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The new year was off to a good start for the Future Museum project: its third online meeting took place on 8 and 9 February welcoming a new member in the network, the Munch Museum in Oslo. The museum houses the largest collection of art by Edvard Munch and will move to a brand new location in Oslo in summer 2021. The meeting itself was dedicated to two research questions, focusing on visitor data collection and the attraction of new target markets. It has also provided a first glimpse into the preliminary results of the Future Museum Visitor & Non-Visitor Survey and introduced two new pilot projects to boost digital revenue in museums.
The first day was all about data collection and encompassed how AI could help to gather data in order to provide new ways to engage with audiences and visitors, how to collect and analyse meaningful data as well as best practice cases in the museum sector. The inputs were provided by Oonagh Murphy and Elena Villaespesa, both researchers in the project The Museums & AI Network, Dennis Stolze, Head of Cognitive Environments at Fraunhofer IAO and Olga Tykhonova, Head of Research & Development at MUSEUM BOOSTER.
These first presentations were complemented by a speech of Jane Alexander, Chief Digital Information Officer at the Cleveland Museum of Art, speaking about the ArtLens Gallery and other technological and interactive components that have been included to make people interact virtually with the museum objects. Additionally, Andrej Plancic, Sales Operations Manager at Google, explained how Google’s platforms and services can help to bring organisations closer to their audiences and Michael Toedt, Founder & CEO at Dailypoint, a company providing digital data solutions for the hotel sector, stressed out how important it is nowadays to have a central data management platform in order to avoid data source silos, one-way interfaces, multiple profiles as well as poor data quality.
The second day was centred around the topic of new target market acquisition and started with a key-note speech by Anne Torreggiani and Jonathan Goodacre of Audience Agency highlighting the Audience Finder and the COVID Participation Monitor, two massive data sharing and data application programmes in the UK. Vanessa Borkmann, Head of Future Museum Research, focused her presentation on the results of the research on visitor economy and outlined different methodologies and strategies. The session was rounded off again with best-practice cases in line with the topic provided by Olga Tykhonova. She specially brought into focus concepts of play and participation and the relevance of Generation Z as a museum target audience as well as the importance of finding ways to connect with its representatives.
Dupe Ajayi, Senior Intersectional Marketing Strategist at The Shed New York, shed light on how this institution focuses on making space for all audiences of the city of New York, among them non-traditional art-goers, women as well as disable individuals and which measures are taken to reach out to them. Marianne Grymer Bargeman, Head of Learning and Interpretation, at the ARoS Aarhus Museum of Art gave insights into her museum and highlighted that museums have a great role in promoting social contact and shaping the culture of a society, but seem to be anti-social in terms of their design. In this context, the ARoS Public project is trying to address this by not only making art accessible to people but also letting them talk, be active and share their experiences with the help of several tools and installations. Chris Unitt, founder of One Further, explained how he helps organisations to understand and engage digital audiences. In his opinion, there is a great benefit in collaborations with organisations that museums do not normally work with in order to find larger audiences. Finally, Dmitry Koval, Senior Product Manager at Rakuten TV spoke about engaging audiences with video content due to its ease of access and fast consumption, the immediate feedback and the provision of a lean back experience.
Overall, it were two insightful days packed with content and presentations that encouraged new ideas and lively discussions in a nice atmosphere.