Manchester 2017 themes

Audiences, collections and workforce
There are three themes for this year’s conference:

Audiences: how can museums expand and deepen their relationship with the public in the context of a growing atmosphere of intolerance, mistrust and division following last year’s Brexit vote and the resulting political turmoil.

What role can museums play in healing some of society’s divisions and how should they reflect contemporary issues such as poverty, climate change and globalisation in their programming? And how can museums reach out to those people who do not currently engage with museums?

Collections: how can collections be used to inspire and engage communities and make a difference to people’s lives? How can museums involve audiences in interpreting collections and sharing knowledge about them? How can digital technology help increase engagement with collections and how should the sector approach issues such as collecting, storage and disposal?

Workforce: what will the museum professional of the future look like and what knowledge and experience will they need? What needs to change in areas such as leadership, diversity and skills development for the sector to face the challenges ahead?