality of visitor experiences. VSA also boasts an outstanding international membership from twenty different countries.

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We are a membership organization dedicated to understanding and enhancing learning experiences in informal settings through research, evaluation, and dialogue.


The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) envisions a world where people embrace lifelong learning and where learning in informal settings benefits individuals, communities and society at large. VSA views the role of informal learning organizations as facilitators of these experiences and assumes that a respect for and understanding of visitors is essential.


VSA was founded in 1990 and held its first conference in 1988 when a small group of research and evaluation practitioners and museum administrators convened in Anniston, Alabama. Due to some dedicated work of a few individuals, visitor studies are now an increasingly accepted part of museum practice. Today, VSA has evolved into a dynamic professional organization. We are focused on meeting the growing demand for the tools and inspiration to better understand visitors, as well as best-practice strategies for how to attract, educate and serve them.