The emerging exhibits/events model
In the museum experience world, exhibits have been where the focus (and budgets) are. But museum events and meetups frankly are often more fun, with more conversations, and can be more memorable. I’m becoming more focused on the space between, the merging between exhibits and events, especially after a string of events like the NEMA Popup Museum, Museum Puppet Throwdown, and community storytelling in St. Croix.
Events are like the next neurological layer in the evolution of the museum experience. First came the base layer — objects and collections, then exhibits and focus on visitor-experience, and then special events to punctuate exhibits yet on top of that. Ultimately, maybe it’s leading to what Elaine Gurian has called “the essential museum” — a museum that is woven into the fabric of people’s daily lives.
With our Storykiosk work, we’re developing with dual exhibit/event modes in mind. With the exhibit station, we’re also pairing a portable station suitable for taking to festivals, community events, libraries, nursing homes…The Levine Museum of the New South is using a portable station for testing out community stories before their next exhibit opens, and the Albuquerque Museum is likewise using a portable station to populate the exhibit with community stories.
The focus on exhibits + events has another benefit — for museums that host weddings and other paid events, some interesting new revenue sharing opportunities emerge with our Storykiosk work. More on that soon! (get in touch if you’re interested…)