The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Visitor Studies Group AGM + Conference

The Visitor Studies Group
AGM + Conference

02/04/2011 - 10:10

02/04/2011 - 16:30

Etc/GMT

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.

http://visitors.org.uk/node/412

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