Keynote with Suse Anderson

suseSuse Anderson is Assistant Professor, Museum Studies at The George Washington University, and President of MCN (Museum Computer Network). For close to a decade, Anderson’s focus has been on the impact of digital technologies on the museum, topics explored on her blog, and Museopunks–the podcast for the progressive museum (Winner 2014 Best of the Web; presented by AAM). She holds a PhD and BFA from The University of Newcastle, Australia, and a BArts from Charles Sturt University, Australia.

The Keynote Session was sponsored by:

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Enriching Staff: Engaging Visitors

Join MOMA as they provide tools and strategies for utilizing visitor feedback to improve staff performance by way of enrichment, training, and culture development. By understanding the front-line teams are the only staff a visitor will encounter during their visit, and it is on them to make the visitor feel like they belong and the staff invested in the museum

Fotini Lane‐ MoMA Visitor Engagement Manager
Garrett Smith‐ MoMA Visitor Engagement Manager
Elizabeth Coggin -MoMA Visitor Engagement Manager

Excuse Our Dust: How to Provide a Great Experience During Construction

Join local San Antonio cultural institutions and hear how they handled change and the visitor experience during construction projects. Museums represented are:

The DoSeum
San Antonio Museum of Art
The Witte

Culinary Innovation in Museums and Cultural Attractions

As we are all aware, yesteryear it was okay to have average (at best food) at high prices.  Expectations are entirely different, and the culinary industry continues to evolve and innovate to meet and exceed expectations of the modern museum visitor This session discusses the rise of hands-on, fresh made, innovative cutting edge food to enhance the visitor experience. Join top chefs in the industry as they talk about the latest trends.

Jake Pugh – Service Systems Associates
Travis Kight – Chief Executive Chef

Technology and the Visitor Experiences

Jamie Elswick, Business Solutions Architect, Gateway Ticketing Systems
Ryan Burtram, Sales Director, accesso Technology Group
Jennifer Roth, Manager, accesso Technology Group
Tim Zagorc, Director, Client Development, Tessitura Network
Tim Canada, NetServ Product Manager and Tatvam Specialist, NetServ
Harry Tomasides, Chief Revenue Officer, Digonex Automated Dynamic Pricing
Alina Pitman, Strategic Product Manager, Pigeon

Are you interested in using technology to enhance the guest experience and increase your bottom line? Come to this enlightening panel to meet the minds behind ticketing, dynamic pricing, customer feedback analysis, on-site navigation, and more. Learn about a variety of products through demos, Q&A, and breakout opportunities that will provide you with solutions to implement at your organization to make the guest experience the best it can be.

A New Hope: Connecting Collections and Creating Community Partnerships

Join staff from The Columbus Museum to explore programs that reached new audiences through making creative connections. New acquisitions, exhibitions, or even Pop Culture references has the potential to become the catalyst for new partnerships and programming that will expand your audience reach and appreciation for the stories you tell.

Abbie Edens – Director of Education at the Columbus Museum, Georgia
Christy Barlow – Academic Programs Manager at the Columbus Museum, Georgia

Volunteer: The Power of the People
Presentation can be found here.

To deliver a better Visitor Experience, to a larger and more diverse audience, it is essential that visitors can see themselves reflected in the people who work inside an institution, be it staff or volunteers. Hear the steps the V&A Museum in London has taken to change certain processes and procedures that may hinder some people applying for roles. Learn about the positive impact it has on their visitors, staff and the volunteers themselves, and how you can make the change too.

Lois Honeywill – Head of Visitor Experience, The V&A -London, UK
Caterina Lacueva Bisquert – Volunteer Manager, The V&A -London, UK

Leveraging Visitor Feedback and Data to Improve Visitor Experience

Visitor feedback is central to assessing an institution’s performance, yet turning feedback into actionable steps for tangible improvements is challenging. Drawing from

work at the Williams College Museum of Art, participants will learn how implementing institutional improvements based on quantitative and qualitative visitor feedback data can strategies that can be adapted to fit the unique needs of cultural institutions and their public.

Hadley DesMeules – Visitor Services Coordinator, Williams College Museum of Art
Melissa Prycer – President & Executive Director, Dallas Heritage Village

Served: A Mount Vernon accessibility story Is your site accessible and inclusive?

Have you been served by the DOJ? We were… Join us in a dynamic discussion that documents the actions taken by George Washington’s Mount Vernon to provide accessible experiences for all guests. This lively session will include presentation, discussion and Q&A.

Linda Powell- Director of Interpretation, George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Jeremy Ray- Manager of History Interpretation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

The Final Takeaway: How the Museum Store Experience Reverberates with Guests After Their Visit

The Museum Store is often both the last place a guest goes and where they can make a purchase that reflects their visit. Presented by the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, this session will explore how to enhance the museum store experience through visitor friendly displays, mission-based product selection, and advocacy for its place within the institution.

Julia Jordan- Retail Shop Manager, The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Trailblazing an Audience-Centered Visitor Experience at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

You Belong Here. Looking within, reaching further, at the National Museum of the American Indian. This session looks at how a holistic, cross-departmental audience-centered approach is driving the museum’s commitment to visitor needs. From goals to actions, visitor voices to staff buy-in, the session offers insights, lessons-learned, and practical suggestions.

Sharyl Pahe-Short – Interpretive Services Manager, National Museum of the American Indian
Rumana Chaudhuri- Volunteer, National Museum of the American Indian

Trish Kyle – Management Analyst, National Museum of the American Indian

Interpretation and the Visitor Experience

The interpretive material a visitor encounters at a museum can define if they feel welcomed and wanted. Are the wall labels, apps, interactives, and audio guides accessible, inclusive, and interesting? If not, the visitor can be isolated or alienated. An interpretation specialist will share strategies to bridge the gap between interpretation and visitor services staff to make your museum a place for everyone.

Margaret Sternbergh- Independent Interpretation Specialist 

Post Conference Workshop: Engaging Latino Audiences


Salvador Acevedo will lead participants of this workshop through his work with engaging Latino audiences and his study, LatinXPerience. He will work through how “experience” is defined for different audiences and how arts and cultural organizations can meet these definitions. Attendees will learn to implement this work at individual institutions.

Salvador has over 20 years of experience helping organizations link their design and market strategies with the many cultures within the US. Being bilingual and bi-cultural gives him the ability to more easily recognize the common-ground bases for successful marketing solutions. For the last few years, Salvador has been working on understanding how the emergence of a new cultural identity is changing the marketplace and influences the type of experiences people seek. Salvador has extensive experience conducting audience and strategy projects for clients such as SFMOMA, WESTAF, SF Symphony, Chrysler, Carhartt, among others .

Light breakfast included.

Post Conference Workshop: Visitor Journey Mapping

Join conference favorite Jessica Sharpe, Director of Visitor Operations and Membership at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for a workshop intensive on Visitor Journey Mapping. Cultural institutions can use journey mapping to illuminate the holistic visitor experience. Participants in the workshop will explore ways that this work can help unify an organization, work on a framework for cross-departmental involvement in the visitor experience, understand the stages of the visitor journey, and touch-points with how a visitor interacts with your organization.

Light breakfast included.

Post Conference Workshop: Moving Us to Action: The Inzovu Curve Workshop

Join Jason Ulaszek, founder and chief design officer of Inzovu. He’ll bring his expertise in experience design in the for-profit world and show how he used it to help develop a concept for the next generation of museums and memorials through his work at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Through this work learn how he created an experience that spurred visitors to create change. Gain new insights on the characteristics required by these institutions and leverage the Inzovu Curve, an emerging model for thinking that can guide visitors toward a shift in identity, to map and assess the visitor experience of your institution.

Download the 2018 Visitor Experience Conference Program here.