MuseumCamp

Mar Dixon, 02.10.2012
An unconference for museums
MuseumCamp brought together over 100 museums people (visitors to managers and everything in between) from all over the UK to discuss topics that were important to them.

MuseumCamp was an unconference. That is, it was participant-driven. Holding an unconference for museum people was going to be a difficult concept - allowing campers the freedom to choose topics and not have a leader is not a comfortable idea.

When we first asked for session ideas, a minimum of hands came up, but soon the ball was rolling and a queue was forming for people to add their idea to the session board.

The unconference brought a number of diverse topics together, including how to involve teens in museums over the long term rather than just for projects, planning events on a budget, imagining what will our museums might look like in 2020, identifying leaders in museums, setting up a museum, generating revenue, augmented reality, how to meaningfully measure social media, the legacy of the Cultural Olympiad, and best-practice for disabled access.

All of this in one day under one roof. All these topics were well-received and heavily discussed and most topics would have run over if we had allowed it.

The flexibility of the day meant people were allowed to come and go into sessions that suited them best. And while some of the campers felt uncomfortable at first with the concept of leaving a talk after it started, they soon got into the spirit of the day and I saw lots of people ensuring they used the day to the best of their advantage by making sure they were in the sessions that were right for them.

The feedback has been fantastic and we have already been asked when we’ll be organising the next MuseumCamp and if we can bring it to other cities.

MuseumCamp was founded by Mar Dixon and Linda Spurdle


Comments

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Maurice Davies
MA Member
Head of Policy & Communication, Museums Association
03.10.2012, 12:24
I went to MuseumCamp to get people talking about some of the ideas in Museums2020. It was a tremendous day and I hope there are more. Participative, porous, responsive to audience interests, offsite (virtually) as well as onsite – Museum Camp shares many characteristics with Museums 2020’s suggestions about future museums: http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums2020/23072012museums2020-consultation