The closing keynote for our Museums+Tech 2016 conference is Shelley Bernstein, Chief Experience Officer at the Barnes Foundation. You’ll know her work at Brooklyn Museum including the mobile live Q&A app ASK Brooklyn Museum, crowd-curation projects Split Second, Click! and GO and more. We’re looking forward to her discussion of the challenges of moving between two very different museums, deploying short-term solutions while working towards institutional change and longer-level strategies, and her shift from ‘digital’ to Chief Experience Officer.
We asked our keynotes to answer some questions to help you get to know them before their talks.
Mia: Which upcoming or emerging challenges are you most excited to see museums tackle in the next five to ten years?
Shelley: Growing relationships with every visitor is going to be key. We’ve finally got the tools to do this with CRM [customer relationship management] and ticketing products on the market, but the question will be how we engage visitors both during their visit and after using these systems as the place to bring the data together.
Mia: Which challenges might be the hardest to deal with?
Shelley: I think we’ve seen some great engagement products hit the floor in recent years, but figuring out how to staff for long term engagement and relationships is going to be difficult, but of vital importance as we bring products to scale.
Mia: What are you most looking forward to at the conference?
Shelley: Well, a few things. I’m psyched to be talking about my new role at the Barnes Foundation and all the work we are just getting started. It’s the first time I’ll be talking about this role in front of an audience, so that’s daunting, but, also, really fun. Connecting with UK colleagues. And getting to swim at the Zaha Hadid designed olympics Aquatics Center.
Mia: What can UK museums and heritage organisations learn from international projects, and vice versa? Or should we be looking to other industries or sectors instead?
Shelley: I think, no matter what, we should all be looking outside the sector for inspiration. So often, audience are relating to those examples first, so keeping an eye there feels right. I think there’s a ton we can learn from each other, too, especially because our models of funding are so different and our communities are different as well. I always find sparks in differences as inspiration often more than commonalities. It’s another reason why I wanted to come say hello.