This year We Are Museums was held in Berlin and hosting at the amazing Jewish Museum. For those that don’t know, WAM has been running for 3 years and has a very meaningful mission:
We Are Museums is a human adventure at the intersection of culture and innovation. During two days, it gathers an active and creative community of professionals who meet, exchange and build together to open art institutions to the people. We Are Museums is a self-sufficient, vibrant platform which promotes smart and forward thinking ideas as well as sustainable benefits for our participants.
An overall of highlights:
Sree Streenivasan ran a Social Media Workshop the evening before. His Storify is here. I’ve been to a few of Sree’s workshops and it’s great that he allows interaction from the audience. This audience was open to Berlin so the delegates were from museums, journalism, makers and everything in between.
Sree’s keynote the following morning kicked off We Are Museums in style. While it was more than social media, Sree never hides away from the surrounding issues that museums are dealing with and the importance of collaboration and sharing.
Rob Stein from Dallas Museum of Art is someone I’ve known of for a few years but became breakfast buddy and sounding board for many diverse discussions over the days. Rob’s talk on Museums So What and Using data in the Museums to explore, innovate and reach new audiences resonating with me on many levels. There is a new for museums and galleries for look at user experience over design. Rob and I had many discussions on the need of clear mission statements and other topics. We found a common ground in ‘not being museum people.’ I’m interested in seeing the numbers 4-5 years down the road at DMA.
Mirjam Wenzel (Head of Media Jewish Museum Berlin) and Conxa Roda (Head of Strategy and Innovation Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya) both stressed the importance of content and digital strategy. The need to have management on your side was a clear message. However, the need to *explain * to management the benefits in words they will understand is also vital. Using frameworks that meet your needs and are achievable help with this dialogue.
Elise Albenque (Marketing and Partnership Department Manager Palace of Versailles) shared Versailles journey into WeChat (not Weibo). They are just starting but Elise explained that Versailies has a large number of Chinese tourist who are using the social network so it made sense for them to venture into it. Currently they have a freelancer who speaks Chinese that helps with the conversations but eventually they will evaluate the need to be on there more permanently.
I ran a social media tips and tricks session.
- Look at trends and fold them in.
- Talk about city and other events in your area
- Tweet different times to reach different audiences
- Does your museum have a mascot?
- Acknowledge people who mention you (favourite, talk back)
- Follow different sectors.
- Walk around your museum for real content and let front of house to tweet
- Don’t always talk about yourself/collection.
- Hashtag events are great ways to find new followers
- Show a personality!
- Before sharing ask if you would want to read it.
Eric Jouvenaux (Online Content Editor & Community Manager Musee d’Orsay) shared a current project with Google Art Institute that I’m really interested to see how the public reacts. It includes using an app to lay additional VR (virtual reality) information and interaction on specific pieces in an exhibition.
I would be remise if I didn’t mention the amazing entertaining put on for us. The evening at Fab Lab Berlin started for a few of us with a proper currywurst from a trailer and sitting in recycled container.
Let me start with the organ performance – this magnificent instrument was played for us and while I tried to capture it nothing could truly capture the experience. We then walked to Ephraim Palais for a wonderful reception with drinks, Oculus rifts and West.Berlin exhibition.
A brilliant end to a brilliant conference. See you at We are Museums 2016?
If you’re in Berlin, I highly recommend:
Museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind. The Museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind tells the story of the workshop. The owner of the small factory, Otto Weidt, employed mainly blind and deaf Jews here during World War II. They produced brooms and brushes
DDR Museum. The only museum in Berlin to focus on everyday life in the former East Germany, the DDR Museum widens the conventional focus away from the Stasi and the Berlin wall to encompass everyday life. How did life in East Germany differ from the experience of West Germans?