What and How to Communicate When Your Museum Is (Temporarily) Closed

Workshop - register now

Wednesday, April 01, 2020: 1:30pm - 4:30pm -

Pamela Martin, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, USA

Museums sometimes close for short periods of time in order to tackle targeted maintenance or renovations, or for longer periods of time to undergo large campus expansion projects. They may also close unexpectedly for weather events or emergency situations. There are also instances when a new museum needs to build and communicate with an audience before it opens a physical location.

Digital communication methods make it possible to keep your audiences informed about your activities and plans for (re)opening, but how do you keep them engaged, especially when your museum is dark for an extended period of time? Some organizations focus on taking programming out into their communities, but how do you make sure people know what is happening when, and where? How can you make the most of this transition time to find out what your audiences really want (not what you think they want) and reach new people that you haven’t served before?

This Professional Forum will include representatives from a museum that closes each year for maintenance, a museum that has been closed for renovations for more than a year, a museum that has just recently closed for a campus expansion project, and a museum that is working on opening its first permanent location.

We will talk about our experiences in communicating with audiences about shifting operations, including what methods were successful and what could have been improved. We will also touch on how temporary closures (and the lead up to an initial opening) can affect internal communication, staff morale, and revenue streams. We invite session attendees to ask questions and share their own experiences to contribute to the discussion.