Tag Archives: Behind the Scenes

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!

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