I went to Museum Next tech in Amsterdam…

I recently went to Museum Next tech in Amsterdam  and there were lots of different topics discussed. Very different and at the same time all aiming at the same goal: how to deal best with the museum’s digital strategy, with which tools, which members of the team, which means and such.

In the afternoon, Laura Hubber from the J. Paul Getty Museum explained her strategy to get a younger audience to the museum : by using the Percy Jackson universe.She looked up some studies, thought about what she wanted to tell, how (and she had a minimal budget) and ended up with a not-academic solution to get the children connected to the content!

Moreover, I personally thought her approach was fascinating and original. It’s all about how to make a disruptive offer, and get an audience that would not come to museums otherwise, using pop-culture as a base. Several elements she mentioned ought to be put forward:

  • She ended up with short stories, in a typical « audioguide » mode, but with very adapted content (as a teenager, who hasn’t heard of Percy Jackson ???) and narrative storytelling keeping kids engaged
  • Use of the space, in and outdoor but with no geolocation
  • Kids-centered, and family are very « hungry » to so stuff with their children
  • Learning aspect: you learn about the gods (mythology) + yourself
  • It’s all about getting the timing right (more and more people are looking for 30 min / 1 hour tours)
  • Social media, pictures, feedback: Helped a lot!

In addition to all of the mentioned above, Jennifer Pullar from the Natural History Museum also had a great presentation , in which she explained how the museum is working and will be working on the digitization of 80 million objects. Their idea is really to allow people to use these online data: it all about democratizes access to the knowledge. They did some 3D scanning with some elements, allowing scientists to compare – for whales, for example, an outstanding specimen. The challenge is the time it takes to do the work, and the communication to be done on the matter. This is why they choose to focus on some topics such as « Darwin » for instance, when they took a researcher’s book, tried some 3D, and used Sketchfab to broaden the audience. They could reach this way non-researchers such as artists, family-groups, etc.

Lastly, I also enjoyed the presentation of the Royal Academy of Arts’ visual approach, presented by Kata Huckle. She emphasizes the fact that by doing this, by allowing visitors and web-users to « relate to the collection » on their own terms. Art galleries can be intimidating, and by implementing some keywords, starting from the users’ behavior, the website is serving more purposes. It’s bringing more extended engagement as well…