Barcelona - MuseumNext


23rd - 25th May 2012

MuseumNext Barcelona saw the continued expansion of the conference with multiple streams of content, workshops, a series of fringe events and a fantastic location leading to a sell out event for 350 delegates.

The event opened with a reception at the city’s Picasso Museum, encouraging delegates to network as they enjoyed locally produced food and wine. The conference opened the following day with a keynote presentation from Nancy Proctor, Head of Mobile Strategy & Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution, in which she discussed revolutionary and radical practice in museums. She stated that museums have moved from interpretation to conversation, from headphones to microphones.

The afternoon keynote from Hein Wils from the Stedelijk Museum & Ferry Piekart formerly of the Dutch architectural museum NAi, looked at their experience of using Augmented Reality on two high profile Dutch museum projects. Both UAR and ARtours had received rave reviews and were labelled ‘best practice’, but did the technology live up to the hype? Delegates were encouraged to decide for themselves as Hein and Ferry demonstrated different applications for the technology in their entertaining presentation.


The second evening delegates descended on a local bar and were treated to drinks by conference sponsor Mail Chimp. Robin Dowden and Nate Solas from Walker Art Center opened the conference the following day with a keynote presentation about how their organisation shifted towards an editorial approach towards their website, moving away from the web being purely a marketing tool.

The final keynote was delivered by Jason daPonte of the UK based mobile consultancy SWARM. Jason spoke about the growth in mobile technology and how this museums could succeed in this rapidly changing world .

Other presentations were made by the following organisations: TATE, MoMA, Science Museum, INTK, Rijksmuseum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Wikipedia, V&A, The Culture Vulture, Creative tourist, Fabrique, Netribe, Museon, Manchester Museum, The National Gallery of Denmark, Tyne & Wear Museums, MNAC, EDM Studio, Museum of Australian Democracy, IN10, University of Edinburgh, Royal Museums Greenwich, Museum de Toulouse, Vizzuality, Yahoo, Fundació Joan Miró, Musu d Art Contemporary de Barcelona, Radiowaves, DigitalMe, Europeana, Museum aan de Stroom and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The conference was sponsored by MailChimp, and organised with Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and Museu Picasso and took place in Barcelona because of the kind invitation of Conxa Roda from Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

The Conference received great feedback:

‘I have attended six conferences this year and MuseumNext has been the best, with so many takeaways and great networking’

‘Probably the best museum conference in the world’
Mar Dixon, Museum Consultant

‘Great to spend time with such talented people!’
James Morley, Europeana

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