What’s Next for Museums?

It’s a bit late in the day I’m afraid as the nerves of contributing my first MGS Blog have helped me to come up with all manner of wonderful procrastination techniques to avoid putting virtual pen to paper. Hopefully though it’ll still be useful to let you know about the MuseumNext conference that I attended on the 26th and 27th of May over at The Hub in Edinburgh.

As you’ll find from checking out their website, MuseumNext is all about how technology is changing what our audiences expect from museums and galleries and how we can all benefit from new technology and ideas to enrich what we deliver. The conference is in its third year and is establishing quite a reputation for itself as ‘the place to be’ for this kind of thing. As a self-proclaimed geek I can see why. It’s hard (verging on the impossible) not to get excited about the possibilities when you see what others are achieving. This was a particular revelation for me as, although I’ve been with MGS for 4 years now, I’m only just now getting involved in the sector side of things. Attending this conference has made me wish I that was involved in a far more hands on way!

Major highlights for me included listening to Shelly Bernstein (@shell7) talk about the work that Brooklyn Museum have done putting their collections online and allowing members of the public to tag, comment on and ‘like’ objects; Mia Ridge (@mia_out) from the Open University telling us about the potential for ‘Gamification’ to get the public involved and engaged; and Geer Oskam (@GeerOskam) from n8 in Amsterdam who organise a night which targets getting young adults into museums (45 museums, open from 7pm – 2am, 26,000 tickets available for the night and it’s sold out for the last 5 years!).

There were so many wonderful speakers with so much great information to share that I can’t even begin to cover the entire conference in-depth on this blog. Instead I’d like to point those interested in the direction of some blogs and other resources that will hopefully provide food for thought and encourage you to delve deeper yourselves.

Check out http://museumnext.com for some of the presenters’ slides and some links to great (much better than this) blogs about the event.

If you’re on twitter then search for the hashtag #MuseumNext which is a great source of information. While you’re at it why not follow @SumoJim, who runs the conference and the Sumo design agency.

Finally, some links to a few great blogs about the conference that I don’t think are currently listed on the MuseumNext website from Oonagh Murphy, Clairey Ross and Jenni Fuchs.

Well, that’s my first blog in the bag! Hopefully the next one will be a less daunting prospect, far more timely and a better read. Although realistically I should probably go for just one thing at a time…

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