Cuseum loves Communicating The Museum

At Cuseum, we love museums and the community of creative and passionate people driving them forward. We recently headed to Istanbul for Communicating The Museum. With more than 300 attendees from all around the world, more than 30 talks and workshops, and the beautiful city of Istanbul as a backdrop - it’s safe to say that we left inspired and energized!


Here is a recap of some of the highlights:

On the first day of the conference, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor (Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia) gave a powerful keynote about her optimism for contemporary art. One of her statements that stood out to us was:

“Every institution should have an artist on its board.” - Elizabeth Ann Macgregor

Yes, we totally agree!

Paula Röhss (Director of Communications & Audiences at Nationalmuseum, Sweden) talked about her museum’s strategy for remaining vital to visitors while closed for an extensive renovation. With its doors closed for several years, they resorted to opening pop-up exhibitions at the local airport. This not only gave the museum a physical presence during this time, but also gave it new audiences and exposure.

Museum closed for renovations? No problem! Pop-up at airport = new audience + exposure. #CTM15 cc @NatMus_SWE

Back in July, we came across Kriston Capps’ piece in CityLab: “Why Every Art Museum Should Launch a Pop-Up Satellite” and enthusiastically agreed the idea of museum pop-ups and satellites. Hats off to Paula and the Nationalmuseum!

Jeff Levine (Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Whitney Museum of American Art) shared the story of the opening of the new Whitney, which was one of the most highly anticipated in the art world this year. Jeff gave us a behind-the-scenes look into the process behind their new brand identity, new location and new Renzo Piano building.

One of our favorites: Amy Heibel (VP of Technology, Web and Digital Media at LACMA), gave a captivating talk about the future of museums. Amy started with a clever narrative that mirrored Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey and then shifted to the core topic. But she didn’t only cover the topics of museum technology and experience, she rather emphasized the importance of organizational structure and culture.

“Investing in our organizational structure is the best thing we can do to prepare for our technological future." - Amy Heibel

One of the themes that remained consistent across the various talks and workshops was that of being entrepreneurial and experiential. The spirit of innovation is spinning more than ever in the cultural space and to this we give a gigantic thumbs up.

On a related thread, during a presentation by the Van Gogh Museum, one of the quote slides that leaped out to us, as geeks and avid readers of TechCrunch, was this one:

Wasn’t expecting a @TechCrunch quote… awesome!

… which is a quote from

Tom Goodwin

’s piece

“You Don’t Need A Digital Strategy, You Need A Digitally Transformed Company.”


On our last day, we headed over to

Istanbul Modern Art Museum

to attend a discussion to immerse ourselves in these questions: how to increase the number of visitors, visitor loyalty, enrich the visitor experience. Later that day after a refreshing lunch at the historic British Consulate,

Fatma Çolakoğlu

(Head of Film, Video & Communication at

Pera Museum

) talked about their strategy and experience bringing new audiences to the museum.

It was a special time to be in Istanbul. In addition to the conference, we were in the city during the 14th Istanbul Biennale. Favorite works included:

Our experience at Communicating The Museum was fantastic. In the mornings and afternoon we learned, connected, brainstormed, shared ideas… and in the evenings we enjoyed making new friends during tours and social gatherings at Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Topkapi Palace, and a farewell reception at Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.

Thanks to Agenda, the awesome speakers and attendees for such a great experience at Communicating The Museum!

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