STORY Event Series: “The Role of Storytelling In Museums”

STORY” is an ongoing series about storytelling through the lens of different industries; examining how the craft has been used in the past and how it’s evolving today.

Last week’s event focused on how curators and designers blend history with new technologies to create immersive stories for visitors. This was the 7th event in the series to date.


 

Last week IMG welcomed speakers from The National Museum of the American Indian, The Newseum, Gallagher & Associates and the new National Museum of African American History & Culture. The panelist led a thought-provoking discussion on balancing technology while still creating an immersive and inclusive experience. Our four museum experts gave tips for storytelling and shared creative ideas that their museums have pursued to influence the industry. Here are some big ideas we took away:

Know your visitors. It’s important to always remember who is coming to see your exhibits. With rapidly advancing technologies, the level of understanding differs from visitor-to-visitor. So introducing the latest trend may take away some visitors understanding of your exhibit.

Objects, and the story around them, should move the visitors. Developing a strong story is a key part to engage visitors. Taking them to a place to fully engage and understand the importance of the object is the goal of creating an immersive experience.

Technology should not be the focus of the exhibit, only enhance the experience. We live in an increasingly mobile-fronted environment through which people filter their worlds, and museum experiences are no different. Many have reinvented their museum experiences with mobile and AR capabilities as an integral part of the experience. But that doesn’t mean the objects take a backseat. Instead, use technology to experience the object in multiple ways and create an environment where people are connected to your museum long after they’ve left.

And Last but not least, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at what other industries are doing to create experiences for their customers. Look at every company from Nike to Costco, as well as your favorite Instagrammer or Tweet Master. Look at what they’re doing to engage with their audience and grow upon it. Look at their website, use their mobile apps, analyze their content. Find the ways they are fitting into their customer’s life (not the other way around) and apply these techniques to your goals. This kind of detective work will broaden your creative resources and ultimately bring innovation to your next project.

STORY is taking a break for the summer, but be on the lookout for more events this fall!

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