Tag Archives: posters

Guest post: Marketing case study from Rebecca Clay at the Museum of Army Flying

Our latest guest post is by Rebecca Clay from the Museum of Army Flying! Rebecca tells us a bit more about the museum’s plans for a late night behind-the-scenes tour of this very special venue…

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The Museum of Army Flying is a medium sized military museum between Andover and Salisbury. It houses a range of Army aircraft, and is a charitable trust that employs a close knit team of professionals to conserve and communicate its incredible collection.

Programming for specific audiences

This time last year, after being in post for about a month, it became obvious to me that two target audiences would benefit most from an events programme at the Museum of Army Flying: Family and Community and Traditional Culture Vultures.

I had experience of running evening and afternoon events in previous employment positions, and knew that if marketed correctly they could be incredibly successful and rewarding. With this in mind I planned a two year programme of events to tie in with anniversaries and seasonal occasions.

One of the events I really wanted to run was a Culture24 Museums at Night event, specifically a behind-the-scenes tour that would give the ‘die hard’ fans of the museum everything they could dream of.

Entitled ‘The Curator’s Cupboard’, I wanted this event to open up some of the unseen treasures of our collections, including items from World War One flying aces, a sure fire hit with our enthusiast audience.

A poster for an event with images of wartime aircraft

Poster promoting the Curator’s Cupboard Museums at Night event

Overcoming challenges and adding value

One challenge that we’ll face by running a behind-the-scenes, out-of-hours event is the restrictions that have to be placed on numbers. This, coupled with the costs of keeping the museum open after hours, means that we have to charge more than we have for our previous events.

However, this limitation actually had a positive effect for our team, as we plotted together how to make it bigger and better, heaping added value and once-in-a-lifetime experiences into the event to ensure that people weren’t frightened off by the price tag.

This included planning a series of mini-talks around the museum by veteran pilots and experts about the different aircraft we have on display. One of these will be about our experimental aircraft, which are super quirky and a definite crowd pleaser.

A unique selling point – “I’ve flown that one!”

A remarkable bit of good fortune struck when one of our volunteers mentioned he thought he had flown two of the aircraft on display in the museum. I stress that he had not only flown the aircraft type but the actual aircraft on display (he checked the tail numbers against his log book) so he can give visitors first hand knowledge about our aircraft during their working life.

blue helicopter

Army Helicopter

Publicity tips

To publicise the event I have gone all out – well, as all out as you can go without a budget! The press release has gone out and has already been featured in some of our local newspapers. I will also issue a photocall invitation to local press photographers, so the publicity will hopefully have a life even after the event takes place.

I also issue posters and leaflets for every event and send them to local libraries, museums and Tourist Information Centres. My top tip for getting radio coverage is to upload all your events onto the radio station’s calendar on their website; they’ll often mention them if they get a chance.

To say we are really looking forward to the event is an understatement – I often get more excited by our objects than the public!

Here’s to Museums at Night!

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smiling ladyRebecca Clay has worked at the Museum of Army Flying as Marketing and Audience Development for nearly a year. Previously she worked in Marketing and Project Officer roles for Creswell Crags in North Nottinghamshire (currently shortlisted for World Heritage Status).

Rebecca was awarded her CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing in 2010, and also has an Honours degree in Cultural Heritage from the University of Manchester. She is a self-professed geek interested in all things web, particularly WordPress websites and social media.

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Thanks, Rebecca! If you’re reading this and you have an interesting story to tell or case study to share about planning or marketing after-hours events at your arts or heritage venue, I’d love to publish your guest posts as well. Please get in touch at rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Museums at Night: only 7 days to go!

This time has come around so quickly – Nick, Beth and I are entering the most intense period of our year!

Firstly, it’s not too late to be part of Museums at Night. To register your event in Culture24′s database, log in here and add a new event, making sure to tick the box marked Museums at Night 2012.

Make sure to describe your event and your collections so that the whole evening sounds as rich and exciting as possible: what will visitors be able to experience, hear, touch, taste, smell? Will they be able to go back in time, or have the chance to try a new craft skill, or to watch a live performance unfold – or will they have the option of relaxing with a drink and watching the sunset? Paint a picture!

Any questions or problems with your event? Think you might have to cancel it? We need to know – please call me on 01273 623336 or email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Secondly, once you’ve registered your event you need to promote it to your local audience: now’s a great time to send your press releases out to local radio stations, for instance. Our PR Toolkit can help!

Download the PR Toolkit here as a Word document and here as a PDF.

It’s great that so many venues are sending out press releases and getting into local newspapers and radio – we’re also keen to hear any stories about creative ways you’re spreading the word about your Museums at Night events.

All the publicity we can get for Museums at Night at this stage is great: I spoke at Museums Showoff and was overwhelmed when my doubtful question “Who here has heard of Museums at Night?” was met with resounding cheers. Terence Eden has shared the videos of all the Museums Showoff speakers here – it was a wonderful night and I’d definitely recommend any blog readers to go along or even present at the next one!

As ever, we’d love to see examples of your printed publicity, both for our print archive and evaluation, and to showcase here on the blog.

Jessica Hartshorn from Rugby Art Gallery & Museum shared this fantastic poster design for their family-friendly Night at Your Museum extravaganza:

Bandaged mummy hands reach out to grab children in a dark museum

Finally, if you’re thinking of asking your visitors evaluation questions about their experience of your event, why not use our visitor survey? You can download the Museums at Night 2012 Visitor Survey questions here.

If you do use these questions, please share the results data with us so you can be part of the official festival evaluation.

Have a relaxing weekend, everybody – we’ll have more news and tips for you next week!

Free downloadable poster and flyer templates and logos to promote your Museums at Night 2012 event

It’s been good speaking to so many of you over the last week – don’t forget, if you’d like an author or a sleepover subsidy for your Museums at Night event, you have till 5pm this Friday to register your interest!

Several of you have also asked me for Museums at Night logos and publicity templates: it’s reassuring to know that you’re thinking of advertising your events in good time!

You’ll find these on the Resources for Venues page of this blog, but I’m reproducing them here as well, so please share this post with anyone in your marketing or communications team who might find the following resources useful:

Press release text

If you need a line of text introducing the festival as a whole for your press release boilerplate, feel free to use this:

Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. It is coordinated by Culture24, and takes place over the weekend of Friday 18th – Sunday 20th May 2012. www.museumsatnight.org.uk

Logo guidelines

You’re very welcome to download the campaign logos to use on your websites, print and e-newsletters to raise awareness of your participation in the festival.

The Museums at Night logo

It’s not compulsory, but if you’re using the logo we’d appreciate a link back to the public-facing home of the campaign, www.museumsatnight.org.uk.

JPEG logos

Museums at Night standard logo JPG
Museums at Night white on black logo JPG

EPS logos

Museums at Night standard logo EPS
Museums at Night white on black logo EPS

PNG logos

Museums at Night standard logo PNG
Museums at Night white on black logo PNG

Poster and flyer template guidelines

It’s completely free to download and customise these poster and flyer templates. My advice for designing print publicity is to keep it simple – a punchy event title, a compelling image and a line or two making your event sound exciting will usually do the trick.

Make sure to include the date, time and place of your event, the price, and contact details for further information / booking if necessary.

Finally, every year I showcase your posters on this blog to inspire other venues in creating their own publicity – so please email me (rosie@culture24.org.uk) images of your completed posters!

Microsoft Word, Open Office (doc)
A3 poster
A4 poster
A5 flyer front

Image files (jpg)
A3 poster
A4 poster
A5 flyer back
A5 flyer front

Adobe Photoshop (psd)
A3 poster
A4 poster
A5 flyer back
A5 flyer front

This year’s Museums at Night Flickr group is live!

We’re not running a Flickr competition for Museums at Night photos this year – the spirit of the campaign is about collaboration, not competition! However, there is a Museums at Night 2011 Flickr group here http://www.flickr.com/groups/museumsatnight2011/. Everyone who took photos of any Museums at Night events this year is warmly invited to click through and share their pictures: we’d like to use some of them to illustrate articles about this year’s campaign, and to promote Museums at Night in future.

Posters and surveys

Thanks to everyone who’s already posted their visitor survey forms back to us – and to Anson Engine Museum, who also sent us a copy of their A5-sized poster:

A colourful Museums at Night poster from Anson Engline Museum

Anson Engine Museum's promotional poster

In return, here’s the mini-poster I designed and put on display in our office building’s shared noticeboard. We share the building with a number of very technical companies, so I hoped that including a QR code might pique people’s interest. If you haven’t used QR codes before, the black and white pattern can be scanned by people with smartphones: it takes them through to a website, in this case the Museums at Night homepage. You can generate your own QR codes for free using websites such as http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

A poster advertising Museums at Night featuring a thrilling QR code

My own attempt at creating a Museums at Night poster, featuring a QR code

And the latest reason on my long, long list of Reasons I love working with museum and gallery folk – today I’d like to thank the four thoughtful people who, on trying to fill in our survey for venues who ran Museums at Night events, took the time to send me a polite email letting me know that one question didn’t quite make sense. You’re completely right – the logic of the question wasn’t set up correctly, but we’ve now made the change.

If you ran a Museums at Night event, we’re keen to find out how the experience was for you. How many visitors came along? What went well? How could we improve what we offer you next year? Please let us know by filling in our venue survey here.

Listen to Rosie ramble!

Here’s a link to my extended interview about Museums at Night with Paul Mex of Radio Reverb (my bit starts at 25:54). I was determined to stay on track and plug every single Museums at Night event in Sussex – but somehow we also ended up discussing James Brown, Motorhead and messages from beyond the grave. It was lots of fun chatting away and attempting to return to the key points I wanted to make!

Museums at Night fun with posters and flyers!

The Museums at Night excitement is mounting and our phones are ringing like crazy – and I’ve had a few enquiries about designing posters and flyers so thought I’d share some good examples from assorted venues.

We do provide poster and flyer templates: ours are very basic so you can customise them with your own text and images. You can download an A3 and A4 poster template, and the front and back of an A5 flyer, from our Museums at Night Resources page in various formats (JPG images, Word documents, Photoshop and Illustrator files).

A blank template of a Museums at Night 2011 poster

The blank Museums at Night poster and flyer template

A plain blank Museums at Night flyer back page template

The blank reverse side of a Museums at Night flyer template

If you’ve got your own poster design all lined up, but you’re after a Museums at Night logo, you can download them from the same page too. That link again: get your Museums at Night logo, poster and flyer downloads!

Here are some examples of the posters that participating venues have created and shared with us. Click on the images to see details of their events!

A poster advertising Museums at Night at Watford Museum

Watford Museum will come alive with music and outdoor animations

A poster advertising Epworth Old Rectory's Museums at Night event

Epworth Old Rectory are running candlelit tours of their historic building

A poster advertising the Churchill War Rooms Museums at Night event

The Churchill War Rooms are running a 1940s night

A poster advertising Explosion's Museums at Night sleepover

Explosion! the Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport are running a sleepover subsidised by Sky Arts

A poster advertising the Museum of Bath at Work's Museums at Night event

The Museum of Bath at Work are hosting a dance performance for Museums at Night

Wishing all the venues who are running events the very best of luck with your marketing and promotion!