Tag Archives: twitter

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!

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!

Museums at Night 2013 has begun!

After long anticipation Museums at Night has finally arrived! We are very excited to see some amazing pictures coming through on Twitter from people getting involved in events, exhibitions and performances across the UK.

Fantastic Owls at last nights Museums at Night event #MatN2013 Thank you to all who braved the weather! (c) Oxford Museum

Our own reporters have been racing across the country. Rosie Clarke spent last night in Lancashire, singing along with Susan Forsyth’s  Zusammen Choir while Amy Strike spent her Thursday night detecting bats at Hatchlands Park. Ben Miller, Nick Stockman and Sejul Malde visited the Horniman Museum to see rAndom International’s installation, and Ruth Hazard enjoyed an exclusive night behind the scenes at the Faber and Faber Archives.

light installation

The Horniman Museum

Tonight the Culture24 interns, along with Jack Shoulder will be dashing around the Grant Museum of Zoology for the UCL Treasure Hunt, while Richard Moss will be in the Brighton Toy and Model Museum examining trains.

Nick Stockman will be on the way up to Newcastle tomorrow to take part in Julia Vogl’s giant art installation, while Jane Finnis will be joining the Chapman Brothers at the Jerwood Gallery. Meanwhile, Anra Kennedy will be making a Great Escape to Brighton Museum, and Amy will be curled up in Brunel House’s Midnight Apothecary, recovering with a cocktail.

crafting

Creative mask making and papercraft at Tullie House last night at #MatN2013 @thecommonpeople

If you are looking for a Museums at Night event to go to there is still time!

You can find out more about the hundreds of events happening over the next two days here.

We look forward to hearing about your Museums at Night adventures!

Guest post: Antonia Grant describes Handel House Museum’s first Museums at Night event

Here at C24 Towers we’re delighted with this year’s BBC History Magazine Guide to Museums at Night: copies of the brochure should now have arrived at all participating venues. We’re dressing up smartly to head off to the Museums at Night launch at the Cutty Sark this evening, and will report back tomorrow!

Our latest guest post is by Antonia Grant from London’s Handel House Museum, who introduces their first ever Museums at Night event.

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Handel House Museum is located just a stone’s throw from Bond Street, tucked away on Brook Street. It offers the more intrepid tourist a historic haven to relax and have an intimate glimpse into the life and home of one of the world’s greatest composers, George Frideric Handel.

The museum, part of London Small Historic Houses, is built over two floors reflecting both the private and public persona of Handel, while intriguingly, over 300 years later another iconic composer and musician moved in next door, the legendary Jimi Hendrix. You couldn’t get a more musically fantastic cocktail!

An open harpsichord in the corner of a room with pictures on the wall.

A harpsichord on display at Handel House Museum (c) Matthew Hollow

Overcoming challenges – Hallelujah!

I was very excited at the prospect of Handel House taking part in this year’s Museums at Night for the first time. I’d run a similar event last year at Edinburgh University’s Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, which proved extremely popular, attracting a diverse audience. At Handel House, again, one of the main challenges was the space and accessibility.

Our idea is to have a series of activities taking place throughout the evening, centered on this year’s theme ‘Handel by Candle!’ We’ll be running candlelit tours and harpsichord recitals for small, intimate groups as well as offering free admission for visitors from 6:30 – 10pm.

Four poster bed and visitors.

Visitors viewing the bedroom at Handel House (c) Niusia Winczewski

A unique selling point

As part of the museum’s public events programme, a Baroque music concert takes place in the historic Rehearsal and Performance room. This is the very room Handel would have used to rehearse his next operas or oratorios to an invited audience and we keep this tradition alive every week.

By offering a concert during Museums at Night we hope to share this special space with a new audience. There will be an opportunity for our younger visitors to interact with the House on the evening too, with fun family trails and activity sheets and Georgian costumes to dress up in.

Publicity tips – from Baroque to Rock star!

As the evening will be open to families and adults, we’ll use a number of ways to reach out to both these groups. We will issue a press release to local and targeted newspapers and magazines, as well as adding the event on various family-friendly and event listings sites. Not forgetting social media: Facebook and Twitter are great ways to reach our audience and link with similar organisations and people.

We’ll build interest by revealing different elements of the evening – but not too much to spoil the surprise! And so as not to forget our already loyal audience, we will let them know about the event by including it in our season brochure and monthly e-newsletter.

Children in historic costume and wigs

Young visitors dressing up at Handel House Museum (c) Niusia Winczewski

As it will be the first time we’ve participated in the Museums at Night festival, we can’t wait to find out how it goes!

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A woman in a white jumper

Antonia Grant has worked at Handel House Museum for over a year as the Learning and Events Officer. She obtained a BA Degree in History and Classical Civilisation from University College Dublin followed by a MSc in History, Theory and Display from Edinburgh University.

Antonia is interested in making the arts as accessible as possible to a wide audience, and creating innovative and exciting learning programmes and events.

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Thanks, Antonia!

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 email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Tips on using Twitter: making the most of your tweets

Museums at Night intern Amy Strike has been using Twitter to market various events: here she shares her experiences and recommendations.

craft fair flyer design featuring a kitten in a hat

Flyer promoting the Fairytale Fair

A week of Tweeting

This week, I find myself working on a number of projects. Museums at Night is coming on apace, and the votes are flooding in for the Connect 10 competition. Outside of my work with Museums at Night, I am currently preparing to launch some of my own artwork at The Fairytale Fair. I’m also getting ready to exhibit my work at the 13 Women exhibition, and helping to organise the marketing of the event: it’s a busy week!

Naturally, this means tweeting. One of the things I have discovered from running my own business is that this particular form of social media marketing can be incredibly valuable in reaching target audiences and keeping your business and upcoming events in the forefront of people’s minds.

It’s also a great way of attracting an audience. For example, the 13 Women exhibition involves 26 artists, and most of the marketing for the exhibition is designed to convey the feel of the exhibition through one overall theme.

However, by using Twitter, I’ve been able to give each of the artists some individual promotion, so that in the lead-up to the event the people following our news feed have multiple opportunities to read fresh tweets about new and exciting artists. Meanwhile, the artists themselves are retweeting these messages, reaching a much wider audience.

Flyer design with white writing on a black background

13 Women exhibition flyer

When in doubt, tweet the weather

Having used Twitter for some time as a marketing tool, I enjoy the way that it can be used to give an impression of an event or project, and to keep up a steady flow of information.

The best kind of tweets, I have discovered, are those that ask something of the reader. People may not answer a question, but they do tend to remember them. Especially when they are topical:

“I’ve just finished a new piece of book art about winter ghosts. Is anyone else feeling the cold as much as me?”

This particular tweet got a few responses: there’s nothing like the weather to get people talking.

Latex or pet portraits?

It also helps to target tweets to a particular audience. In my case, an artist emerging from the fetish industry and using latex as a medium would need a different style of promotion to a pet portrait artist.

It’s also important to include the Twitter names, or @handles, of people and organisations you’re talking about, along with links to further information about whatever you’re promoting. And if you have pictures to share, these are great too!

Finally, a catchy tweet speaks a thousand words. Which is not to say that it is all right to wheel out some dreadful pun from the Dark Ages – if people are groaning I take that as a bad sign – but with only 140 characters to play with it’s useful to leave readers with something that rolls off the tongue.

Connect with us!

From the @MuseumsAtNight Twitter account, we’ll be tweeting about your events every working day from now until the festival kicks off in May, and retweeting your tweets about your event plans, so keep them coming!

Happy tweeting, and remember, the Museums at Night 2013 hashtag to use is #MatN2013.

Marketing update: making the most of Museums at Night

A group of people looking at a bookshelf in a historic library

Visitors at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire (c) National Trust Images / Paul Harris

Early publicity: a good example

Kelham Island Museum have been talking about their entry in the Connect10 competition on Twitter, where they attracted the attention of a local journalist. They quickly followed up this contact with a press release and a set of images, which has already lead to an article about their plans in the Postcode Gazette – congratulations!

This is a great example of how Museums at Night marketing works: we’ll be promoting the festival as a whole through targeted PR activity aimed at national and regional media, but there’s no substitute for doing your own local marketing as well, using all the channels available to you to get the word out!

Help us to promote you:

1) Register your Museums at Night events in our database as soon as possible, describing them to make them sound exciting!

2) Send us your publicity photos for our media image library.

3) Tell your local audiences and media what you’re planning – I’ll be reissuing an updated version of our Museums at Night PR Toolkit very soon to help you with this.

Spreading the word through Twitter

In addition to retweeting your tweets about your event plans, @MuseumsAtNight will be tweeting a different Museums at Night event highlight every working day from now until the festival kicks off in May.

The Museums at Night 2013 hashtag to use is #MatN2013.

Idea development – call us!

This week I spoke at a meeting of members of the Historic Houses Association about the benefits of taking part in Museums at Night, and particularly how the festival marketing campaign can help with audience development.

One of the key points I took away was that the kind of idea generation and marketing coaching I’ve been offering informally over the phone is very much appreciated, and probably something I should be talking about more!

So, if you’re considering running a Museums at Night event – if you’ve had a look at the Big List of inspiring event ideas, and our tips on audience development, and you’d like to talk through your plans, give me a call on 01273 623336. Let’s have a 15 minute brainstorming chat about making the most of your skills and resources, pitching the event to appeal to your target audience, and how you’re going to market it. Everyone who I’ve had these focused phonecalls with has found them useful – so please don’t feel shy about giving me a call.

And finally, a lot of our work around Museums at Night is about connecting museums, staff and volunteers through different networks; building capacity and sharing skills and learning from across the arts and heritage sector. With this in mind, it’s interesting to read the latest update from the Happy Museum Project.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Social media in museums

I was recently invited to talk about social media platforms to Sussex museum staff and volunteers at the Arts Council England / Museum Development Service training day “Doing Digital: Using Social Media in Museums“.

I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare an image-heavy presentation with lots of screenshots, so livened up these rather text-heavy slides and made the presentation more social (and Christmassy) by cracking open a Chocolate Orange and sharing segments with every audience member who called out a question, idea or case study.

An open chocolate orange

Chocolate orange segments are a great inducement to sharing and interaction! Image shared under a Creative Commons licence by Flickr user VerseVend

As always, the most interesting challenges were raised in the Q & A session afterwards!

Take a look at my slides for a whistle-stop tour through different social media channels and a few examples of how museums and galleries are using them:

This event also brought home to me the importance of local networks and learning from each others’ experiences: it’s immensely valuable to be able to compare notes about what’s working well and what you’re finding challenging with similar organisations in the same position.

My top recommendations for getting started with social media

If you’re not sure what terms like Twitter or RSS mean, I highly recommend watching the super-simple CommonCraft videos for step by step introductions to all kind of online services like Twitter and blogging: http://www.commoncraft.com/videolist

Set up free Google Alerts, and you’ll get a weekly email linking to any mentions of your museum that have been published online: this won’t send you all the press coverage you receive, but it can help track what bloggers and people using social media are saying about your organisation.

You’re not alone!

If you have any questions about how other arts and heritage venues are tackling projects, and would like the support of a great community of professionals, I recommend joining two mailing lists that both send out a daily digest of questions and answers:

1) GEM, the Group for Education in Museums
2) The MCG, the Museums Computer Group

Are there any essential social media resources or sources of support that are useful to you? Please let me know in the comments or via Twitter!