Engagement is all about values

Culturecom was a media partner at the Quebec edition of Communicating the Museum this autumn. This year’s theme was “Engagement”, engagement regarding the art organizations audiences but also their employees and various stakeholders.

As a consequence, most of the conferences and workshops addressed that topic:

  • How engagement is key to museum success
  • How to attract, talk and engage Millenials (as nowadays, it’s all about Millenials, right?)
  • How to create powerful partnerships that will help transform engagement into sales
  • What are the mission, purpose and values of an organization?

Maybe that very last question was one of the most important of all. All master classes and workshops mentioned that engagement needed to be linked to the organization’s values. But what are these? How to define them?

What’s the importance of values to an organization?

Adam Rozan, Worcester Art Museum © CTM

Adam Rozan, Worcester Art Museum © CTM

According to Adam Rozan, director of audience engagement at the Worcester Art Museum (US), art organizations should work first of defining their purpose (what they exist), their mission (what they bring to the communities they serve) and their values (what makes sense to these organization and might help create a relationship with their communities).

Once and only once these three pillars have been addressed, then the museum can start working on an engagement strategy, first with its staff, stakeholders and then its audience, and among them Millenials.

How to attract Millenials?

Millenials are quite a trend right now. If you are not are aware of what exactly Millenials are, have a look at it here. Three organizations have focused their presentations on this very specific generation and what experience they’ve had with them.

Ethan Angelica, Museum Hack © CTM

Ethan Angelica, Museum Hack © CTM

First of all, Museum Hack explained at CTM how to reimagine the adult museum experience by engagement. The success of their tours to museum non-goers, including young professionals (with Bachelorette tours for example), relies on their high level passionate storytelling. Then, the Musée du Louvre gave the participants an overview of its strategy with Youtubers and how giving these vloggers the freedom of speech on their collection and organization helped the museum to reach out to a new public.

Finally, the Opera de Paris showed briefly how creating the 3e Scène (the Third Scene) developed the interest of a new audience to the performing arts organization.

Is there a way to increase sales in a way or another?

Aude Mathey, Cirque du Soleil © CTM

Aude Mathey, Cirque du Soleil © CTM

In a more and more competitive world and with public funding decreasing like snow under the sun, Cirque du Soleil, a private company in entertainment, shared two best practices that helped the organization to develop sales with valuable partnerships.

All these presentations put values at the very centre of the organizations’ purposes. And you, what are your organization’s values?

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