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MuseumNext returned to London for it’s tenth European edition which took place on 18 – 20 June 2018. 550 delegates from more than 40 countries joined us for the event which took place in the cities museum district.
This year delegates were encouraged to explore the rich history and culture of London with an Art Fund National Art Pass which gave them free and discounted entry to museums and galleries across the city.
In addition to self guided tours around the city, delegates had the option of exploring the recently reopened Royal Academy of Arts with exclusive guided tours, playing games in Hyde Park with gaming guru Ben Templeton and learning about Super High Resolution imagery with Second Canvas.
Blessed with a sunny day, delegates enjoyed exploring the city before gathering at the Postal Museum for an exclusive welcome reception. The Postal Museum gave delegates the opportunity to network and catch up with old friends, but also the chance to try Mail Rail, an underground railway which speeds around under the streets of London.
Following the welcome reception, delegates dispersed to local restaurants and bars to continue their conversations ahead of the first plenary sessions the following day.
Delegates gathered at the Royal Geographical Society on Exhibition Road for the second day of the conference which started with a keynote from American Museum Director and thought leader Nina Simon. Nina played an important role in starting MuseumNext a decade earlier, so we were delighted to have her join us in London to share her latest work (You can view Nina’s keynote here).
Nina was followed by presentations from Civil Bikes, Myseum of Toronto and Play Africa, all sharing inspiring stories of cultural experiences which are focused on their communities.
Following lunch our friends at Art Fund shared their work in a short presentation before the floor was given over to Jasper Visser for the conferences fast paced Open Stage. This started with all present singing Happy Birthday in their own language. With more than forty nationalities present, this was a memorable experience.
Over the next hour ten speakers from previous MuseumNext conferences gave five minute lightening talks, before two delegates were plucked from the audience to give their own presentations.
Following a short break the afternoon continued with a presentation from the Natural History Museum about their redevelopment, followed by Sara Wajid and Shaheen Kasmani sharing their work engaging black and ethnic minority audiences at Birmingham Museums. The day concluded with Seema Rao and Paul Bowers leading an interactive session on hacking the bureaucracy of museums.
With heads spinning from information overload, delegates headed to the Natural History Museum for an exclusive social event and private view of Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
The third and final day of MuseumNext London 2018 started with a keynote from trend hunter Henry Mason. Henry entertained and enlightened delegates with a dash through the latest trends and how they might effect the museum sector.
Henry’s keynote was followed by talks focusing on tech, from Chris Michaels telling museums to stop being so fragile to exploring AI and games in museums.
Following lunch, our friends at Second Canvas shared their work with super high resolution imagery, before American Museum Director Scott Stulen took the stage to amaze everyone with his work transforming an art museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
This presentation was followed by Jérémie Michael McGowan, Director of Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum talking about decolonising his museum with an inventive approach and Megan Dickerson from The New Children’s Museum sharing her amazing work.
The conference closed with a final session which featured Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the Louvre.