South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries


Interpreting, Curating and Combatting the Climate Emergency

1 & 2 October 2020

Online (Zoom)

Tickets are available to members and non-members - there are discounts for members (become a member here).

If your organisation is unable to use online booking services, please click here for information on other ways to book.

This event (originally scheduled for summer) has been moved online with new dates and prices. Click here for further information about this.

Be inspired

The 2020 conference theme is ‘Interpreting, Curating and Combatting the Climate Emergency’, and will also discuss life after/with the COVID-19 pandemic. It will focus on the different ways the museums and heritage sector can respond to the challenges posed by climate change and COVID-19.

Sessions will explore and discuss how museums and heritage sites can contribute to increasing public awareness and civic engagement, and how we can develop sustainable and safe practices which will mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency, and to the coronavirus. The event will provide inspiration and practical examples to take away and apply to your own work and the organisations you work with.

Click here to read about the speakers and workshop sessions

Hear from the experts

We're delighted to announce that our keynotes are Stuart Frost (British Museum), and Dave Coleman (Carbon Literacy Project) & Lynsey Jones (Museum Development NW)

You can now read about our first announcement of speakers and workshop options by clicking here. They include speakers from:

  • Climate Museum UK
  • V&A Museum of Childhood
  • Fit For The Future Network
  • University of Exeter
  • Kids in Museums
  • National Maritime Museum Greenwich
  • Thought Den
  • Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
  • The Box Plymouth, Museum Gallery Archive
  • Bristol University School of Earth Sciences
  • Cornwall Museum Partnership
  • The Heritage Centre, Bude
  • Wheal Martyn Clay
  • SpinDrift Dance Collective
  • CoaST, the One Planet Tourist Network
Watch this space for more announcements, or sign up to our mailing list for news.

Who should attend?

The 2020 South West Fed Conference is open to members and non-members. With an array of speakers and talks, there will be something for everyone to take away. It is ideal for anyone who is:

  • Working with or in museums, heritage sites, art galleries, heritage services (including volunteers) at any level
  • Looking for ideas and inspiration on how increase public awareness and civic engagement on the climate emergency in museums and heritage sites you work with
  • Looking to find out how others in the sector are adapting to life during or after the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Interested in understanding how the sector can develop sustainable and safe practices which will mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency, and to the coronavirus.
  • Looking to build on their existing knowledge on the topic
  • Interested in developing their own learning and CPD
  • Keen to network with people across the heritage sector in the south west and beyond


We encourage you to share what you are learning at the event on Twitter using the hashtag #SWFED2020.

Format changes

While we have had to move the conference online, we are still very excited by the programme. We will continue to provide a high quality two day event with a wide range of talks and speakers – we will be updating our event pages in the coming weeks with programme updates. The format changes are as follows:

  • The conference will be hosted on Zoom - this is easy to use and enables us to have breakout rooms (support will be on hand for using Zoom)
  • The theme is still ‘Interpreting, Curating and Combatting the Climate Emergency’ but we will also be considering how the pandemic has impacted this and what it might mean for the future
  • There will be some spreading of the talks to enable screen breaks
  • You will still be able to choose workshops to join - we are looking into ways to make some or all of them available to ticket holders after the conference

2020 AGM

The 2020 AGM will take place at 4.15pm on Thursday 1 October via Zoom. All members are invited to attend. You do not need a conference ticket to attend the AGM. Please email if you would like to attend.

“This year’s theme was chosen because our sector can help raise awareness of the climate emergency and engage people in the discussion. Thanks to people power and activism, much of the public have heard that the population needs to act, but many people will be looking to further understand the issue - we as a sector can help that. We also need to set an example and make sure we are doing everything we can to be sustainable and adopt best practice. I'm looking forward to seeing the learning, ideas and discussions that come out of the event. We have also adapted the programme to include how the sector is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis, and how it is impacting work on addressing the climate emergency.”

Claire Dixon - Chair, South West Fed


Book your place now

Ticket type

Price (£)

Standard booking (member only) - 2 days


Standard booking (member only) - day 1


Standard booking (member only) - day 2


Standard booking (non-member) - 2 days


Standard booking (non-member) - day 1


Standard booking (non-member) - day 2


Trade stand - Corporate Member per day (includes 1 delegate place)


Trade stand - Non-Corporate Member per day (includes 1 delegate place)


Event Information


The conference will now be taking place online via Zoom. A link will be made available to ticket holders nearer the time. If you wish to look at how Zoom works beforehand, you can visit

Joining South West Fed

South West Fed members benefit from discounted conference tickets. If you are not a Member and would like to join the South West Fed before booking your conference ticket, please visit our membership page here.

Information about why we rescheduled the 2020 Conference and moved it online

In March, we announced that the South West Fed Conference 2020 was to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve listened to advice from the Government, and our Board has reflected on what would be safe and responsible even as social distancing rules are relaxed in the coming months. The health and safety of staff, attendees and volunteers is our priority.

We also recognise that the sector must do its best to bounce back and we need to continue to support that by meeting our mission of “creating opportunities to connect and inspire the heritage community across the South West, for the benefit of organisations and their audiences.”. For those reasons, our Board has made the decision to take the conference digital in the Autumn (1 & 2 October). We have set up an FAQ page with some helpful guidance about the changes, including what to do if you bought a ticket before these changes - click here for FAQs:

Sponsors & Partners

We'd like to thank our conference sponsors Vernon Systems and Culture force, and conference partners South West Museum Development Programme, for their support.

We'd like to thank Bath Spa University who were initially hosting the event.

Bath Spa University logo