Tuesday, November 25, 2008

INTERCOM conference musings Part 1

On the way to the INTERCOM conference dropped in on the folks from Auckland Art Gallery and gave a talk: What does the "visitor experience" mean for museums in a Web 2.0 world?, which I am also giving at the conference. We had a great discussion and they really got me thinking about the following:

  • How do we integrate online with physical experiences? We talked lots about whether we provide web-based information within an exhibition or even within spaces in the museum. We also discussed the potential of mobile technologies, which is one area I'm particularly interested in as I think it is one we need to keep an eye on. I'm imagining in the future that this will be a way we can provide layered information for visitors, whether they download it direct from the web as they're in the exhibition (through using something like QR codes for example) or access it when they get home. We also need to be aware of people's attitudes to their mobile devices, as an earlier study we did at the Australian Museum (Educational websites) found that students in particular did not want to download what they saw as primarily "educational" material on to their personal phones/iPods etc.
  • Who are the audiences we should be targeting? Although I reported on our studies with young people aged 18-30 and students aged 12-18 I still feel strongly that the segment we should be focussing on is older audiences. While the young are visitors of the future, I think the older demographic is both easier to reach, are interested in museums and have the propensity to be further engaged with museums as both online and physical visitors. We found this from our older persons study (where we targeted those aged 65+) but I would now focus on those aged 35+ who have young families/grandchildren or are cultural consumers. The other group I feel passionately about are audiences with disabilities who are looking for places that are interesting, welcoming and accessible and who are also positively disposed to the arts.

Anyway, thanks for having me and here's the links I promised:

Ciao for now,


Paul said...

Hi Lynda - just wanted to thank you for your time on Monday. Your thoughts were very interesting and reassuring to us. We also spent a day with Seb from Powerhouse this week so we have plenty to be thinking about and the potential for mobiles is the real area of interest.

LyndaK said...

Thanks Paul, Seb is awesome so you were lucky to have him. The mobile issue also came up at INTERCOM and I agree that it's a trend we need to watch.

Paul said...

Yes Seb was very good - amazing what a relatively small team can create when empowered. I have just discoverd an NZ based teacher (Government funded E-Fellowship) who is investigating the use of mobiles within Secondary schools so this will be my next area of investigation.