The Visitor Studies Group
AGM + Conference
02/04/2011 - 10:10
02/04/2011 - 16:30
Audience research in an age of austerity: Ensuring continued support for the visitor voice
VSG AGM and Conference
Weston Theatre, Museum of London
Friday the 4th of February
10.10 am - 4.30pm
Is Audience Research a legitimate cut? In the face of severe cuts for the cultural sector difficult decisions have to be made about funding priorities, including core collections, opening hours and front-line staff. However, if the burden of the financial shrinkage falls too heavily on learning and research, is the quality of the visiting experience itself at risk? What does this mean for funding bids which increasingly demand evidence of impact and demonstrations of lessons learnt from previous projects and audience consultations? If insight into visitor expectations and experiences is cut, how can we effectively engage people with our collections and stories?
This one day conference will provide examples of how major projects have been turned around on small budgets, how audience research can be strategically embedded in the aims of an organisation and how smaller organisations keep audience research alive. We will hear first hand from DCMS what some of the issues facing us are.
Keynote speaker from the USA
Following the success of John Falk’s visit last year, VSG is bringing in another leader in the field of audience research from the United States. Alan Friedman is the former Executive Director of the New York Hall of Science. Alan’s dynamism and tenacity in building an organisation from something very small into one of the world’s top institutions for informal learning during some difficult times will provide us with inspiration and valuable insight into how to cope with our own age of austerity.
Other speakers include David Fleming, Director - National Museums Liverpool, Adam Cooper, Head of Research - DCMS, Liz Neathy, Curator - Havering Museum and Jean Franczyk, Director of Learning - Science Museum.
Whether an experienced evaluator or new to the field, the discussion of some of these topical issues, and examples of how they are being addressed, should help you cope with the challenges you and your organisation are now facing.