Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums
The Museum and Heritage show is a yearly event, allowing those working in (or interested in) the museum and heritage sector to come together and attend a wide range of talks, view various trade related stalls, and get the chance to network with others. There are also ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions, allowing attendees to meet with other professionals to ask specific questions on a range of set topics.
This was the first year I had been able to attend the show and I chose to go to all of the Collections related talks. These talks covered the basics of museum accreditation, crowdsourcing (IWM Duxford), working with volunteers (SS Great Britain Trust) and various other topics. The crowdsourcing talk was exceptionally insightful as it also covered the technical side of the project. At the end of each talk, attendees were able to ask questions and many of the speakers offered to provide more information to those individuals who were interested. The problem with these talks being so interesting is that I was unable to attend any others! I was also unable to attend any of the ‘masterclasses’ and demos hosted on different stalls.
During the comfort breaks between talks, as well as before the show, I did my best to have a look around and meet the exhibitors. There were countless numbers of stalls catering to all different areas, such as digitisation, retail, environmental monitoring etc. and I noticed that a number of these were digitally focused on visitor engagement/learning, and general ways of disseminating information across digital platforms. All the staff representing their companies were very friendly and proactive at starting conversations; a number were even trying to entice delegates with free stationery and cake! I believe that the trade show is a great opportunity for people to bounce ideas off these knowledgeable folk, and gather information about future equipment purchases or employing a particular company to carry out a task for them.
All in all it was a day well spent, and next year I may even attend both days armed with questions to ask both speakers and exhibitors. As my socialising was limited to friends in the sector and former colleagues, I will also use next year to network with others, in order to find out what other professionals are doing in their various different organisations, and use it as attempt to build contacts!
Daryl Tappin, Collections Assistant, The Fitzwilliam Museum