Search Museum Next

Digital Summit 2021



Wow! Signal: A Comedy Variety Show Made by a Space Museum

The Wow! Signal is an online comedy variety show starring a world-renowned astronomer, a viral youtube comedian, and an actor who led a nationally-covered search for underwater meteors. Through music, comedy, and low-budget prop artistry, the show is a gateway into the possibilities of space that inspire people to learn more.

Let the Games Begin!

When quarantine began in March, The Newark Museum of Art pivoted to completely virtual programs for the first time. While typical museum programs like talks and panel discussions were a natural launching off point, data showed that the audience for these programs was not diverse. After conducting further research, they began incorporating playful and participatory activities into virtual programs, including the development of two games. From concept to implementation, learn their approach to developing these collaborative experiences alongside John Sear, of Museum Games Ltd., the feedback they have received so far from the visitors and their use for revenue generation.

Taking a Festival Digital

Festivals make the people come together. Festivals allow people to break away from the mundane of their everyday life – to celebrate shared practices, to socialise with one another and develop shared experiences together. In the age of lockdowns, social distancing and uncertainty, how then can festivals bring communities closer together and continue to present the festival experience? The Singapore Heritage Festival is celebration of Singapore’s rich multi-cultural heritage and culture and was established in 2004. Festival Manager, Qazim Karim will share how his team navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic to present the first-ever “Singapore Heritage Festival (SHF): Digital Edition” during the lockdown period.

Sponsors Presentation: How to Make Your Virtual Experience Better Than Netflix

When you’re trying to attract an audience to your virtual experience, you’re competing for their attention with content masterminds like Netflix. How can you make your virtual experience the obvious choice? As the Head of Brand Marketing at Tiqets, Rachel has coordinated more than 70 virtual experiences with museums and attractions worldwide this year from Versailles to a gondola ride through Venice, drawing in 20,000+ viewers. In this session, she’ll share best practices to design your virtual experiences and reveal the lessons she learned the hard way so that you can avoid common pitfalls when going live.

Getting more out of your livestream content

During the COVID-19 pandemic most museums have already made the shift to hosting/streaming events online. While this shift comes with challenges of its own, it also presents an opportunity to ensure that none of our events are ephemeral, or one-time-only offerings. At Myseum of Toronto we’ve developed a post event process that ties into our overall content strategy enabling all of our online events to not only have a longer shelf life, but be seen by a greater audience all while driving our SEO. So far this strategy has increased our web traffic from Google search results by over 500% year over year. So what’s the secret sauce? Josh, Davin and Riaz reveal all.

Our doors may be closed but we remain open online: creating content during a pandemic

Come March 2020, it was a common phrase to see written on the homepages of museums and galleries across the UK and the world: our doors may be closed but we remain open online.

But what did it mean to go from welcoming 6 million onsite visitors a year to becoming a digital-only museum?

In this talk, hear how the National Gallery remained “open online” in 2020 by developing new strands of content, from bedroom-made meditation videos to on-demand tours of their five-star exhibitions.


Digital Collecting from Bushfires to a Pandemic

The 2019/2020 bushfire season was the longest and most intense experienced in Australia’s history. Before it was declared over the first case of covid-19 was recorded in Australia. In response the National Museum of Australia launched two Facebook groups to begin documenting the events, and at the same time was developing Momentous. The online project asks users to share their stories of both events in an attempt to document the profound change. Craig and Lakyn discuss the development of Momentous and the work of museum staff in grappling with ethics of contemporary collecting and online audiences.

Going Viral: collecting social media

Going Viral is a collecting initiative, part of the Collecting COVID project at the Museum of London. It investigates how Londoners responded to the pandemic and especially to the measures enforced to control the spread by acquiring those tweets that went viral during the lockdowns. It explores how the lives of Londoners changed and how they adapted their routines, activities, relationships and hobbies to adhere to the measures of the lockdown. The project identified how Londoners used twitter during the lockdown to communicate, share their feelings, their anxieties and their views on how their life and the city has changed.

Museums, Communities, & Civic Engagement

An engaging, interactive program that explores how we can (and must) continue to build, nourish, and sustain relationships between Museums, artists, and neighborhoods despite the challenges of being physically distanced.

Sponsors Presentation: Digital Transformation Around the World

This session will dive into the trends, themes, and lessons from conversations on Season 1 of the Microsoft Libraries and Museums Podcast. The show is dedicated to exploring the journey of digital transformation in libraries and museums through interviews with innovators from around the world.

What does it take to open 1,000,000 objects? How do you authentically and inclusively integrate digital? What makes transformation unique to a country or culture? These are just some of the questions we explored on the podcast – with guests from nine countries and across four continents – and will be shared in the session.

Crowdsourced Digital Born Collections Panel

Collecting digital born heritage, from and with communities and individuals, requires successful engagement initiatives by museums and archives. This forces us to think about and rethink inclusion as well as power relations. Another aspect of collecting is the impact of user experience and design of technical platforms on the result. Collecting projects are an opportunity to create awareness about museums and archives as repositories for peoples’ visual heritage. To successfully collect with communities and audiences requires building trust in institutions. The Nordic research project Collecting Social Photo has during three years explored how museums and archives need to adapt work practices around crowdsourced digital born collections, which includes experimenting around interaction and technology, developing inclusive initiatives and adopting flexible work methods. During this panel the project team will share their hands-on experience from recent collecting projects and what was learned.

The Embroidered Word

The Embroidered Word Project is an educational action that aimed to conceive a group whose participants, individually and in their respective homes, created an embroidery from the word or expression that most represented it in this moment of pandemic and social isolation. By chance or not, all of the people registered were women, and a group of 25 women was formed. For that, it was necessary to embroider herself, through reflections and semiotic exercises. Like a web formed by many Aracnes, of different ages and cities in Brazil, each was a decisive stitch in the polysemic network that united women around doing, creating, taking care of themselves and the other. As in the wheel of destiny, they were all spinners of their lives.

Mootookakio’ssin: Blackfoot Digital Project

The Blackfoot people have almost no access to their own historical material. Collecting Indigenous objects was a core part of colonial practices. Our project creates detailed digital images of Blackfoot objects in museum in Britain and thereby allows people living in Canada to connect with the knowledge and skills these objects can teach. Mootookakio’ssin (‘distant awareness’) is founded on the core Blackfoot perspective that knowledge is something we have a responsibility to care for and to share. The project aims to support contemporary Blackfoot artists and to build bridges between Blackfoot and non-Indigenous people.

The story is more important than the pixel

Lockdown has seen a boom in the creative uses of video game spaces. Off the shelf video games are now being used for socialising, play, learning, art tours, music venues and so much more! Video games have learnt to give creative powers back to the players.

Minecraft is the perfect example of a game platform becoming more than a survive the night and fight the dragon adventure. In this talk, Adam will examine some of my Minecraft projects from Shetland to Lilliput, esports to homeschooling, museums to cancer care. He will also take a look at the tension between funders expectations and the players perspective, and why stories are at the heart of these pixel landscapes.



Building Digital From The Ground Up In The Time of COVID-19

Qatar Museums (QM) oversees several museums and numerous heritage sites in Qatar. While digital is critical to local and global outreach and engagement, there was no team in place dedicated to managing the overall digital experience across this complex organization. Following a phase of strategic work, QM has now established that team and is implementing a product roadmap focused on storytelling for Qatar’s local and global audiences. This presentation shares the progress, projects, and impact to date in bringing a human-centered digital experience team to reality during a global pandemic, with insights that are applicable to organizations large and small.

Bridging the digital divide with accessible tech

A children’s museum in South Africa used simple, accessible technology to create several new programmes during the pandemic, reaching non-traditional audiences including inner-city residents, recent immigrants, parents in informal housing settlements. Doing so helped the museum increase its digital audience by more than 400% during lockdown.

Social Media is People Media

Whether we realize it or not, social media content is influencing our consumption behaviors. A friend’s photos from their recent trip to The Met has us planning our next museum visit. Social media platforms are the new norm, and traditional museum marketing is failing in today’s digital, always-on culture. Museums across the world are having to face up to how they remain culturally relevant in the choppy waters of the digital ocean. Chris Cloud’s talk will touch on how to humanize your museum in the age of social media.

Sponsors Presentation: Introducing GEED

15 minutes! This is just enough to understand how the GEED platform works, its key aspects with inclusion, accessibility, agility and flexibility as its core.

GEED is a Creation and Distribution platform for WebApp scenarios in cultural institutions. It includes a web based BackOffice integrating dedicated tools to create multilingual and accessible Exhibitions tours, including Assisted translation, HQ text-to-speech generation, Camera based artworks recognition, etc.

In this talk, Ciprian will presents how GEED helps museums overcome barriers and obstacles and how to remain agile.

Finally he we’ll share his thoughts about new ways of monetizing digital content online. Stay tuned!

Did it take a crisis for us to make better content?

For years, digital folk in museums and galleries wondered what would happen if our doors were to close – would that be the moment when digital media was finally understood and embraced by the institution? Well, the doors did close. For most of 2020. So did that lead to the change we hoped for? For all the devastating effects of the Covid crisis, has it helped us think differently about how we engage our audiences and how audiences engage with us? Kati Price and Hilary Knight reflect on how the challenges of the past year have changed how, when and where we make content and for whom.

How to double your online donation income with small tweaks

What if… your website was a playground in which you could experiment without the need for costly developers? What if you can test your opinion vs. your colleagues on what works best and use the underlying data for conclusions? What if you could use the power of psychology to gain more insights in user behavior? The Van Gogh Museum managed to double their donations income by measuring the effect of small tweaks. With help of the A/B testing and personalization tool Blueconic, the Van Gogh Museum has gained major insights in the functioning of their donation flow even during Corona lockdown. In this presentation we’ll share our main insights, as well as our working method of continuous learning cycles instead of a project based approach with a pre-defined outcome. Even without having the Blueconic tool, the insights are universal and will inspire you to take a fresh look on your data to find your own ‘gold’.

15 ways to monetise your museum with digital

The upside of Covid was that finally everyone acknowledged the importance of digital for museums. Yes, including that traditional curator who only cared about the catalogue. The downside is that there’s not enough ticket sales, shop and cafe income to truly invest in digital, now that reality of budgeting has kicked in. So we can either wait for better times, or look at ways to make money online. But what can museums offer that people are willing to pay for, what can you charge and how can you organise it?

Behind the scenes at ACMI

Opening in early 2021 ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is a museum that promises to point to the future of digital in museums. This session offers a deep dive into how it all was made, how it hangs together, and all the technology and org change under the hood.


Making Partnerships Count in Digital Programming

Get your snorkel and passport ready! You’re going on a digital trip through TELUS Spark’s online educational programming. Join us as we share our journey in taking students through the Arctic to explore climate change, the Rocky Mountains to witness the local impact of wolves and the Pacific coast to hear about conservation efforts. Head behind the scenes and learn what goes into creating live, engaging, educational digital programs that audiences love and want to book. In this presentation we will share our learnings from delivering live digital content, creating outreach partnerships, and monetising the journey.

Getting 100,000 young people excited about science in the time of COVID

Zoos Victoria was innovative in its delivery of science-based education programs during Covid-19. As a result, over 100,000 young people across the globe registered for a learning experience. In this session, Dr Frazer Thorpe will share how Zoos Victoria was able to extend its reach and impact during a time of lockdown and remote learning. You will learn how an online education package engaged senior high school students in an authentic community science project. You will discover how understanding the needs of teachers and providing them with the right tools can lead to successful and dynamic digital education programs.

Maintaining your Creativity During a Pandemic

I created this series because our community needed to connect the dots to history both past and present. This is a story about my journey towards creating something meaningful even though I was reeling from the lose of humanity for our country, but most importantly because who look like me continue to die at the hands of racism and white supremacy.

Virtual Heritage Storytelling

For anyone wanting to learn about how virtual heritage can enhance the cultural identity of our nation.

Sponsors Presentation: Revolutionizing The Web With Saganworks

The Saganworks platform enables you to completely immerse your customers and guests in your facilities at no cost. This platform will revolutionize and become part of every single website in 5 years.

Our mission is not to replace the museum experience, but you better believe we’re going to change everything about it. Museums need to start thinking of themselves as retailers – all facing the digitalization transformation – you can’t be lazy or wait.

When you have a physical experience, people get close to your brand and products in a way they can’t do digitally. But in today’s age, you can’t avoid the digital experience – we should all try to extract the relationship made from being in a physical space people may visit a few times every 10 years. With Saganworks bringing your physical to digital and allowing full customization, people have a relationship with content again.

With the innovative power of 3D environments, you can bridge the gap between occasional in-person visits and the daily life of people that are not thinking about your brand.

Retailers of all kinds should give up on the notion of selling through the use of a physical experience to establish intimacy and legitimacy in a brand – 3D immersive experience are how you bridge that and bring people back to renew and refresh their relationship with your brand

Saganworks speaks to you in a way flat web pages don’t. We can’t wait to share more!

Designing Meaningful Online Experiences

There is a subtle but important difference between copying physical museum experiences to the digital world and translating physical museum experiences to the digital world. The key is to understand the behaviour and needs of your online audiences and the dynamics and rules of the platforms which they attend. In this session, Wouter will show you the necessary steps to design meaningful online experiences and he will show you some inspiring examples along the way. 

The Power of Live Demonstrations

In this session we’ll preview an exhibit concept under development and show some ways to offer an in person experience even over the web. We will share some ways to keep webinars engaging without dance party gimmicks or endless slides. In this session I’d like to share an exhibit on Covid 19 testing strategies that we have in development. As a web adapted presentation we are employing a secondary camera, the spotlight feature and offering a demonstration with some interactive elements that engage viewers and incorporate optional input from audiences. The live demonstration is a kind of surrogate for the experience of visiting in person, so that the community of attendees are together having an experience unique to their group. We’ll look include a couple examples of failed content connections from static sources. With time for a question or two, this will be our presentation.

Cemeteries Tours Online: How the Dead can be Digital

How do you make the dead come to life in the digital sphere? With Covid-19 curtailing regular tours and engagement, social media is more important than ever before in reconnecting to he long gone voices of the dead.


From virtually unknown to virtually everywhere

Live interactive schools workshops rocketed from an often forgotten footnote attracting only a handful of bookings to being the front-and-centre of the British Museum’s learning offer almost overnight. This presentation will explore how that happened and how it has been a catalyst for other digital successes around the organisation. From content to format, from interactivity to safeguarding, from tech skills to presenting personalities, from infrastructure to marketing, the Virtual Visits programme has been a case study on what it is like to scale up a digital project in an organisation.

Making Live Virtual

Storytelling is fundamental to audience engagement in any event. But, how do you create a compelling overall narrative that will engage online audiences? We will speak about the key steps and considerations in our workflow of producing virtual events and as well as specific factors for different types of events including fundraisers, galas, symposiums, and expert talks. There are many creative ways to make the viewer experience a positive one, while meeting the goals of the client or institution. We will go through the different steps in the process, key personnel, advantages / disadvantages of different technical platforms and the benefits of live vs. pre-recorded. We will discuss production practices and how you can make the visual design, client / institutional messaging and various creative elements feel cohesive. Taking events into the virtual online space will last beyond the initial response to COVID and will be an important component of museum programming moving forward.

To achieve scale and impact, think like a product developer

Museum educators spend countless hours creating classroom materials that attempt to bring the exhibits, expertise, and big ideas of their institutions to students who will never visit. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the investment in this pursuit. But compared to the scale of the potential audience (9 million teachers in the US and EU serving an estimated 133 million students) the usage and impact of these materials has been paltry. Join us to learn more about how to deploy the strategies used by product developers towards the creation of digital learning materials that achieve scale and impact.

Old people need fun digital experiences too!

Melbourne experienced one of the world’s longest lock downs of 111 days during 2020 with adults in aged care facilities being the hardest hit across the country. Usually, Museums Victoria runs tactile reminiscing programs for older adults living in aged care facilities, both face-to-face and via a loans program. How do you pivot a hands-on program for adults living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease for a cohort who are not always digitally literate but are also extremely isolated and vulnerable? How do you bridge the digital divide and help them to relive the good old days?

Sponsors Presentation: What’s the value of your digital assets?

2020 reinforced the importance of digital for us all – we saw more digitisation projects, more investment in digital, and more content being pushed online.

In this presentation, we explain not only the ways in which museums and heritage organisations can create opportunities from their digital assets, but how the value of the digital assets themselves can be enhanced through having the right systems and standards in place.

The Future Now: Digital Media in a Post-Pandemic World

While the COVID pandemic inevitably revealed new challenges about media design for museums, it boosted the adoption of digital technologies to make their content more accessible for people staying at home. Many museums and galleries now offer virtual tours and other digital tools to reach out to a broader audience than ever before. Looking into new trends of digital transformation that the COVID-Era has brought in and case studies at the American Museum of Natural History, this talk will guide you to reimagine the future of museum experience driven by emerging digital resources and suggest actionable strategies to leverage them in the post-COVID world.

Untying the Gordian Knot of "Engagement"

What might post-COVID museums look like, and how can we design compelling and engaging museum experiences for this new reality? This talk brings together research on digital technologies and human behavior to explore how four elements; storytelling, emotion, immersion, and gamification intertwine and combine to deeply connect people with each other and with the cultures that museums steward. It will explore the research and showcase examples of why they work, how they work, and how museums can use them effectively, both online and in-person to create a new generation of compelling, memorable museum experiences.