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2019 Conference - Masterclasses/Workshops

The following workshops/masterclasses were available for those wanting an in-depth experience as part of the Conference.

High Leverage Marketing

How to attract + engage audiences without breaking your budget

Michael Alexis, Director of Marketing, Museum Hack


Museum Hack develops our own high performing marketing techniques and some of these were shared in the workshop, including:
1. A simple format for improving results across the board, including email performance, admission sales, membership signups and more.
2. A unique method we’ve used to generate press from media like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and others.
3. How to spend less time on social media and still get thousands of followers and likes
4. Instantly improving your position on review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.
5. More :-)

● Improving email performance, admission sales and membership signups
● How to get featured in major media (and media of all sizes)
● 10x your results on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
● Rank higher on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp

Anyone who wanted to attract new audiences to their institution.

Michael Alexis is Director of Marketing at Museum Hack. He is a former lawyer, Canadian, and quite fond of tai-chi. Michael was the first full-time marketer at Museum Hack and helped bootstrap the company to $2.7 million in annual revenue. Before that, he led growth for a tech company that won Richard Branson & Shopify’s competition for highest sales compared to 20,000+ other new businesses (with systems that went on to generate $3+ million in sales), and started and sold an ecommerce startup.


Storytelling in Space

Frith Williams, Head of Experience Design, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Some experience in museum interpretation – eg, setting key messages, writing or editing labels, ‘reading’/using exhibition plans, selecting media, etc.

You’re about to create an exhibition. You’ve selected your objects. You know what you want to say. Excellent. But have you taken full account of the 3-D space in which the ideas will sit and how audiences will receive them there? And are you using all the tools that storytelling offers to support memorability and learning?

When we talk about ‘narrative-based exhibitions’, we often mean exhibitions formed around key ideas and connections (not just a place, time, collector’s interest, or the primacy of individual objects). But can narrative be more? Can our visitors even be our protagonists? Storytelling is, after all, an art in its own right, with particular considerations in the museum setting.

In this workshop, activities included reviewing exhibition labels, looking at exhibition plans in relation to message position, and considering different storytelling forms and tools to meet objectives. We also touched on ways to embrace Indigenous languages to support awareness and learning.

● The characteristics of museum visitors – how they receive content in exhibitions/3-D space, and what that means for how we present/write stories
● The importance of key ideas
● The characteristics of effective storytelling and how they can apply to exhibitions – including what we can do in this environment that isn’t possible elsewhere

Anyone with a base knowledge of exhibition interpretation (and particularly narrative-based interpretation) who’s keen to develop their thinking and approaches.

Frith Williams is Head of Experience Design and Content at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She was Creative Director of Te Papa’s new Te Taiao │ Nature zone, which merges mātauranga (Māori knowledge) and science, is fully bilingual, and inspires action to protect the natural world.

In 2015, Frith was a Fulbright Scholar in the US, exploring developments in digital and bilingual storytelling in museums. She was Head Writer for the multi-award-winning Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, a collaboration with Weta Workshop, and led the interpretation of Bug Lab, now touring internationally.

With a degree in theatre and film, and a background in multimedia education and children’s publishing, Frith loves how immersion, interactivity, and storytelling can combine to take visitors on a voyage of discovery.

Frith lives in Wellington with her daughters and dog, and likes to ride her bike – except in a howling southerly.


Time Tunnels

Russell Milledge, Lecturer in Media Arts, James Cook University

The workshop used digital imaging techniques associated with software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Time Tunnels introduced a method of visual storytelling that reanimates historical photographic imagery. Through engagement with media arts tools, participants learnt how to effectively use motion to bring new meaning and perception to static 2D images in a simple process known as 2.5D animation.

• Understand the intermediate process of 2.5D animation
• Repurpose historical photographic and graphic material for a contemporary audience
• Extending meaning and perception through media arts

Anyone with an interest in extending photographic and graphic collections into new forms of presentation. Anyone interested in the media arts, filmmaking, animation, digital signage, video marketing or motion graphics techniques.

Russell has a passion for creative arts which is expressed through the presentation of exhibitions and events annually. His artworks are in the collections of the QAGOMA and Cairns Art Gallery amongst others. He has contributed to the establishment of many of far north Queensland’s significant contemporary arts enterprises and spaces including as a founder of KickArts Contemporary Arts Ltd, Bonemap and the New Move Network.

Russell attended the National Art School in Sydney, completed a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at Queensland University of Technology and a Doctor of Philosophy at James Cook University. Inspired by the unique social and educational value of the arts, he has contributed to many partnerships within the sector including Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), Cairns Festival, Indigenous Art Centre Alliance, Realtime Magazine, Ausdance, Queensland Artworkers Alliance, Queensland Regional Galleries Association, Eyeline Art Magazine and others.

Current JCU internal engagement includes TEDxJCUCairns Technical Director, Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute and Lecturer in Creative Arts specialising in media art. He is Co-chief Investigator on the innovative State of the Arts Report, a partnership with Cairns Regional Council to undertake a longitudinal evaluation of the social impact of arts and culture in the Cairns region. He is the guest curator for KickArts Contemporary Arts major retrospective of Torres Strait Islander artist Billy Missi in association with CIAF 2019.


Caring for Paper Documents and Books

Melanie Sorenson, Conservator


Participants in this workshop learnt some practical skills and approaches to looking after paper and bound documents in collections. Care for photographs was discussed briefly, however the main focus of this workshop was cost-effective methods of caring for collections in line with international conservation practice and sound advice. Participants were invited to discuss examples and concerns regarding the storage of their own collections.

• Knowledge of how to care for paper, photographs and books.
• Basic cleaning techniques for paper and books.
• Basic encapsulation for paper documents.

Volunteers and paid staff working with museum and gallery collections that hold paper documents, photographs or books.

Melanie Sorenson is an art conservator, specialising in paper and photographs, in Far North Queensland. Most recently from Canberra, Melanie loves working with community groups and collections based in the Tropics. The climate in Queensland is so diverse and offers a new suite of challenges in collection care and preservation. Melanie is looking forward to meeting workshop participants and sharing in their experiences in collecting and caring for diverse collections.



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