Soldiers’ Journey Exhibition at SeaCity Museum, Southampton. Credit: Hampshire County Council/Southampton City Council/Winchester City Council. Supplied by Hampshire Cultural Trust

Touring Exhibitions Group looking for survey participants

Eleanor Mills, 22.07.2015
TEG looking for snapshot of UK touring exhibition practices
The Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG) is calling for museums, galleries and heritage sites to take part in a survey about touring shows in the UK.

The Economics of Touring Exhibitions Survey aims to quantify and analyse the different ways that touring shows are funded and organised. Gaining data on how each institution goes about negotiating costs – from security and transport, to insurance – will help the TEG tailor its training and development programme.

“One of the biggest barriers for institutions attempting to tour exhibitions is understanding the economic models involved,” said Charlotte Dew, a researcher for the TEG.

The TEG’s last survey on this topic was conducted in May 2007 before the economic downturn took hold.

“I expect to see different trends in exhibition touring since the last survey,” Dew said. “Organising exhibition partnerships between museums seems to be key to achieving popular, well-funded shows that tour.”

One model for touring shows that’s becoming more popular is through consortia, where a number of museums each contribute a set amount of money to a group exhibition fund.

A recent example is nine cultural institutions across Hampshire pooling their resources and touring the 14-18 Now exhibition Soldiers' Journey in 2014. By covering the costs of the exhibition together, the museums gained a show far better than they could have otherwise afforded.

Another recently developed model is for a lead institution to sell the interpretation of an exhibition it organises. This results in a cheaper package for a smaller museum to take on, where the story and captioning is already created so all that’s left to arrange is populating the show with objects they already hold or those they can acquire cheaply – the security, insurance and cost of travel is significantly reduced.

The TEG’s survey will assess which touring exhibition models are most popular, as well as gathering information on the economic challenges that museums face touring their shows.

People who complete the survey by 31 July will be entered into a prize draw to win a free place and travel bursary to attend one of the TEG's forthcoming Economics of Touring Exhibitions seminars.


The Economics of Touring Exhibitions Survey 2015


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Charlotte Dew
MA Member
Curator and Consultant / Assistant Curator, Freelance / The Mercer's Company
22.07.2015, 18:11
Booking is open for the Economics of Touring Exhibitions pilot training seminar on the 4th November 2015, at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Visit the TEG website for more information or book:,47