The Museums + Heritage Show announces ambitious 2017 programme

Posted April 21, 2017 at 8:03 am


The Museums + Heritage Show 2017 is next month and the organisers of the UK’s most comprehensive event for the cultural sector has announced its most ambitious programme yet.

Taking place at Olympia West in London, on 17 + 18 May, the Museums + Heritage Show combines two great days of free-to-attend talks with the sector’s largest trade exhibition of more than 150 suppliers. The event is designed to offer increased support and information for key decision makers in museums, galleries, heritage and cultural attractions and is the event of choice for professionals across the sector to share ideas, knowledge and advice.

With more than 50 sessions and 90 expert speakers, the programme is neatly divided into four different streams across each of the two days, helping visitors to make the most of their time at the Show.

On Wednesday, 17 May the programme will be themed as follows: Learning in partnership with Culture 24 and sponsored by DJ Willrich; Engaging New Visitors; Understanding your Visitors in partnership with Colin Mulberg Consulting and Exhibition Design + Interpretation, sponsored by PLB.

Thursday’s programme will be tackling the following themes: Collections in partnership with Emma Chaplin Heritage & Museum Services and sponsored by Axiell Archives Libraries Museums; New Technology in partnership with Mar Dixon, sponsored by ColliderCase; Funding, Retail + Enterprise sponsored by Levy Restaurants UK as well as a continuation of the previous day’s Exhibition Design + Interpretation stream, sponsored by PLB.

With so many FREE talks in the programme here are just 10 things you are guaranteed to learn by visiting the 2017 Show:

1. How to get the most out of your volunteers
Headstone Manor & Museum, Volunteer Makers and the whole story will all be talking about how you can get the best from your volunteers, how to train them to engage with visitors and also how to attract volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.

2. What could Brexit mean for your organisation?
The outcome and findings from ICOM UK and NMDC’s conference tackling some of the key issues relating to Brexit

3. HLF support for collections development
Find out more about this initiative including early evaluation findings from the latest Collecting Cultures Programme

4. 50 ways to make your shop work harder for you
Find out practical tips and innovative ideas that you can take away and put into action in your own retail offering. Offers, visual merchandising, product development, location, appearance, staff management and much much more.

5. Future Trends
Tech whiz Mar Dixon and Dean Johnson will be on hand to take a look at what the future holds from a technology perspective

6. Guerrilla marketing
Co-opting partners in creative and playful ideas can promote your museum and its collections to new audiences in new areas. Taking two ‘outreach marketing’ projects at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History – Goes to Town and Dodo Roadshow – we will reveal what worked, what didn’t, and why it was worth it.

7. Cost-Effective Audience Development
Hear how SHARE Museums East and South West Museum Development helped small- to medium-sized museums to conduct their own visitor research and benchmarking, interpret and use the data and then implement changes. The de Havilland Aircraft Museum shows how the process boosted visitor numbers, increased visits and income, and supported successful HLF bids.

8. How to turn Visitors into Donors
Including a look at donations boxes, membership schemes, Gift Aid, community fundraising and online donation

9. Helping your organisation prosper – a how to guide
Colleagues from AIM share insights, ideas and practical advice from the AIM Hallmarks Programme that can help you make your organisation more successful, regardless of size, budget or location.

10. Top ten tips for museum learning on a budget
GEM share information on how to run education and outreach programmes, and how to get support when you really need it. This session is of particular interest to museums without dedicated learning staff and those who rely on volunteers.

The Museums + Heritage Show is open to everyone working in museums, galleries, heritage and cultural attractions and is entirely free to attend. It takes place on 17 + 18 May in Olympia West, London. The Show opening times: Wednesday 17 May 0930 – 1730, Thursday 18 May 0930 – 1700.

To register for FREE ENTRY visit

The show brochure can be viewed by clicking here.