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Museum Marketing Summit


Breaking Down Barriers

Many people get uncomfortable and stressed by the sheer thought of experiencing an art exhibition. Since its opening in October 2021, the new MUNCH seeks to break down barriers that keep people from setting foot into art museums. Rooted in the inclusiveness of Edvard Munch’s artistic project, our exhibition spaces integrate learning, digital and interactive offers in a way that supports the art and that makes our visitors feel seen and welcome. Join our talk to learn more about the new MUNCH, how we work with audiences, where we failed and how we challenge what experiencing art means.

Co-creating the Museum Space: Of, By and For the Public

Our Museum project aims to put the local community at the heart of Poole Museum, creating a truly engaging, reflective and useful new museum space for existing and target audiences through a range of co-curated interventions.

At the beginning of the Our Museum Delivery phase, this talk reflects back on the fundamentally collaborative process used to develop the exhibition and interpretation of three new maritime galleries at Poole Museum, and the role of this methodology in sustainably growing and diversifying audiences.

Storytelling Strategies: Get More Out of Your Stories

Over the past two years, museum objects were left in the dark (mostly), while their stories and images lived online. Like a Good Samaritan, museums did online what they have always done: share beauty and inspiration, as a welcome antidote to the gloomy news elsewhere. For free. However, putting stories on the web without a content marketing backbone, is a missed opportunity. In this talk I’ll focus on how we can use storytelling in a more strategic way. Prepare for insights on how to tell stories online to grow your audience, along with practical tips on how to structure a story so you can hook your readers.

Altri Sguardi

Altri Sguardi (Other Gazes) opens up the museum to unusual interpreters of the exhibitions: refugees, asylum seekers, people with a migratory background.

The perspective is swapped: the participants observe, interpret and mediate the artworks, bringing their personal insight into the exhibition.

Therefore, through these different perspectives the visitors get involved in unexpected conversations and the museum turns into a space of openness and enriching difference: each and every participant offers his or her point of view so that established eurocentric and occidental narration get questioned by the difference of every experience.

ACCESS Admission

Learn how to launch a public initiative that makes your museums more welcoming to people with disabilities and low-income communities. We all want our cultural spaces to be more reflective of the diversity of the communities we are part of but how do you make it easy and sustainable? Come learn from an organisation (with a 6 person staff) that serves over 200,000 people per year.

Covid-19 pandemic: are your visitors the same as before?

The pandemic has been difficult for many venues but has also been a long and intense experience for most visitors. Though it is difficult to predict what the future holds, there are some indicators of shifts in what visitors value and want from their visit as well as trends in new work, living and leisure patterns. This session looks at some of the key changes to visitors, the implications for museums and the opportunities to play to our strengths.

Leave something to the imagination – When to Omit Audience Insights

The customer is always right – but what about when they’re not? Museums are readily gathering more and more insights about their audiences that are informing how they curate their collections for exhibitions, how they discuss objects with their audience, and how they think about the visitor journey. But when is it advantageous to hold back? In this talk, we look at the production of a major arts commission about artificial intelligence at the Tate Modern, and how we used our audience insights to help the artist communicate their message, but also how strategically withholding some answers helped create stronger engagement with our visitors.

Trust is Trending: Data on the Heightened Reputational Advantages of Museums

It’s no secret: The pandemic has altered how people think and behave throughout the world, including how people consider and relate to museums. While there is no shortage of critical conversation about new challenges faced by these institutions, research suggests that conditions surrounding the pandemic also catalysed meaningful, positive shifts in how museums are perceived by their constituencies. IMPACTS Experience, a leading market research and predictive technology firm, has been tracking these trends as they affect cultural enterprise for nearly two decades.

In this presentation, Colleen Dilenschneider of IMPACTS Experience and author of the popular website Know Your Own Bone, will share research from ongoing studies of perceptions and behaviours concerning museums in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Though many museums were challenged by reduced attendance during the past two years, their elevated online engagement during this same time stands to pay off: Museums are more trusted throughout the world, believed to be greater assets to their communities, and are increasingly critical sources of information. Museums are popular attractions, but they proved relevance beyond their physical walls during the pandemic. This presentation will share the research trends on changes observed during the past two years and what this suggests for museums as they move forward in expanding audiences.

Online Qualitative Methods for Audience Research

Knowing and understanding your audiences is an integral part of exhibition and experience development. In the past, audience research methods relied on speaking with visitors face-to-face, particularly onsite. But the pandemic has shifted this online. Over the past two years, the Museum Victoria Audience Insights Team has explored different methods for collecting qualitative data including online focus groups, telephone interviews and an online discussion board. This paper will present our methods, materials and outcomes, including broader implications for future research.

How Marketing and Great User Experience Can Create a Sustainable Business Model

The arts and cultural sector can learn and take inspiration from commercial and charitable organisations in how they invest in marketing and communications to build financially sustainable business models. Adele is a marketer and communicator from the commercial and charitable sectors, now using her skills and experience for museums and galleries. She knows how to engage audiences so they regularly fund and support initiatives that they never knew they needed to.

Growing Your Audience by Knowing Your Audience (and Creating Content That Attracts)

As a result of the pandemic, consumers are increasingly digital in the way they behave. But, the vast, fragmented nature of the online landscape and the information available to users means that we’re all competing more than ever for their attention. At LEWIS, we’ve developed an approach that allows you to identify who your audiences really are (what topics are of interest to them, what drives their decision making, how do they want to interact with museums?) and develop content and digital tools that will help grow existing audiences, attract new ones and perhaps even develop partnership opportunities.

Translating Your Museum Brand to Digital: Lessons from the National Museum of Mexican Art

Reaching new audiences begins with the embodiment of your brand. As a window to the world and their publics, a museum’s online presence should be fully reflective of their voice and identity. Hear from AREA 17 Senior Strategy Director Carolyn Centeno Milton who will present the example of the National Museum of Mexican Art, one of the only first-voice institutions in the U.S. Learn what it means to embody your brand and how you can harness digital systems to ensure your museum brand is elevated, resonates and is deeply connected to how you show up online.

The Rebranding of the Amsterdam Museum

In this talk Maurice Seleky, head of Communications & Marketing at the Amsterdam Museum, will give a presentation about the rebranding of the museum. He’ll dive into the new brand story, the new visual identity and the new digital platform of the Amsterdam Museum and how these efforts match the museum’s ambition to become a ‘museum of the future’.

Rebranding Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) recently opened their expanded flagship campus on the Pacific coast in La Jolla. With one museum with two locations, one coastal and one urban, MCASD’s brand and audience engagement strategy was due for an expansion of sorts as well.

During this talk, you’ll hear from their past Director of Communications and Marketing (now at MCA Chicago), MCASD’s web development partner Perry Garvin Studio, and MCASD’s graphic design partner Happening Studio on how they collaborated on co-developing an Audience-forward brand in a new era of museums.

Experiences Over Things: Capturing and Capitalising on Gen-Z Audiences

TikTok trends, brands with purpose, experiences over things – finding what resonates with Gen-Z and making it work for your brand is easier said than done. Dive into the data and learn 10 tips for capturing and capitalising on your Gen-Z audience today.

How to Become a Better Digital Citizen

When we design and build a website, we make a series of decisions about how users will interact with it and what will keep them coming back. Now, with the complexity and continuous innovation of the digital world, there is so much more that we need to account for to create responsible website experiences for everyone.

We took the time to discuss what mattered to us, what mattered to our clients and what we thought was important to grow and respect audience needs. Plank’s “Ethical Web Design Framework” is a set of user-centric principles that ensure that a website meets our five core goals:

  1. Accessibility & Inclusion
  2. Privacy and Security
  3. Device First-Design
  4. Platform Best Practices & Sustainability
  5. Environmental Considerations

With this framework, we are setting website design and development principles that make sense to us as a team and benefit our clients, prospective clients, and their customers and communities. It gives us a benchmark for how we develop web projects and a point of discussion and consideration for UI/UX design principles. It provides our prospective clients an even clearer view as to they should engage with their community.

Some experts know much more than us about each individual topic, so it’s a journey to keep improving and challenging our efforts to become the most responsible digital citizens that can better serve and grow your audience.

Who's not in the Museum? Are they too "Special" for you?

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities account for 8% of the UK child population, but so few museums welcome them. Their access and enjoyment to culture is protected by human rights and equality acts yet too few cultural venues adapt to their needs.

Join me to find out the importance of engaging with this hidden audience and how your museums can not only benefit them but benefit from them.

In a future where ‘welbeing’, cultural capital and placemaking are all terms museums are learning to embrace, SEND children, young people and their families play an important part in this jigsaw.

What If We Looked at Neurodiversity and Museums Differently?

At the moment, the cultural sector, and specifically museums, struggles to understand what neurodiversity is and what it means. There are attempts to develop specific programming for autistic audiences, but these are generally exclusive rather than inclusive (such as quiet hours) and are formulated through providing for the parents of autistic children, rather than through consultation with autistic adults – those with lived experience – and providing an inclusive approach to not only accessibility to museums, but to creating more relevant and representative collecting and display policies, and providing clear routes into and through the workforce. I want to speak about our project, currently underway, which is addressing all of these issues, and led by #ActuallyAutistic people at its heart.

Optimise Your Membership Structure Using Data-Driven Research

As the world rediscovers and recreates their cultural habits, presenting a compelling and attractive membership offer is critical to cultivate and (re)grow your membership base. This presentation will discuss data-based research methodologies for optimising your membership offerings—from small tweaks to benefits to a complete restructure of the membership program. We’ll include a case study from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science that recently went through this research and restructure process.

Reinventing Membership for a Hybrid Future

Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, museum membership has undergone a profound evolution. In the early months of the pandemic, cultural organisations were forced by necessity to rethink their approaches to audience activation and delivering value to members. Over the past two years, circumstances have spurred an even greater range of invention, innovation, and imagination in membership. In particular, membership professionals have spearheaded new digital approaches to audience development, programming, engagement, and communications.

However, in this later stage of the pandemic, the term “hybrid” has become increasingly common in museum vernacular, reflecting the important discussions taking place about how to accommodate the demands for both onsite and online engagement in the arts and cultural space. How can museums adapt to the new hybrid reality? And what do hybrid approaches look like in membership? This session will address these questions, sharing 2022 insights from a new Cuseum report on navigating digital and hybrid initiatives in museum membership.

Reaching A New 4 Legged Audience, Post Lockdown

Join in to hear about how a fun proposal reached a new audience by targeting a much-loved part of people’s lives…their dogs! Using the USP of the outdoor site, reacting to covid restrictions and guidelines, connecting to the people, places and stories in our collections – a new event was created. Hear about the event, creating SGI, the social media impact and of course, lots of cute photos of dogs! You may even meet our four legged unofficial face of the event.

A TedTok: Finding Your TikTok Niche, And How to Make It Successful

Why it’s not scary to join TikTok. This platform can provide a whole new audience for your museum that you might never reach on the other social media platforms. It’s the quickest growing social media app engagement-wise and you can be successful by following some tried and true strategies. If you’re already on TikTok — are you taking full advantage?

Find Yourself – How Sydney’s Great Cultural Institutions Inspired Audiences

Back in October 2021 when Sydney was first due to reopen after extensive COVID lockdowns, a short conversation inspired an ambition to unite a group of Sydney’s key cultural institutions to encourage visitors back to arts and culture in real life. As we know, cultural institutions around the world suffered from sudden loss of visitors enjoying their spaces, shuttered exhibitions and understandable apprehension amongst audiences about visiting in public spaces again. Find out about the (longish) journey from the spark of an idea to fully realised campaign and the challenges and wins the cultural institutions faced along the way to re-building audiences.