Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Twitter hashtag for Museums at Night 2012 is #MatN2012

Glancing at the stats for the Museums at Night blog, I see that several people have come here hoping to find out about the Twitter hashtag for this year’s campaign. So I thought I’d answer the question publicly! To write any Tweets about Museums at Night this year, or if you’d like to see what other people are saying about the campaign, please use the hashtag #MatN2012.

In addition to our very popular public-facing @Culture24 Twitter account, which now has over 12,000 followers, this year I’m using the campaign-specific @MuseumsAtNight Twitter account to share quick links and updates from my work on the campaign, and to answer any questions you may have about participating. Feel free to follow us and get in touch!

Connecting with the wonderful world of Museums at Night is almost as exciting as voyaging across Bompas & Parr's Courvoisier Lake of cocktails. Intrigued? They're taking part in Connect10... Image (c) Barney Steel

Of course, you can always reach me by emailing or by giving me a call on 01273 623336: if you’re interested in learning more or discussing any aspect of participating in this year’s Museums at Night excitement, now is a great time to make contact.

Introducing new Museums at Night intern Beth Hogben

My name is Beth, I’m a new intern with Culture24 for Museums at Night and will be working specifically on the Connect10 project.

photo of woman in front of mural

Beth Hogben

I’m studying Tourism Management and Planning at Bournemouth University with a specific focus on heritage tourism. I’m particularly interested in how heritage venues find innovative ways to attract new audiences and so am very excited about having the opportunity to work behind the scenes on Museums at Night.

I recently completed a seven-month work placement with Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust where I helped to coordinate Heritage Open Days in Norwich.

Before starting my Masters I spent a blissful year travelling in China, South East Asia and Australasia where I was lucky enough to visit many heritage attractions. One of the highlights of my trip was spending four weeks volunteering for the Orang-utan Foundation in Borneo.

Closer to home, I am a huge fan of all things maritime and am from Kent, so one of my favourite heritage sites has to be the Historic Dockyard in Chatham.

I look forward to working with all of you over the coming months!

Can we charge for tickets to our Museums at Night event?

A couple of venues have got in touch with me recently, saying that they’d like to stage a Museums at Night event, but are concerned that they won’t cover their costs.

Yes, you can charge for tickets!

Fear not: it’s OK to charge for tickets to your event. Last year, 48% of Museums at Night venues charged for tickets, while 52% ran events that were free to visitors.

A group of visitors watch a Roman lady in a toga and wig holding a pot of makeup

Visitors flock to the Roman Baths for a makeup lesson with a Roman lady. Image courtesy of the Roman Baths, Bath

Affordable tickets attract visitors

The idea behind the Museums at Night campaign is to attract new visitors to discover all the exciting arts and heritage attractions on their doorstep.

Because you’re trying to draw in people who don’t necessarily know what to expect at your museum, gallery or historic house (and perhaps you have specific target audiences you want to appeal to), we suggest that you price your tickets reasonably: a high admission fee can deter passers-by from stepping through your doors.

Local knowledge

You know your local audiences far better than we do, so you’ll probably already have a good idea of what your target audience will be willing to pay.

Explain the value!

Whether or not you decide to charge for admission to your event, when you register your Museums at Night event details in the Culture24 database, you need to write the Event Description persuasively: make your event and venue sound exciting enough to get people off their sofas, out of their houses and through your doors!

Describe whatever will be on offer as something special: particularly if people will be paying money to experience it, it’s important to communicate that they’ll receive value for money.

Will there be access to artefacts or rooms that aren’t usually on display? Is there going to be a special talk, tour, or opportunity to get hands-on led by an expert? Will visitors be able to see objects or artworks from your collection? That’s great – so how about describing some of the key pieces that will be on show?

Little extras

If you’re running a show, a screening, or showcasing live music, you may like to throw in something extra that adds to the perceived added value, e.g. free popcorn or a free glass of wine or soft drink included in the price of an entrance ticket.

Don’t forget, people who’ve paid for admission may extend their visit for longer than usual in order to feel that they get their money’s worth.

If you have a cafe, will it be open so they can sit down with a cup of tea? Homemade cake can also be very alluring … just let your potential visitors know that food will be available!

Offering more? Shout about it!

If you decide to partner with other local organisations (e.g. Dorchester’s museums sell family tickets which include entry to all their venues, plus a discount on meals in local restaurants), be sure to promote the offer. Visitors need to know about this before your event starts, to help them plan their evening.

Will charging affect whether my Museums at Night event appears on the BBC Things To Do website?

Yes, sometimes.

If your venue is part of our BBC partnership ( and you think that your Museums at Night event counts as an activity to be fed through onto the BBC website, it must be:

a) A hands-on activity

b) The activity must fit in with a BBC project theme, e.g. art, history, nature. See the BBC Things to Do website for full details:

c) The activity must be free or cost recovery (after admission)

If you have any questions about becoming a BBC partner, contact Conrad Westmaas at

Flexible family tickets

The charity Kids in Museums ( has produced a guide to pricing flexible family tickets, which may be useful: you can find out more here

Are there any other questions you’d like answered on the blog? Feel free to ask me in the comments, or email

Can I take part in Museums at Night?

It’s great to see so much interest in Connect10, our new competition to win an artist-led Museums at Night event at your venue, together with a share of funding. (Didn’t get the message? Sign up for our mailing list here and you’ll be the first to get news about partnerships, funding and promotional opportunities!)

a photo of two children eating melting icecreams by the seaside

England. New Brighton. From 'The Last Resort'. 1983-1985. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos.

In answer to a good question we’ve been asked: no, you don’t need to be from an accredited museum in order to take part in Connect10 or Museums at Night.

Connect10 is open to any non-commercial, public-facing cultural or heritage venue in the UK: this doesn’t just mean museums or galleries! Our database also includes libraries, archives, heritage sites, architecture centres, science centres, planetariums and environment centres.

In order to be considered to take part in the competition your venue needs a listing in Culture24’s DDE system. You must also agree to update and refresh your venue and event records in our database. Apart from this, there are no restrictions on participation.

If you aren’t already on our database, simply fill in this form:

If your venue is on the Culture24 database, but you don’t have a username, you can get one here:

If you’re already signed up to use our database, log in using the link below to get your listings, events and other resources on to Culture24 and our partner websites:

Got a question we haven’t answered yet? Either leave us a comment, drop me an email at or give us a call on 01273 623336.