Final call to get your after-hours events on sale in Boots and WHSmith!

If you took part in Museums at Night, regularly run after-hours events, or are simply interested in generating income for your organisation, this is your last chance to join Culture24′s Activity Superstore partnership promoting cultural gift experiences in museums, galleries and heritage sites.

Four boxes will be sold on the high street from the beginning of September in shops such as Boots and WHSmith.


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The Museum Lates box is dedicated to providing two adults with an enchanting, insightful evening in a museum or gallery. This could be anything from an in-depth tour of an exhibition, a talk or access to a workshop. This is a fantastic way for you to attract new audiences and generate income.

A number of brilliantly diverse venues are already on board, including the Art Fund Museum of the Year, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings; and the Museum of Carpet.

These boxes are most commonly brought as Christmas presents, so it is vital for you to get involved as soon as possible.

Act S Lates Box

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Activity Superstore?

Activity Superstore provides a range of gift experiences, sold in attractive gift boxes in high street stores. The boxes contain a booklet and a code that customers can use to book their experience on the Activity Superstore website. Examples of boxes that are already being sold are Traditional Afternoon Tea for Two, Ferrari Driving, Two Night Camping Experience and Vineyard Tour and Tasting for Two.

2014-Salamander Box-ForgottenSkills

What will venues gain from being involved?

It is a fantastic way to attract new audiences and gain revenue from your events. The whole project is also a really exciting way of attracting individuals who might not often chose to visit museums and galleries. With exposure in several high street outlets such as WHSmith and Boots, Activity Superstore is a great opportunity to get your name and your brand out there in front of high street consumers.

What does your venue need to do?

For each box that you choose to be involved in, you need to offer four or more activities between January 2015 and December 2015. You can either offer four or more of the same event, or four or more different events; it is totally up to you.

What about events that are already open to the public?

These are fine. If you are including events that are already planned, you could perhaps include some special element like a cup of tea and cake in your café, a voucher for your gift shop, or a special welcome from a curator or guide.

How do box sales and event bookings work?

Each will be sold in shops: customers will choose one experience from a range of venues throughout the UK.

Each time the box is bought and two adults visit your late event, you will invoice Activity Superstore for a share of the money.

Activity Superstore’s experienced team take care of the bookings, and will make the logistics as hassle-free and profitable for you as they can.

2014-Salamander Box-Inside Art & Design

What other boxes are available?

  • Inside Art and Design – anything art/design related, such as an in-depth curators tour/talk (2 adults).
  • Forgotten Skills and Traditions – anything history-based, for example workshops about traditional crafts or activities (1 adult).
  • Curious & Creative Kids – anything for under-12s e.g. children’s crafts/activities (a family of up to 1 adult and 3 children – doesn’t need to be for this many people so long as we know).

Any other questions?

If you are interested in taking part or have any other questions about the boxes and how it all works, please contact Culture24′s Rina Lakhani on 01273 623357 or email rina@culture24.org.uk

We look forward to working with you and helping you to make money and attract new visitors.

Guest Post: Laura Crossley reviews Jessica Voorsanger at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe

Our latest event review guest post comes from Laura Crossley, a Heritage and Audience Development Consultant and friend of Museums at Night who discovered other worlds at 20-21 Visual Arts in Scunthorpe!

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Saturday night TV is rubbish. What, therefore, is one to do to avoid National Lottery In It To Win It and endless repeats of Come Dine With Me? (Yes, being a mere mortal, of course I like Come Dine With Me but, no, I do not feel the need to watch ten episodes a day). On Saturday 17 May, the answer to that question came in the glorious form of 20-21 Visual Art Gallery’s Sci-Fi evening.

The event, for which we have to thank the brilliant minds of the 20-21 staff and multimedia artist Jessica Voorsanger, was a frenzied explosion of everyone’s favourite Sci-Fi programmes – Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and more, with a sprinkling of Men in Black, mixed with several hundred rolls of tinfoil and flashing disco lights, all topped off with raucous space-themed karaoke – think Venus, Walking on the Moon, Spaceman, Girl From Mars, Space Oddity; you get the picture.

The silhouette of a figure in a suit standing in a doorway in a cloud of dry ice

Jessica Voorsanger silhouetted at the entrance to 20-21 Visual Arts (c) Know Media

The evening started with a life-affirming Men in Black parade with sharp suits, shades and serious dance moves rocking the streets of Scunthorpe.

The party then moved indoors to the kitschly (I’m claiming that as a word) decorated 20-21 Gallery where staff in fabulous space attire led an array of interactive activities.

a boy in front of a tardis with a colourful paper arm

A young visitor stepping out of the Tardis with a new bionic arm

As an avid fan of silliness, my favourite activities were dressing up in a Star Trek costume and being photographed in a neon space landscape, and sitting in a chair whilst lots of small furry balls, made by the local community, cascaded onto me from on high. The latter activity was a homage to much-loved Star Trek episode, The Trouble with Tribbles, in which the Enterprise is overrun by tribbles, purring balls of fluff which multiply at rapid speed.

A girl surrounded by small fluffy objects

A young visitor experiences a Tribble trouble avalanche (c) 20-21 Visual Arts

There was life drawing with Jedi light sabers…

handmade pink light sabers

Light sabers at 20-21 Visual Arts

There was sci-fi karaoke …

Visitors could even stage a Dalek attack!

a small boy menaces his parents with a dalek

Family dalek drama (c) 20-21 Visual Arts

It seems that the answer to Saturday night TV boredom might lie somewhere in a galaxy far, far away…..or more probably at a stupendous gallery in Scunthorpe.

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a woman smilingLaura Crossley is a Heritage and Audience Development Consultant and PhD Researcher. Her website is www.lauracrossley.com and you can follow her on Twitter at @lfcrossley.

 

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Thanks, Laura!

If you’d like to write a guest post or share a case study about any aspect of audience development, event planning or marketing in the arts and heritage sector, please email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Case study: How Wardown Park Museum attracted over 1000% more visitors than usual

Our latest case study guest post comes from Ellen Waghorn, Event Programmer at Wardown Park Museum in Luton.

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Wardown Park Museum took part in Museums at Night 2014 aiming to engage with new audiences and find new ways to use our spaces. We are a small museum with a collection relating to the history of Luton including Luton’s role in the hat-making industry past and present.

Two men wearing fancy hats and drinking beer in a museum after hours

Visitors show off their hats (c) Wardown Park Museum

We decided to separate our day and night events to focus on family and adult audiences.

‘Mad Hatters and Alice in Wonderland’, our daytime event, created something fun but educational that linked to our collection. We used outside space to increase capacity and had flamingo croquet and a rabbit hole crawl. We provided seating and catering bringing in secondary spend.

Inside the museum we created a trail (also charged), that focused on engaging children with our collections. Additionally, one of our volunteers ran an exhibition that  looked at the origin of tea and the history of plants in Bedfordshire, using our collection of plant specimens.

‘Mad Hatters Late’  consisted of  keeping the museum open until  10pm, and  performances  from local musicians, held in a flexible gallery space. To maximise secondary spend, we acquired a temporary alcohol license, and to tie in with our collections everyone was encouraged to wear hats!

a shot from behind showing the heads of audience members watching a band perform

Museum visitors listening to a band (c) Wardown Park Museum

Success

Attendance of the events exceeded expectations with 1027 people on site for the daytime event and 107 in the evening. 953 people came through the doors to the museum on the day.

Comparing this to a normal Saturday which averages at 80, this was a fantastic 1091.25% increase.

We learnt…

1) …not to be afraid of ‘set dressing’ our museum. Far from taking away from our collections, it enabled  more enjoyment, and made  our audiences  think of us as a fun place to visit. Museums are not dull: they’re a good place to have fun!

2) Advertising was key to this event. We used local radio, flyer and poster distribution as well as social media platforms and our website.

3) Using arts as an activity to entice a new audience works. We have been trialing this through ‘Music in the Museum’, a monthly music concert, and the decision to include story telling and a concert was due to the success of this.

A museum entrance hall with visitors and hats on the floor

A range of hats were available for visitors to wear (c) Wardown Park Museum

In future…

…we plan to have less separation between our day and evening events, although we will continue to target our activities for families during the day and adults in the evening. We will continue to increase the opportunities for secondary spend to support the programme and increase financial viability.

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A photo of a woman smilingEllen Waghorn is the event programmer for the Museum Makers Team at Wardown Park Museum. Her aim is to programme events and activities that actively engage the community and encourages the incorporation of volunteers (Museum Makers) into event running and organisation.

Find her on Twitter as @elwaghorn and on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ellen-waghorn/63/70a/1a4

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Thanks, Ellen!

If you’d like to write a guest post or share a case study about any aspect of audience development, event planning or marketing in the arts and heritage sector, please email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Gallery

Culture Collaboration, Culture Rescue

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on University of Cambridge Museums:
This year for the Museums at Night national event, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology hosted Manos Creadoras, or Creative Hands, a project organized by AndesCrafts and the Museum. AndesCrafts was created in…

Call for guest posts: share your event planning and marketing case studies!

Do you have a story to tell about how you planned or marketed an event at your venue? Have you taken advantage of Museums at Night to try out a new way of working, or to stage a different type of event, or to bring in a new element?

Singers watched by a crowd in a modern museum

Janette Parris’ musical performed in Cardiff Story Museum (c) Klaus Wehner

Writing a reflective case study can be a great way to talk about your organisation and celebrate the work your team does. You can see examples of previous guest posts here: http://museumsatnight.wordpress.com/tag/guest-post/

This writing opportunity is open all year round to anyone who works or volunteers in an arts or heritage organisation.

A pack of scouts in a museum

Adur Valley Scouts ready for their first ever museum sleepover at Worthing Museum & Art Gallery

The idea of publishing guest blog posts is to showcase lots of different voices from museums, galleries and heritage sites, passing on marketing and event planning ideas to inspire other venues who may be considering taking part for the first time.

  • Do you have any tips for other venues based on your experiences?
  • What worked well?
  • What have you learned – e.g. about your own capacity, about timings, about the most and least successful forms of promotion, about what different audience most appreciate?
  • What would you do differently next time?

A good guest post consists of:

1) 300-400 words, in a chatty, friendly style
2) A couple of photos of visitors exploring your venue, ideally at night, with the photographers’ credit. We always like to put up photos of people having fun at cultural / heritage venues!
3) A couple of lines about yourself, I’m happy to link to your website / Twitter account / LinkedIn etc.
4) A thumbnail-sized photo of you

If you’re interested in writing a guest post, or if you have any questions, please drop me an email at rosie@culture24.org.uk or give me a call on 01273 623336.

Museums at Night 2014: a roundup of BBC coverage of the festival

We were delighted to work with the BBC to raise awareness of the Museums at Night festival this year: here’s a brief roundup of the coverage that went out on on BBC1, BBC2, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, local radio and television and BBC ARTS Online.

Network Television

At the heart of the BBC’s coverage was an hour long BBC2 show, Museums at Night, on Saturday 17 May at 7pm.

A poster promoting the BBC TV show about Museums at Night with Will Gompertz

 

The programme was a truly nationwide event, presented by Will Gompertz with Mat Fraser at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

There were also short films presented by Frank Cotterell Boyce, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Simon Armitage from Liverpool, Cardiff, Nottingham, Cornwall, Yorkshire and the National Gallery in London.

The on-site panel in Edinburgh included Jude Kelly, Bettany Hughes and Amit Sood from the Google Art Project.

Also on television,

  • Museum at Night was profiled on Breakfast where Culture24 CEO Jane Finnis joined hosts Charlie Stayt and Sally Nugent and enjoyed the VanGoYourself game, taking ‘selfies’ imitating famous art works
twinned image of a couple with a tambourine and wreath headdress

BBC Breakfast presenters Charlie and Sally recreate Two Women from Naples by Guillaume Bodinier. Image shared under a CC-BY-SA licence

  • The One Show promoted the programme off the back of an item with Arthur Smith at the Black Country Living Museum on Wednesday 14th May
  • Blue Peter did a piece with Museums at Night author Damian Dibben from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich on 15th May

Radio

  • On Radio 2 Chris Evans had Will Gompertz on the show to promote the festival, and Claudia Winkleman’s Arts Show ran a package with Andrew Graham-Dixon from the National Gallery
  • On Radio 3 The Verb commissioned writer Phil Smith to do a night time walk
  • On Radio 4 You and Yours
  • On BBC 6 Music, Lauren Laverne interviewed artist Fred Deakin about his event at The Wilson, Cheltenham
  • On BBC Radio Scotland, MacAuley and Co interviewed Will Gompertz
  • BBC Radio Wales Arts Show had an interview with Connect10 artist Janette Parris about her project at Cardiff Story Museum
  • There was also a significant amount of local radio coverage, including interviews with many participating museums and representatives from Culture24.

 

Nations and Regions

More than seven TV regions covered the weekend, either live or as a package on the Thursday or Friday 18.30 news.

Events at the Horniman Museum in London, the Wilson in Cheltenham, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Plymouth, Exeter Art Gallery, and one Sunderland museum sleepover were featured. News teams from Manchester, Southampton, Leeds and Hull also covered the event.

BBC Northern Ireland’s Arts Show produced a feature from the Titanic Museum, Belfast.

Each transmission also referred to the BBC2 show.

Online

The newly launched BBC Arts Online focused on Museums at Night over the weekend.

The homepage of Museums at Night coverage on BBC Arts

Martha Kearney picked up from Will Gompertz, continuing the broadcasting at 8pm after the BBC2 show. There was a complete live stream of Russell Maliphant’s ‘Second Breath’ with English National Ballet at the Imperial War Museum North.

The website also featured the ‘VanGoYourself’ project which encourages people to take a photograph of themselves as they restage well-known paintings. The Last Supper was re-staged with a group of dinner ladies in a Glasgow primary school.

Clips from the online coverage, including English National Ballet and Public Service Broadcasting, can still be seen on the BBC Arts Museums at Night page.

Rosie Clarke talks Museums at Night at Museums Showoff, 10 June

Museums Showoff, the cabaret-style night for all those who love museums, will be at the Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH at 7.30pm on June 10th.

Museums Showoff logo

And I’ll be talking as part of the evening: explaining how the Connect10 competition led to me spending Museums at Night falling into the sea at Swansea with artist Amy Sharrocks!

a line of people holding hands in the sea

Intrepid museum visitors enter the sea led by Amy Sharrocks

If you want to hear intriguing insights, get the low down on amazing projects and glean all the behind-the-scenes gossip, Museums Showoff is the show for you.

Whether it’s bizarre visitor feedback or the terrible fate of a Ken doll, a lifesaving Welsh dog or some fascinatingly underwhelming fossils, Museums Showoff explores a side of the UK’s world-renowned museums and collections not seen (for better or worse!) by the 40 million people who visit them every year.

Also among those taking to the stage for this extravaganza of wit and wisdom, objects and exhibitions will be curators from the Grant Museum and the Horniman Museum, the convenors of the Bad Text award, and the Roald Dahl Museum storytellers.

See the full line up and buy your tickets (only £7) at http://www.museumsshowoff.org.

All proceeds are going to Arts Emergency who offer mentoring, advice & support for 16-19 year olds from low income backgrounds who want to do an arts or humanities degree … just the kind of qualification you need to work in a museum!

This gig is suitable for people aged over 16 years old.

If you come along, do say hello to me afterwards!