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!

Museums at Night: your next steps!

Wow, we’re still reeling from the terrific impact that this year’s Museums at Night festival had – now it’s time to assess that. Here’s how you can help!

People sitting outdoors under bunting listening to a band

Listening to the band at Beamish Open Air Museum. Photo shared by Beamish Museum on Instagram

Venue Survey

If you ran a Museums at Night event, please take 5 minutes to tell us how many visitors came, what worked well and what you think we could improve for next year by filling in our Venue Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FMBHLNG

Visitor Survey

If you visited a Museums at Night event, we’d really like your feedback on it! Please take a few minutes to fill in our Visitor Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VH5RH2C

Printed forms

If you put out printed visitor survey forms during your Museums at Night event, please post the completed ones back to me:

Rosie Clarke
Culture24
Office 4, 28 Kensington St
Brighton
BN1 4AJ

Next year’s dates for your diary

Museums at Night next year will run from Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 May 2015, so please put the dates in your calendar now!

Museums at Night coverage this weekend

Museums at Night 2014 is here!

All the event listings and lots of features about the festival are on our homepage, www.museumsatnight.org.uk.

There’s a phenomenal amount of media coverage of the festival planned: yesterday comedian Arthur Smith reported from the Black Country Living Museum for the One Show, and this evening author Damian Dibben appeared on Blue Peter discussing his Museums at Night event at Guildford Castle.

On Saturday morning Culture24’s CEO Jane Finnis will be sharing our new art-selfie game VanGoYourself on the BBC Breakfast Show!

a couple recreate a painting of a kiss

Idyll by Lawrence Koe, VanGo’d by Maria and Kelly (image shared under a CC BY SA licence)

We’re all over local and regional radio and television – and Connect10 artist Fred Deakin had a great chat with Lauren Laverne on her 6Music show ahead of his Scribble Jam at the Wilson:

However, the big show that we’re most excited about is this:

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

BBC’s Arts Editor Will Gompertz will present an hour-long programme about Museums at Night from the National Museum of Scotland on Saturday 17 May, 7pm on BBC Two featuring festival venues across the UK, from the National Gallery to the Museum of Witchcraft.

Watch the trailer here.

BBC Arts Online is also be following Museums at Night at www.bbc.co.uk/arts, culminating in a ballet live stream from Imperial War Museum North beginning at 6.30pm on May 17th.

We hope to see you at an event – do share your photos with the hashtag #MatN2014!

Museums at Night 2014 Instagram competition

Every year, we love to see photos of people having a great time at Museums at Night events.

In the past, we’ve invited venues and visitors to add photos into a Flickr group, but as fewer people are using Flickr now, we’re moving over to the more popular Instagram and Twitter.

A photo of the Museums at Night 2014 brochure front cover

A photo of the Museums at Night brochure, courtesy of Instagram user ribenabenaberryme

We’re looking for shots of individuals and groups having a great time inside or outside Museums at Night venues – which range from museums, galleries, libraries and historic houses to unusual heritage sites like cemeteries, air raid shelters, gasworks and ships.

We’ve asked everyone taking photos to make sure that photography is allowed at the venue they’re visiting.

If you want to share photos of happy visitors to your events which include children, please make sure that you have their parents’ permission first.

To take part, simply share your photos in Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MatN2014, or email them to rosie@culture24.org.uk by 5pm on Friday May 23.  

We’ll showcase the best photos on the Culture24 and Museums at Night websites!

3 days to go: 9 top event marketing tips

Here are some top tips for all venues trying to promote Museums at Night events: these are all simple mistakes we have seen in the last few days, which you should avoid!

1) Does your own website have a listing for your Museums at Night event?

If any details of your event have changed, have you updated them on your site? It sounds obvious but at the very least you need to list the date, event times and ticket price, along with contact details for potential visitors to make a booking or find out more.

2) Is your Museums at Night event listing registered in Culture24’s database?

Simply use the search widget here to double check that we’ve got your listing: www.museumsatnight.org.uk.

The Museums at Night event search widget

3) Most importantly, if we don’t have your event listing, please register it ASAP, or you’ll miss out on all of our regional marketing; and neither the public nor the media will know that there’s an event taking place in their area. Here’s how to register your Museums at Night event.

4) Is your listing correct?

If details of your event listing have changed, please log in here and update your event record: http://update.culture24.org.uk/dashboard - the changes will be visible the next time we publish the site, which usually happens twice a day.

If your event is fully booked, please update the listing to show this so you don’t have to turn people away on the night.

5) Chase your local media

If you’ve already sent press releases, that’s great – but now’s the time to follow up with a phone call. Your local newspapers and radio stations are looking for content – so could you offer them an interview and photos about the Museums at Night excitement you’re planning?

Will they be sending a reporter or photographer along on the night? Phone them now to find out!

6) Use your social media channels

Reach out to your followers on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, Instagram and any other social media channels you use. Share your excitement as you get ready – we’re already seeing some great behind-the-scenes photos and teasers, like this:

Winding house character

However, in your messages, be sure to include a link to your event listing online, or to the site where people can find out more and book tickets. Rather than just broadcasting, if you want your followers to take action, make it easy for them by giving them a link to click rather than forcing them to Google for more details.

Don’t forget, the Twitter hashtag for Museums at Night 2013 is #MatN2014 – if you use it, we’ll retweet you.

7) Send an email about your event

Send a quick newsflash reminder to your mailing list about your Museums at Night event – this is their last chance to book tickets! Bonus points if you have a good image to include.

8) Guerrilla marketing on the night

Hopefully you’ve already distributed posters, flyers and leaflets around your area – if not, there are customisable poster and flyer templates here and printable posters here.

Landscape Text1 500

However, you’ll want to attract new audiences on the night too – but if you don’t have enough staff to stand outside welcoming potential visitors, how can you grab their attention?

Good signage can make a big difference: if your venue’s on a side street that doesn’t get much passing traffic, use pop-up A-frame signs to catch people’s eye.

Don’t have signs? Simply chalk on the pavements! During Museums at Night over the last couple of years, several venues chalked a trail of arrows to direct passers-by to their front doors, and were delighted to report that this drew in curious new visitors.

9) Keep us updated!

If your tickets are selling slowly or quickly, if you may have to cancel or if your event’s now fully booked, please update us! Call 01273 623336, email rosie@culture24.org.uk or tweet@MuseumsAtNight.

And for bonus points:

If you’re not running an event at your venue, you can still support the festival!

a) Why not share a link with your social media followers to a Museums at Night event in your area they night like to go to? The hashtag is #MatN2014.

b) If you’re free during the evening on Thursday 15, Friday 16 or Saturday 17, why not pop along to a Museums at Night event with your friends or family?

c) Tune in to the BBC coverage of Museums at Night – there’s an hour-long show on BBC2 at 7pm on Saturday, and even more coverage online at www.bbc.co.uk/arts.

Best of luck – this will be a fabulous few days!