After several months of closures, COVID-19 restrictions are gradually being eased enabling museums and galleries to reopen. However, this has presented some new challenges. How do we reconnect physically with our communities, welcome back our audiences and make them feel safe and comfortable in our venues?
In this series of webinars, Museums & Galleries Queensland in partnership with The University of Queensland Art Museum and Museum Studies Program explored different strategies and innovative approaches to audience recovery.
- When we reopen, will visitors want to come back? What will affect their decision to attend?
- How do we build our profile before opening our doors?
- What are some strategies to support our community's wellbeing? How do we engage our local community?
- What are some ways to encourage visitation and let visitors know that we're open and accessible?
Each week in July, speakers from around the world addressed these topics and challenges:
Thursday 9 July
The panel shared their marketing strategies that have been implemented to build their museum/gallery profile and reach their audiences.
Panel included Natasha Henry, Head of Marketing and Communications, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Elizabeth Gehde, Head of Marketing and Media Relations, Queensland Museum Network; and Michael Brennan, Director, Noosa Regional Gallery.
Dr Caroline Wilson-Barnao, Lecturer, School of Communication and Art, The University of Queensland moderated the discussion.
Thursday 16 July
The panel shared the projects that have been developed to connect with and support their communities, and what their strategies are to continue to work with or re-engage their community.
Panel included Crystal Stubbs, Director, East Gippsland Art Gallery; Claudia Little, Venue Supervisor, Redcliffe Museum; and Bethany MacRae, Historical and Cultural Services Coordinator, Hurstville Museum and Gallery.
Tracey Heathwood, Artspace Mackay Director, Mackay Regional Council moderated the discussion.
Thursday 23 July
Presenters shared the strategies, processes, and planning involved in welcoming back visitors to their institutions after being closed for a long period following natural disasters and redevelopment.
Presenters were Jenny Harper, Former Director, Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand; and Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions, York Archaeological Trust / The JORVIK Group, UK
Eve Haddow, Program Director and Lecturer, Museum Studies, The University of Queensland and Leisha Walker, Training & Professional Development Program, Museums & Galleries Queensland moderated the discussion.
Thursday 30 July
Presenters talked through findings from the latest research on the intentions of visitors to return to cultural institutions. To guide your planning, they considered what will make visitors feel safe and comfortable to return to a cultural organisation, what activities people are likely to attend, and what role digital content will play into the future.
Presenters were Colleen Dilenschneider, Chief Market Engagement Officer, IMPACTS Research & Development, USA; and Tandi Palmer Williams, Managing Director, Patternmakers
Kate O'Hara, Director, Umbrella Studios Contemporary Art moderated the discussion.