Strength in Differences: The Well-Rounded Team, Christine Goerss-Barton and Megan Woloszyn, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

There may be strength in numbers, but success is most often achieved by strength in differences. And it starts with you. Whether developing yourself or building a well-rounded team, learn the importance in identifying your core strengths, and how this understanding allows you and your team to reach your full potential in creating a better guest experience overall.

Coronavirus as The Unexpected Driver of Digital Innovation in the Museum and Cultural Sector, Brendan Ciecko, CEO & Founder, Cuseum

When museums first closed their doors due to coronavirus, new concerns seized the attention of the entire cultural industry – what will our future hold? Now, another question has materialized: when the doors to museums reopen, what will the new, modified experience look like? This session will be a deep dive into this question.

Becoming Learner Centered, Nicole Ledinek, Curator of Education & Engagement, MoCA Cleveland, Elizabeth Culp, Visitor Engagement Manager, MoCA Cleveland, Melissa Kansky, Thoma Education Fellow, MoCA Cleveland

Reshaping work culture, away from skills-based tasks and towards a developmentally-driven learning community, positively impacts learners visiting the organization and strengthens cross-departmental relationships. Learn how moCa Cleveland restructured Visitor Services to be a coordinated, comprehensive, and cohesive approach to learning and engagement.

ChildSafe – A Visitor Experience Approach to Hope & Healing, James Lancaster, Overland Partners

ChildSafe, located in San Antonio, TX is a trauma-focused care center for survivors of abuse and neglect and their non-offending family members. The center offers a safe environment and provides a talented team of health professionals, state agencies, law enforcement and legal teams to ensure that more cases are reported and prosecuted, while kids and teens get the care they need. Overland Partners’ Visitor Experience team worked with ChildSafe to bring this entire system, which had previously been spread across three campuses, under one roof, creating a restorative environment for victims, their families, and ChildSafe’s multi-disciplinary partners.

So What? – Using Themes to Improve All Aspects of Visitor Experience, Jennifer Dick, Royal Botanic Gardens, Chuck Lennox, Lennox Insites, Pam Murray, Milner Gardens & Woodland

A strong interpretive theme statement provides a clear idea and “so what” message to deepen visitor experience. Explore examples of using an interpretive theme across departments and projects, learn what a theme is and what it isn’t, and practice crafting your own for a project or operation at your site.

Approaching an Accessible Patron Experience, Hailey Colwell, Spektrix

As social rules about how we engage with our communities shift, it is crucial for organizations to think about providing catharsis and healing for all. This session frames how organizations can create an accessible experience by analyzing audience data to identify gaps and better understand patrons’ needs. 

45 x 45 Audience Engagement Ideas: Covid-19 Edition, Tim Hallman, Director of Communications & Business Development, Asian Art Museum, Erick Orellana, Co-Lead Bay Area VEX; Operations & Guest Experience Professional, Krista Dahl Kusuma, Audience Engagement Chair, Visitor Experience Group; Co-Lead Bay Area VEX, Wanessa Tillman, Director of Visitor Services, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Buckle up and join us for this fresh Covid-19 version of a classic. Presented by members of professional networks PR and Marketing (PRAM) and the Visitor Experience Group (VEX), this fast-paced session will feature innovative ideas in audience engagement from museums and organizations large and small. Attendees are welcome to offer ideas during the session.

Setting the Example from the Top Down: Employee Engagement for Part Time Teams, Maggie Santoski, Visitor Center Manager, Longwood Gardens

Employee satisfaction is key to keeping a team engaged, but managers of guest-facing teams have a unique challenge: how do you boost morale for a part time team that spends their shift with guests… and on a tight budget? We will share what has worked for us (and what hasn’t!).

Want to Make Meaningful Connections with Visitors? Start Training Staff for Empathy, Callie Hawkins, Director pf Programming, Michelle Martz, Visitor Services Manager, President Lincoln’s Cottage

Museums offer opportunities to learn about the past, make connections with the present, and advocate for a more just future. In order to create these meaningful connections that are inclusive, diverse, and participatory, staff must cultivate empathy. Learn not only how to train, but also sustain empathy at your institution.

From Anecdote to Action: Turning Online Reviews into Actionable Data Using Sentiment Analysis, Danielle Adams, Lowell Observatory, Heather Craig, Lowell Observatory

How does a guest experience manager determine whether any one online comment is reflective of commonly held sentiment or an outlier amidst a sea of otherwise positive sentiment? Drawing from anthropological methods and marketing’s NPS score, this session presents a new method for conducting sentiment analysis on online reviews.

Attendees: Come with 10 guest reviews from any online source. 

Panel: Reopening a Cultural Org in a Pandemic, Neda Asgharzadeh, Guest Services Manager, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Justine DeCotis, Senior Manager, Visitor Experience and Systems Administrator, Boston Children’s Museum; and Jason Hinkle, Director of Visitor Services, Filoli Historic House and Gardens.

Join us for a lively discussion of lessons learned, tips and takeaways for reopening a cultural organization during a pandemic. 

Panel: Beyond the Field: Putting Transferrable Skills to Work, Joseph Gonzales, Business Development Associate, Physician Life Care Planning; Mikaela Maria, Manager of Community Programs and Services, Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities; Tarra Raspanti, Office and Events Manager, Manor College

Join us for a lively discussion with former museum professionals who have left the field and learn about moving into a new field, adapting skills from museum work for a new profession, and life after museums.

Ask an Ambassador

Join and connect with our volunteer VEX Ambassadors in this informal session. Each Ambassador leads a dynamic network of visitor experience professionals in regions across the country. Learn about opportunities to connect near you; or hear what it takes to start your own network. We look forward to meeting you!