Audiences at the Wellcome Collection enjoy a captioned tour of the Sexology exhibition

MA event to explore future of museum audiences

Rebecca Atkinson, 01.02.2017
Future of Museums: Audiences takes place on 29 March at the Wellcome Collection
The Museums Association (MA) is holding a one-day conference exploring how our rapidly changing society will affect museums’ diverse audiences in the future – and how museums can respond to ensure they remain relevant and attractive to different visitor groups.

Future of Museums: Audiences takes place on 29 March at the Wellcome Collection in London.

Speakers from the museum sector and beyond will look at the influence that demographic, technological and other trends will have on the needs of five key audiences segments – families; young people; the ageing population; people with disabilities; and people from diverse backgrounds.

The day will features talks from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for Population Change, talent agency ThinkBIGGER! and community organisation Valleys Kids, as well as the British Museum, Tate and National Maritime Museum.

Simon Stephens, the MA’s head of publications and events, said: “This conference is about creating a dialogue around audiences. We’ve invited speakers from outside the sector to share their thoughts on each audience segment, which will lead into a wider discussion with museums professionals and delegates.

“We hope that bringing together different perspectives, experiences and research will enable delegates to think broadly about what existing and potential audiences will want and need from museums in the future.”

The seminar is chaired by Tonya Nelson, the head of UCL Museums and Collections, and includes opportunities for delegate participation, discussion and questions.

The programme also features a keynote from Jane Falkingham, the director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change at the University of Southampton, who will share the latest insight into future population and demographic trends that will have a bearing on museums audiences of the future.

Maggie Appleton, the chief executive of the Royal Airforce Museum and board member of the MA, will close the seminar with a topical look at how museums can change lives in the future and an invitation to delegates to attend a launch for the MA’s new Museums Change Lives publication at the Wellcome Collection directly after the seminar.

More information and booking information