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!

Guest post: Third time lucky for Felicia Smith of Arnos Vale Cemetery

Our latest guest post comes from Felicia Smith of Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol!

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Last year Arnos Vale Cemetery entered the Connect10 competition for museum venues to win an artist. We had no idea then that it would lead us on an adventure which will come to fruition in an art installation later this summer…

A tree and silhouetted historic buildings

Arnos Vale Cemetery trees at dusk

We had already had a taste of the possibilities of bringing contemporary art to the cemetery in 2012’s competition, so when Museums at Night rolled around in 2013, we couldn’t resist entering Connect10 again.

We were looking for an artist who could help us engage our visitors in a discussion around attitudes to death, remembrance and how cemeteries should look in the future. Julia Vogl is an artist who specialises in community artworks which pose thought-provoking questions to visitors. It seemed a perfect match and Arnos Vale was lucky enough to be shortlisted – a huge honour for such a small charitable trust as ours.

There were helpful benefits too: establishing our popular “Night at the Cemetery” after-dark tours which now run through the year (and again this May for Museums at Night); and the shortlisted prize money bought us new lanterns and torches for safe after-dark exploration.

Alas, we were pipped at the post in the public vote by the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, who hosted “Collect. Select. String & Hoist,” in May 2013. It was a major disappointment, as we had been looking forward to working with Julia.

a chandelier made of plastic bottles filled with coloured paper

“Collect. Select. String & Hoist.” Julia Vogl’s 2013 Museums at Night chandelier installation at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum

Imagine our surprise then, when Rosie from the Museums at Night team got in touch a few weeks after the 2013 festival to tell us that the feeling was mutual, that Julia had already worked out a detailed project she would have loved to create at Arnos Vale if we had won her, and had asked to be put in touch with us!

Since our first excited phonecalls and meeting last August, we have been collaborating to bring Julia’s work to Arnos Vale.

A key part of the challenge has been securing funding to support our shared vision for the piece. Here is where I take my hat off to Julia, who has led the way as an experienced professional artist used to applying for grant funding. She was brilliant at drawing together all the puzzle-pieces to realise our project idea: from meeting grant advisors and crunching budget numbers, to producing glorious illustrations for the compelling project application to the Arts Council England, awarded in April 2014.

A Victorian grave ornament

The grave ornament inspiring Julia Vogl’s installation at Arnos Vale Cemetery

We are now at the exciting development stage of the Future Memorial project, which will install a year-long participatory sculpture in the cemetery landscape from June 2014.

When we were looking for a way to publicly test the prototype for Julia’s sculpture, it seemed natural to return to where it all started – Museums at Night.

Reworked version of grave ornament containing colourful gumballs.

Artist’s impression of the Future Memorial by Julia Vogl, a veteran of participatory artworks.

The Future Memorial Artist Workshop on Thursday 15th May 2014 promises to bring Art, Death & Candy to the cemetery in a unique event using discussion and gumballs. Julia explains: “your input and voice is essential for this sculpture, come take part!” We’d love it if you could join us:

http://www.arnosvale.org.uk/search-events/eventdetail/439/-/future-memorial-artist-workshop

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Felicia profile picFelicia Smith, Public Engagement Manager, Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust
Felicia has worked in the heritage sector since 2004, working on three separate Heritage Lottery Funded projects (ss Great Britain; M Shed; Arnos Vale Cemetery) which involved development and delivery of capital build and interpretive brief elements in parallel and to tight timescales and budgets.

Since 2010 she has led development of the Public Engagement programme at Arnos Vale Cemetery, including public events, collaborative partnerships and advising other historic cemetery projects.

She has a postgraduate certificate in Museum & Gallery studies (University of St Andrews, 2009), is involved in a number of professional museum bodies and is currently working towards an Associateship of the Museums Association (AMA).

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Thanks, Felicia!

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.

 

Guest post: Nerys Williams on celebrating toilets at Gladstone Pottery Museum

Today’s guest blog post comes from Nerys Williams, Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums, based at Gladstone Pottery, who tells us why toilets are the unsung heroes of the modern world!


Toilets: the unsung heroes of the modern world. Unappreciated, sniggered at and quite literally … well let’s not go into what we do upon them, this is Culture24 after all.

A young visitor sits on some large toilet rolls in Flushed with Pride - you stick your hands in them to find things which have been used as toilet paper over the years.

A young visitor sits on some large toilet rolls in Flushed with Pride – you stick your hands in them to find things which have been used as toilet paper over the years.

Here at Gladstone Pottery Museum we think loos should be celebrated and recognised as the sanitary ware superheroes they actually are. They played a huge role in making ‘The Potteries’, but are eclipsed by the more palatable tableware we think of as establishing Stoke-on-Trent as ceramics central.

Toilets save lives literally every day and if you’d like to find out more about how please take a look at http://www.wateraid.org/uk - amazingly, one in three people in the world don’t have one.

At Gladstone we have hundreds: early ones, see-through ones, colourful ones, flowery ones, amazing Victorian painted ones, a Crapper, a Hartington flushing one similar to the one used by Elizabeth I and more. Our ‘Flushed with Pride’ section is chock full of toilet history and entertains and educates with more than an occasional nod to toilet humour.

Taking part in Museums at Night

Crowds gather on the cobbles for beer festival as part of the inaugural Gladstone Gig, December 2013

Crowds gather on the cobbles for beer festival as part of the inaugural Gladstone Gig, December 2013

Buoyed up by our initial foray into Museums at Night last year we’ve quite got into this after-dark malarkey, with our splendid Beer Festivals and out pants-wettingly brilliant inaugural Gladstone Gig last December bringing a new lease of life to our cobbled courtyard.

A partnership opportunity

When I heard that those funny Modern Toss people were up to toilet related shenanigans for Museums at Night it would have been rude not to take part. An exhibition of their prints in OUR toilets was just too good to miss.

It includes the Periodic Table of Swearing, which anyone who has developed workplace Tourette’s due to council cuts needs a copy of. (Number 91 is my current favourite).

‘Toilets by Twilight’

The chance to display Modern Toss’ Cistern Chapel exhibition was just too good to miss, so after a few hasty discussions to check what I was planning wasn’t too silly, here we are. A week from now, we’ll be hosting ‘Toilets by Twilight’, an all out loo extravaganza. Visitors can wander around our fabulous ‘Flushed with Pride’ building – the only permanent exhibition to the humble loo in the world, whilst enjoying some slightly-better-than-average wine.

Gladstone Pottery at dusk

Gladstone Pottery at dusk

There’ll be the chance to quiz a toilet expert – for yes, in my role I have access to these people! When you feel the need to ‘go’ you can do so in one of the best appointed facilities around – our visitor toilet has not only the commonplace pan but a urinal and a ‘Lady P’ female urinal, and the walls will be adorned by the edgy (and very funny) prints Modern Toss are providing.

To top it all off we’ll be showing ‘Carry On At Your Convenience’, simply because it would daft not to and there’s always room for a nudge and a wink!

Tickets are £5 and available by calling 01782 237777, and we welcome you to come in 1970s fancy dress if you dare, to celebrate the fact that we became a museum 40 years ago this summer.

Please come along – and if you can’t please consider this next time you spend a penny: http://www.toilettwinning.org/


Nerys Williams, Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums.
Nerys Williams, Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums.

Nerys Williams says, “I am the Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums, based at Gladstone Pottery Museum, a preserved Victorian pottery factory in Longton. A fancy title, but my job is to get bums on seats (or feet on cobbles, in our case) and I love it. Organising events that put our museum in the heart of our community as a fun and interesting place to be is a challenge, but fantastic when it works!”

You can follow Gladstone Pottery Museum on Facebook here and follow Nerys Williams on Twitter  @NerysWilliams.


Thank you, Nerys!

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.

Last minute London pop-up museum opportunity

There are just two weeks to go till Museums at Night 2014 kicks off!

We have a last-minute exciting promotional opportunity which could be right for your organisation, if you’re willing to lend out collection objects for half a day, and able to act quickly!

Do you fancy furnishing a pop-up museum in a fancy hotel room in central London for a photoshoot before Museums at Night?

Get involved in a great PR opportunity with all the costs covered: we’re aiming to shoot this on Monday 12 May and for the images to be shared widely over the following few days.

This could be a great last-minute chance to raise awareness of your collections ahead of the festival, whether or not you’re planning to open late.

If you’re interested, please call Nick Stockman on 01273 623279 or email nick@culture24.org.uk as soon as possible.

We’re here to help!

This opportunity not quite right for you? No worries: whether or not you’re in London, it’s not too late to register a Museums at Night event, do a marketing push or call us if there’s anything you’re not certain about.

We only released the Museums at Night poster files as downloads yesterday, and already venues are turning around lovely publicity such as this new flyer from Gladstone’s Library in North Wales promoting their Museums at Night author talks.

A flyer to promote Gladstone Library's Museums at Night event

Museums at Night 2014 printable posters

Thanks to everyone for admiring the beautiful front cover design on our Museums at Night brochures this year!

A Museums at Night poster with a girl shining a torch in a museum

We’re happy to share the design with you as a printable poster – you can download the picture in landscape or portrait format and print it out to display.

Landscape Museums at Night 2014 poster (JPG, 4MB)

Portrait Museums at Night 2014 poster (JPG, 4MB)

I shared these links in yesterday’s email newsletter and have since had feedback from several people, particularly from local authority museums, who’ve had difficulty in downloading the files.

If you’re blocked from downloading the posters via these links, please drop me a line (rosie@culture24.org.uk) and I’ll send you a Dropbox link to the files.

Oh yes, and if you’re not receiving our regular email newsletters, full of marketing and promotional opportunities  you may like to take advantage of, you can sign up for them here: http://eepurl.com/ssLn

Visitor surveys for Museums at Night 2014 evaluation

With just over two weeks to go until the Museums at Night festival, we’re keen to capture visitor feedback at events.

a group of people around tables at an outdoor museum

Visitors prepare to enjoy a hog roast in the grounds of Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum (image courtesy of the museum)

We’ve selected a range of venues to put out our usual paper visitor survey forms during their Museums at Night event, for visitors to fill out in person.

We’re also trialling the use of flyers at some venues, which ask visitors to fill in the survey online – and we’re asking some venues to use both paper forms and flyers.

The same prizes, included a limited-edition signed print from Modern Toss, can be won by visitors who fill in the surveys online and on paper – we’re interested to see whether the way we ask them for feedback makes a difference to the number of responses we get!

We have already contacted everyone at our target survey venues, but if you’re reading this and you would like to survey the visitors at your Museums at Night events, you’re very welcome to download and use our visitor survey forms:

Download the Museums at Night visitor survey form in English (2 page Word doc)

Download the Museums at Night visitor survey form in Welsh (2 page Word doc)

If you use these forms, please post the completed forms back to the Culture24 office by Friday 30 May and we will process the data for you. The address to use is:

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