Tag Archives: photography

Museums at Night visitor survey questions

There are only 7 working days till Museums at Night, and we have a suggestion for you! If you’re planning to survey the visitors who come along to your event, please consider either downloading and using our official visitor survey, or copying our questions to use in your survey.

Download the official Museums at Night 2011 visitor survey here (Word document).

These survey questions were designed by our independent evaluators, and if you do use them, we’d love to include your results in our official evaluation! Please type the responses into a spreadsheet and email it to us by Friday 27th May.

On the night of your event, there are two things you should do:

1) Count the number of visitors who come along! We’ll be asking every venue to send us their visitor numbers afterwards. Last year, over 85,000 people attended a Museums at Night event, and this year we’re hoping for over 100,000 visitors.

2) Take high-resolution photos you’ll be able to use for publicity in future! Every year we ask participating venues for images to illustrate the idea of Museums at Night, and it’s always a challenge. Pictures showing people having a good time while exploring your building and interacting your collections are really useful to have. If you’re taking photos of children, be sure to ask permission from their parents or guardians. You can find lots of guidance on photos and publicity in our PR Toolkit.

It’s getting closer every day…

Get the free Museums at Night 2011 PR Toolkit here!

ANNOUNCEMENT: You have until 11am on Friday to order your FREE copies of BBC History Magazine’s Guide to Museums at Night – please click here to request a box of brochures now!

A massive cannon dwarfing two Napoleonic soldiers

Our promotional tools and resources are like mighty weapons for your marketing armoury.

I’ve just compiled an exhaustive list of all the tools and resources that can help you plan and publicise Museums at Night events: click here to take a look and make sure you’re not missing out on any nuggets of promotional genius!

One resource I’ve been working on for a while is this year’s PR Toolkit: we’ve already had some very kind feedback on this 7 page downloadable PDF, which I’ve put together with help from PR and marketing experts Pandora George and Ruth Cobb.

If you’re responsible for marketing your venue, you may already be familiar with all the suggestions we make, but if you’re not certain how to set up a media photocall, or would like to check what essential things should be included in every press release, please click here to download the PR Toolkit! It’s completely free, and although it’s mainly focused on promoting your Museums at Night events, the good ideas it contains (e.g. what makes a good publicity photo?) should be handy all year round.

Finally, thanks to Seaford Museum for sending me the stonking photo of the cannon atop their Martello Tower which illustrates this post! If you’re interested in exploring the diverse collections of the “Tardis of East Sussex,” which their friendly volunteers will be opening up with atmospheric lighting, their special Museums at Night event takes place on  Friday 13th May.

Lauren Laverne launches Museums at Night at the Enchanted Palace

There are a few sore throats (from lots of talking) and sore feet (from our immensely glamorous shoes) at Culture24 Towers today … for last night our campaign ambassador, the fabulous Lauren Laverne, launched this year’s campaign at Kensington Palace! You can read Culture24’s official story, with excerpts from Lauren’s speech, here.

But this is our story I’m telling here. We travelled up from Brighton to London in the afternoon, and as we were pulling in to Victoria saw a fantastic good omen a couple of tracks away – a steam train!

Three excited people in a train carriage

Nick, Anra and Jane on the train

Arriving at the Palace, our advance party had the chance to explore the Enchanted Palace exhibition: the idea is that you go on a quest to find out stories from the lives of seven princesses who once lived at Kensington. You’re encouraged to investigate the artworks, installations and designer dresses, ask questions of the explainers and interact with performers from WILDWORKS Theatre Company – a really innovative and unexpected experience.

A woman seated upon a knitted throne playing with her mobile phone

Culture24 director Jane Finnis in her natural habitat: seated upon a magnificent knitted throne

Of course, I’m sure you’ll want to see our fabulous frocks: here are the Culture24 crew posing outside the Orangery before the evening kicked off. Don’t we look lovely?

A photo of a line of people in a formal garden

The Culture24 team - we do scrub up nicely

From left to right: writer Ben Miller; writer Laura Burgess; activities editor Conrad Westmaas; network and marketing coordinator Ruth Harper; PR coordinator Pandora George; chair of Culture24’s Board of Trustees John Newbigin; head of programmes Anra Kennedy; editor Richard Moss; finance coordinator Tessa Watson; director Jane Finnis; Museums at Night project manager Nick Stockman; Museums at Night project coordinator Rosie Clarke; arts writer Mark Sheerin; technical producer Larna Pantrey-Mayer; Museums at Night intern Signe Troost. Phew!

A photo of a woman in a gold jacket on a podium

Lauren Laverne speaks at the Museums at Night launch

And now, the question everybody’s been asking us: what was it like meeting Lauren Laverne in real life? Well, she was ravishingly gorgeous in a golden jacket and vertiginous high heels, yet very down-to-earth. Within minutes of stepping through the door she complimented me on my dress and Larna on her hair, before floating upstairs in a golden aura of charisma and loveliness. We are all slightly smitten. She gave an enthusiastic speech explaining why she supports the campaign, then chatted with guests from the arts and heritage world, and happily posed for photos among the exhibitions.

A photos of a woman in a bedroom with enormous puppets

Lauren Laverne in Queen Victoria's bedroom - the Room of Imaginary Friends

Thanks to photographer Charlotte Macpherson for taking photos on the night, and to everyone from Blue Strawberry Catering for the drinks and canapes. We’re also incredibly grateful to Tim Powell, Charlotte Winship and the entire efficient, good-humoured team at Historic Royal Palaces for all their help in facilitating the event. I hope everyone who came had a great time, and that we’re all inspired for Museums at Night weekend (Friday 13th – Sunday 15th May!)

A glamorous couple descending a wood-panelled staircase

Nick and I ready to welcome visitors to our lovely Palace. Sorry, THE lovely Palace.

All the photos in this post are courtesy of Charlotte Macpherson, who can be contacted on photos@charlottemacpherson.co.uk.

Guest post: writer Laura Burgess on starring in a Museums at Night photoshoot

We really appreciate all the museums, galleries and heritage sites who have shared pictures of people exploring their venues at night: many of these are now part of our Press Image Library. However, more iconic photos were needed to publicise the Museums at Night campaign, so Culture24 worked with PR coordinator Pandora George and top photographer Pal Hansen to set up professional photoshoots. We’re also very grateful to the Horniman Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum for letting us take photos in their fantastic buildings!

In this guest post, writer Laura Burgess describes her experience modelling in one of the photoshoots.

A photo of a man and a woman dancing surrounded by sculptures

Dancing in the Victoria and Albert Museum at night, surrounded by sculptures

It’s just before six pm when my boyfriend Andy, my friend Jenny and I arrive at the entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum. We’re greeted by photographer Pal Hansen, his assistant Louise and press officers Ellie and Pandora. At this point I’m still not sure what I’ve agreed to – this is no typical Tuesday evening.

Alongside being a journalist intern at Culture24 I was asked to help out with the promotion of the Museums at Night campaign. This makes a huge change: I’m usually behind the lens of a camera, not in front!

With the museum officially closing and the last of the visitors leaving, we help Pal carry his equipment to our location – and the adrenaline of being photographed by someone who shot Keira Knightley merely a few days earlier kicks in.

A photo of two women drinking wine at a table in a sculpture gallery

Drinks and dinner in a museum at night

As we’re led into a vast room, we three models are awed by the huge sculptures surrounding us. The first sequence of photographs involve us sitting at a small table, placed symmetrically in the middle of a huge row of sculptures on either side of us that can only be described at huge chess pieces.

Having posed with wine glasses – which helped with the nerves – we move into a courtyard area where Andy and I dance next to statues of men fighting. The brightness of my emerald-coloured dress is noticeable as Andy twirls me around. We were supposed to be acting amorously, and the atmosphere was unexpectedly romantic as we giggled and swayed.

A photo of two girls drinking wine in a sculpture gallery

Sharing secrets in the sculpture gallery

Finally, Jenny and I sit by a fountain with beautiful lighting and the image of a young, angelic-like figure looking over us. By this point we’re relaxed and having fun, after finishing almost a whole bottle of wine and getting used to being snapped. There’s a feeling of sadness when the security guards usher us off the set as our time ends. I feel delighted and privileged with the photos, and can’t wait till Museums at Night!


Laura Burgess is working for Culture24 on a three-month internship and writes a variety of articles and features for the site – from news stories to reviews. A recent graduate of the NCTJ magazine journalism course at City College in Brighton, she has previous experience working on Film and Photography magazines and has a BA in English Literature and Communication Studies from Bath Spa University. Laura has undertaken work on all areas of the site and has a particular interest in features and reviewing.


Don’t forget, if you have high-resolution photos of people enjoying themselves in your venue at night, your pictures can also be part of our image library for the press to use! Simply send the photos, along with any copyright info and the photographer’s credit, to our PR coordinator Pandora George on pandora@bulletpr.co.uk.

Announcing the Museums at Night 2010 photo competition winners!

Thanks very much to everybody who took pictures of the fun they had at Museums at Night events, and shared them in our Flickr group. There are 265 images from all over the UK, and our judges (Gordon MacDonald, editor of Photoworks magazine; Culture24 editor Richard Moss and Culture24 director Jane Finnis) were delighted to see the range of events people had been to.

A photo of coloured lights travelling down steps surrounded by plants

Lights at the Eden Project by Matthew Fox - the overall winner

It was particularly great to see so many interesting photos this year from participating venues – these are handy to use for promoting future events in your museum or gallery. If you’re sending out a press release inviting people to come and explore your collections after dark, providing pictures showing happy visitors doing just that can make the difference between getting a one-line nib and a quarter-page spread in your local newspaper.

If you’re planning on taking part in Museums at Night 2011, we’ll be asking you to list your event in the Culture24 DDE database, and then to send us a promotional photo, ideally of people having fun in your venue at night. Here at Culture24 we get a lot of media enquiries about the Museums at Night programme, and these photos are incredibly useful in bringing your event descriptions to life.

You can read our article about the photographers and see all the winning photos here.