Tag Archives: photography

Excellent Museums at Night publicity photos

Hello again, it’s Holly the intern here!

I’ve had a very busy couple of days playing with a spreadsheet which has details of all of your lovely Museums at Night events. I’ve called a lot of participating museums, asking you all to send me photos of previous after-hours events that Culture24 can use to publicize the Museums at Night festival.

We’ve received an abundance of emails with some really amazing photos, and we wanted to share some of the best with you.

Because the festival is Museums at Night, we need pictures taken at night, or at least dusk. This example from Lewes Castle is excellent as it shows the castle at dusk, with a volunteer in period dress holding a dramatic blazing torch as he looks over the castle walls – giving a good impression of what it would be like to visit their venue.

Soldier on castle ramparts holding blazing torch at dusk

Soldier on the ramparts of Lewes Castle.

So what could be better than a lovely night time picture of your museum and its surroundings? Well, a picture of visitors interacting with your collection of course!

This picture from Canterbury Museums, who are running an event called Owls, Lanterns and Moonlit Landscapes, where stories come alive inspired by their collection of paintings and objects, represents this well as the boys in the image are actively partaking in the activity and all look engaged as they pick up the pieces of pottery.

Children playing with pieces of pottery

Children enjoying the hands on area. (c) Canterbury Museums.

Now they say “Never work with children or animals,” but family events are always popular at Museums at Night, so many museums have sent us pictures of previous events aimed at children.

Some excellent examples have come from John Rylands Library in Manchester who are holding a Doctor Who sleepover again this year. Their pictures show children who are in their fancy dress costumes, laughing and having fun, while showing off the historic setting of the library building.

Children in costumes of historic building

Children in Doctor Who costumes (c) John Rylands Library

Many other venues also ignore this saying by running events that make a feature of the animal kingdom – this year there are several nature walks taking place at museums across the country such as Killhope Lead Mining MuseumKnebworth House or Prestongrange Museum.

But Museums at Night isn’t just for kids! This picture shows mature visitors enjoying themselves at Arlington Court, who are running a Victorian Dinner Party this year. This lady is genuinely laughing and having a great time: looking at this picture, I’d love to be there!

Woman in a wheelchair with several other people standing

Visitors at Arlington Court enjoying the activities.

We are also looking for images of events that may not normally happen in museums such as this glamorous night out organised by the Museum of Soho.

Woman in masquerade mask.

Woman in masquerade mask at the Museum of Soho.

So having read this, you must be wondering if it’s too late to send us your photos. And the answer is of course not! We still want your photos to add to our media image library to publicize the festival.

Please send us pictures that

  • Are in focus
  • Are high resolution (at least 300 dpi)
  • Feature interested-looking visitors having a good time at your venue, with their faces visible
  • Are taken at sunset, at night, or at least out of direct sunlight.

Please send your images to rosie@culture24.org.uk and we’ll work our magic to spread them to the wider world!

Call for images, #MatN2013 Twitter hashtag and 11 February publicity deadline

It’s great to see so many venues registering their Museums at Night events in our database – remember, we can’t start promoting what you’re doing until we know about it!

The first deadline to register your Museums at Night events in Culture24’s DDE database  is Monday 11 February 2013 – if you can add your event listing by this date, it will be considered for inclusion in this year’s BBC History Magazine Guide to Museums at Night, our printed brochure.

It will also be included in our big PR push out to long lead glossy magazines – so now is a great time to confirm your plans so as to take maximum advantage of our marketing work!

If you know what you’ll be doing, please log in to your Culture24 account here and add the new event listing, making sure to open the Programmes option and tick the box marked Museums at Night 2013.

screenshot demonstrating how to open and select the Museums at Night 2013 tickbox

Do describe your event making it sound as compelling as possible – what makes it unique, why is it unmissable, and what will visitors be able to experience if they come along?

If you haven’t yet confirmed your plans, but know that you’ll be doing something, you can log in and add as much detail as you can to your event listing as normal, but change the event status from Confirmed to Planning. This means that the Culture24 team will be able to see it and mention it in publicity, but it won’t be visible to the public until you log back in and switch the status to Confirmed.

screenshot showing how to change an event's status from Confirmed to Planning

Making the most of our marketing opportunities – send us your photos!

Our PR campaign is built around the stories and images from your events: the stronger these are, the more media interest and coverage the festival will get. So, please send us your photographs so that we can create the most eye-catching publicity material possible!

We need images that are high-resolution – at least 300dpi – and ideally which are taken at sunset, dusk or night-time. The pictures could be of the outside or inside of your venue, but should ideally involve interested people having a great time interacting with objects, collections or exhibitions at your venue.

A group of visitors snihing torches around an industrial water tank in the dark

An example of a good photo: visitors smiling as they discover Geevor Tin Mine in a new light (c) Bernie Pettersen

The sort of pictures which the media are most likely to be use involve people – cute kids are always good if your event is designed to appeal to a families; or if you’re going for more of a grown-up, aspirational audience, shots of glamorous people discovering your space with a glass of wine in hand may help set the tone.

Remember to ask parents’ permission before photographing children.

The images we receive which capture the spirit of the weekend could be featured in:

  • local, regional and national press coverage
  • the Culture24 website and Facebook page
  • this blog
  • BBC History Magazine’s printed Guide to Museums at Night
  • in presentations given by Culture24 staff
  • and in many of the other ways we promote Museums at Night events

Please email your images, and any photographers’ credits or copyright info, to me: rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Twitter hashtag #MatN2013

And finally, if you’re tweeting about your events, the official hashtag for this year’s festival is #MatN2013 – do include it, and we’ll retweet you!

Guest post: Signe Troost on social media at Amsterdam’s N8 Museumnacht

Our former Museums at Night intern Signe Troost is part of the blogging team at Amsterdam’s Museumnacht, N8. In our latest guest post, she shares her experiences as part of the social media team during their big night: if your town or city is running a cluster of events for Museums at Night 2013, these ideas could be useful!


One night.

50 venues.

250 events.

Museum Night Amsterdam 2012 (N8) was spectacular and magical in many ways!

NEMO, the Amsterdam Science Centre, held an event focusing on sustainability and recycling which culminated in a silent disco.

As a N8 blogger, I was asked to join the Social Media team: the whole idea was set up by our community manager, Sezayi.

The Social Media team’s mission

25 museums had Live Stream screens up during the night, showing all the #museumnacht tweets and the tweets with their own hash tag. The Social Media team made sure the stream kept on going with tweets, re-tweets and pictures.

Women dressed like 1940s pinup Bettie Page

Dressing up to the nines for Bettie Page night at the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum (c) De Fotomeisjes

All the venues were covered, because each member of the Social Media team was asked which venues he/she was planning to visit. I visited about 10 venues, which is a lot, because a very nice guy with a scooter was kind enough to drive me around the city that night!

What should you tweet?

The members of the Social Media team were asked to live-tweet from every venue we visited. Information about any queues, descriptions of the atmosphere and reviews of the events were really useful, because they helped potential visitors decide where to go next.

Dancers wearing costumes from the early nineteenth century in a historic house at night

Don’t miss this! Historic dancing in costume at the Geelvinck-Hinlopen Huis (c) Maarten Jüngen

N8 is a platform for all museums in Amsterdam, and each museum puts money, time and effort into creating its Museum Night events. As a blogger and part of the Social Media team I had to keep this in mind.

Tweets with a negative tone of voice are no use to anyone, because they can put people off the idea of going to a particular venue, and threaten the success of ongoing events there.

The solution: if a museum seems empty, or the activity doesn’t turn out to be as much fun as it sounded, you can tweet something like ‘Plenty of space here, come down to the X museum and get this party started!’ 

A man and a woman in front of multi-coloured diagonal stripes

A couple share a quiet moment at the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art (c) Roderick Nijenhuis

Useful apps

Two very useful apps for the Social Media team were Moby and Tweetdeck: our manager made sure we could all log in to these using the official N8 account.

Tweetdeck was great for posting messages to Twitter, while allowing us to keep track of what other people were writing about N8 so we could respond to them if necessary.

Two girls sticking post-it notes with writing on to an art installation shaped like a horse

Visitors add their comments to an interactive artwork at the Allard Pierson Museum (c) Maarten Nauw

Moby came in handy to shoot pictures and share them immediately – and we asked visitors to share their pictures of the night with Moby, too. All the tweets and pictures are gathered together on the N8 website – take a look, because it looks really cool!

Atmospheric descriptions

I’d never used Moby before that night and I have to admit, I didn’t really have time to figure it out. So I mostly tweeted descriptively, trying to convey the ambience of the museums I went to.  This led to some interesting discussions about the empty buildings in the Amsterdam Architecture Centre, and the magical atmosphere in the Portuguese Synagogue which was lit up by a thousand candles.

Musicians play to a large audience in a historic synagogue lit only by glowing candles

Violinists play for a hushed crowd as part of a candlelit concert at the Portuguese Synagogue (c) Coockie Manella

It was great to contribute to the endless stream of tweets and share everything that I saw, did and felt with other N8-goers.

Uniting Amsterdam’s museums

The fact that half of the participating venues had Live Streams up and running is amazing, because it means that our museums are not only embracing the possibilities of social media, but visibly experienced its benefits.

Social media provides a new way of connecting heritage venues and collections with their audiences, and, as N8 proved, it also established a bond between all the museums in Amsterdam.

A smiling woman with auburn hairSigne Troost is a Cultural Heritage graduate and blogs for Museum Night Amsterdam. She is currently doing an internship at the Art Committee of the Dutch Ministry of Finance, but hopes to be a museum director by the time she is fifty.


Thanks, Signe!

If you’re reading this and you’ve got something to say about any aspect of audience development, after-hours event planning or marketing for arts and heritage venues, I’d love to publish your guest posts too. Drop me an email at rosie@culture24.org.uk.

1 day to go till Museums at Night: final top tips!

Museums at Night starts tomorrow, and we’re already very excited! Here are our final top tips for participating venues.

What to do NOW

1) Follow up on your press releases now – make sure that local newspapers, radio and bloggers all know about your event.

2) If you still have posters, flyers or brochures, distribute them now!

3) Use your website, Twitter and Facebook channels to remind your followers about your event. Remember to link to your event listing so people can find out more. @MuseumsAtNight will retweet you – and #MatN2012 is the hashtag.

4) Make sure your staff and volunteers are all prepared for your event: double check that you have all the resources you need.

5) Want your event to be part of the festival evaluation? Please print and use these visitor survey forms, and email us the data you gather – or direct your visitors to the Museums at Night online visitor survey here.

What to do on the night of your event

1) To attract potential visitors walking by on the night, put up an A board with directions – or go guerrilla and chalk on the pavement!

2) Take lots of photos of visitors having a good time: these are very useful for publicity in future. When taking photos of kids, get their parents’ permission.

3) Count the number of visitors who attend your event – we’ll be asking you for these figures!

A cartoon about Museums at Night

Museums at Night can be exhausting (c) Modern Toss

What to do after your event

1) Share your photos of the night, via your own website and social media channels. If you have really stunning shots, see if your local paper will run a follow-up story.

Please also share your photos into the Museums at Night 2012 Flickr group, using the Flickr hashtag #museumsatnight.

2) Collate your visitor survey results into a spreadsheet, ready to send to rosie@culture24.org.uk.

3) Put your feet up with a well-deserved slice of cake!

Best wishes to you all – and as usual, if you have any questions or problems please contact rosie@culture24.org.uk or email 01273 623336.

Send us your Museums at Night photos for maximum publicity!

Eye-catching, enticing images of people discovering the fun and excitement of Museums at Night hugely increase the impact of our PR campaign – meaning that more people will want to come to events in this year!

two girls dining in museum

Late Night Dining in the Victoria and Albert Museum

Our PR campaign is built around the stories and images from your events: the stronger these are, the more media interest and coverage the festival will get. So, please send us your photographs so that we can create the most eye-catching publicity material possible!

We need images that are high-resolution – at least 300dpi – and ideally which are taken at sunset, dusk or night-time. The pictures could be of the outside or inside of your venue, but should ideally involve interested people having a great time interacting with objects, collections or exhibitions at your venue.

Remember to ask parents’ permission before photographing children.

The images we receive which capture the spirit of the weekend could be featured in:

  • local, regional and national press coverage
  • the Culture24 website and Facebook page
  • this blog
  • BBC History Magazine’s printed Guide to Museums at Night
  • in presentations given by Culture24 staff
  • and in many of the other ways we promote Museums at Night events

Email images to Rosie, rosie@culture24.org.uk

To be included in our first big PR push into long-lead glossy magazines, your Museums at Night events need to be registered onto the DDE database by 5pm on Friday 20th January.

You’ll find information about how to register your event here. Any questions? Want to discuss your plans? Give me a call on 01273 623336!

Guest post: Felicity Plent on planning and marketing Summer at the Museums in Cambridge

We receive a lot of press releases at Culture24, but one from Cambridge Museums stuck in my mind for the simple, ingenious series of photos that accompanied it. I asked coordinator Felicity Plent if she’d write a post explaining how her team planned and marketed this season of events, once her busy summer was over.


Cycling to work the morning after Twilight at the Museums (when 3,000 parents and children descend after dark!)  I started thinking about an idea that became Summer at the Museums.  I was feeling evangelical! I wanted us to grab hold of all the extra people we had encouraged to visit our museums through Twilight and get them back here for the summer.

What I wanted was a great big bag of fun, family things to do at Cambridge Museums – offering summer days out that parents would choose as an alternative to London trips, or instead of costly outings to the cinema /bowling/swimming on poor weather days. But I also really wanted to know what children choose to look at when they visit our museums, because so many of them had used torches at Twilight to look at exhibits differently.  In previous summers we had used trails linking all the museums, but actually all we needed was an umbrella of publicity that supported the brilliant events that were already running.

A poster featuring a sunglasses-wearing sculpture and penguin eating icecream

A colourful poster combining art with fun summertime images

With a plan formed, I asked our designer, Kath Lees, to create a poster, events calendar and ‘Draw What You Saw’ postcard competition entry form inspired by seaside postcard images, end of the pier slapstick and sunshine.  The result was a downloadable calendar showcasing over 60 events for children over the holidays. It was available on the University and Cambridge museum websites, and sent out to schools to circulate via parentmail.  The postcard competition, which could be entered at all museums, would then give us feedback on what children thought was worth looking at.

A postcard to enter a museum drawing competition

The back of this postcard has a space for children to draw what they saw at the museum. Courtesy Cambridge Museums

I persuaded Crayola to give us the prizes and we posted our favourite entries on a Flickr gallery. Weekly and overall winners gave us something new to talk about on social networks each week as the entries came in.

But it was Kath’s sunglasses imagery for the campaign that really tipped the balance. Again on my bike one morning, I had one of those shiny moments – Sunglasses = Look! A quick shopping trip furnished me with 14 pairs of novelty sunglasses.  A round of emails persuaded our Museum Directors to let us use the sunglasses as props on exhibits.  And, with the help of a brilliant local twitter diarist and photographer, Sir Cam, we used the resulting images across social media and the web to promote our calendar and competition.

A stone lion outside the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge rocking a pair of blue plastic sunglasses

The iconic lion outside the Fitzwilliam Museum, rocking a pair of sunglasses - a simple but effective image to create

4,200 people attended the family events at our museums over the summer and over 900 children entered our competition. Oh, and we’ve already been offered a woolly hat for the lion in case of snow this winter.

See the whole museum-objects-in-sunglasses photoshoot here, the children’s illustrations of their favourite museum objects here, and the full Summer at the Museums programme here.

A smiling woman wearing sunglasses

Felicity Plent

Felicity Plent is the Marketing Co-ordinator for the University of Cambridge Museums: you can follow them on Twitter at @camunivmuseums.

We need your Museums at Night photos!

Look at these fascinating pictures from the Museums at Night 2011 Flickr group!

Three dancers silhouetted against a green background

Dancers at the Museum of Bath at Work by Julian Lewis

There are lots to enjoy already, but we’re looking for more. Every year we strongly encourage venues who run Museums at Night events to take lots of photos on the night. These are great not only for capturing the excitement of your event, but are also useful for publicity for your venue (when you send out press releases, print or email newsletters, update your website, and put up display boards – having photographic proof of visitors enjoying themselves while discovering your collections in a different light really comes in handy!)

A series of threads stretching across an industrial warehouse

Installation by Susanne Davies at Halmshore Mills Textile Museum, courtesy of Creativity Works

If you took any photos on the night, please share them in our Flickr group: we’re particularly keen to see high-resolution photos showing people engaging with your collections, trying hands-on activities, and generally smiling and having a good time. We like to use these images to publicise the Museums at Night campaign in future – they’ll pop up in numerous channels:

  • the Culture24 website
  • this blog
  • our Facebook page
  • our regular e-newsletters (which you can sign up for here)
  • the Museums at Night evaluation report
  • presentations given by Culture24 staff at conferences
  • our Museums at Night press image library
  • and even the video we’re currently editing for our campaign sponsorship pitch!
Traditionally painted canal art lit by candles

Cans in Candlelight, courtesy the London Canal Museum

I’d also like to thank everyone who took the time to fill in a Museums at Night venue survey – we never imagined that so many of you would be blocked from accessing SurveyMonkey, but we ended up emailing PDFs of the survey questions to people who couldn’t access them online. All your feedback is incredibly helpful, and we’ll be sharing our findings through the campaign evaluation.

And finally, a reminder about our e-newsletters: if you sign up to Culture24’s free Museums at Night mailing list, you’ll receive an email once a month with news of partnerships, campaigns and promotional opportunities you may like to take advantage of, along with ideas and publicity deadlines for Museums at Night 2012 – keeping you in the loop all year round. Sign up here!