On 22 January 2016 over 25 delegates from around the UK gathered at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford for the latest in the Oxford University Museums Partnership’s Commercial Enterprise series of events: What’s In Store?. The day looked at how museum shops can create a unique identity which is commercially viable and supportive of their organisation’s culture and philosophy through a range of presentations and discussion.
At the end of a year (calendar, academic or financial) we often find ourselves spending a bit of time reviewing our data for the year to understand how we are doing.
This year I spent a few minutes with the press clippings we have collected over the last 12 months to get an idea of who has been talking about us and what they have been saying - and there's no more fun, light touch way to look at this data than a Wordle!
Museums are not-for-profit, mission led organisations whose primary purposes include the preservation of our culture, expanding understanding of our world and inspiring our youth. However, as traditional state-funding models become insufficient to sustain the sector, museums must re-invent themselves as businesses, raising income to support their core mission.
Over the last eight months, a small team of colleagues from the Oxford University Museums and the university’s IT Services Mobile Development Team have been working on a project to look at best practice for engaging visitors in gallery spaces using mobile devices. With the working title of ‘Hidden Museum’, we conducted a series of prototyping and user testing rounds to investigate a variety of elements of mobile delivery.