How National Geographic Used Vastari to Find an International Partner in 3 Months

Within the industry a lot of players often miss out on opportunities to collaborate when the lead time is short.

Over the past 6 years, Vastari has invested in centralising and gathering data from the museums we have been assisting. Our address book contains over 24,000 contacts in the museum and culture industry worldwide, with over 6,000 public listings, and new users joining every week.

Whether you are a large organisation with a strong touring exhibitions department or small private company with a focused portfolio of shows, finding the right partner to host your show at the right time can be an arduous task. There are tens of thousands of museums in the world whose operations are governed by many different variables.

In the touring space, the most common offenders in terms of misalignment are budget, timing and available space for your show. According to a recent survey Vastari conducted with over 87 museums internationally, 80.65% of those who rejected applications for exhibitions did so because of timing of the request, and 51.61% had because of budgetary requirements.

How can museums actually know in advance what different institutions expect? Vastari has made its mission that of mapping out these variables in the museum industry, so that even if you are running out of time with a particular show, it would become easier to deliver timely and valuable results. On more than one occasion, Vastari has enabled the process of placing a member’s show in another venue, from the first email to the signing of the contract, in just a few months.

Our company loves celebrating the victories of those who we work with. In this vein, we reached out to National Geographic’s Jennifer Wallace to discuss how, through the collaboration with Vastari, a spectacular exhibition managed to travel from the USA to Europe, and what’s in store from National Geographic for the future.

Jennifer, can you please familiarise our readers with your role at National Geographic?

I am the Director, Museum Partnerships for National Geographic’s Traveling Exhibitions. I oversee a small, talented team of Exhibitions Managers who place our touring exhibitions with museums worldwide in need of fulfilling temporary exhibition space. I have a deep background here at Nat Geo; working for more than 12 years in different roles which has allowed me to gain experience in photography and photo editing, design, marketing, product management and, most importantly, leveraging a strong digital presence.

So how did you promote the traveling exhibitions from National Geographic in the past?

When I came on board with this team in summer 2016, I helped launch a new website that includes an online booking tool to increase inquiries for exhibitions. We’ve also created new marketing materials including quarterly e-newsletters, brochures, etc.

"Vastari helped make a fast and fruitful connection for us with the stunning Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències Museum in Valencia."

Any challenges you found in that way of working?

Even with all of our marketing efforts, we are still a very small team with limited bandwidth, and with more than 55,000 museums in the world, it's simply impossible to reach even a fraction of those consistently.

What was the process through which Vastari assisted National Geographic with its shows?

National Geographic has a fabulous dinosaur exhibition, SPINOSAURUS, that just finished a long stay at the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona. National Geographic wanted to continue to travel the exhibition in Spain for the next leg of the tour. Vastari helped make a fast and fruitful connection for us with the stunning Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències Museum in Valencia. The SPINOSAURUS exhibition was there on view through Feb. 2018. We also use Vastari's online tool to market our other exhibition offerings.

How did you find working with our team at Vastari?

Wonderful team! Vastari is responsive and your online portal is very easy to navigate.

Would you recommend Vastari to other organisations?

Absolutely!

Our readers would really like to know which other National Geographic shows they should look out for in the future?

National Geographic is currently developing an incredible lineup of new photography-based exhibitions, which includes building upon the success of our 50 Greatest Photographs exhibition, with a 50 Greatest series... first up will be 50 Greatest Landscapes, then 50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs, and finally 50 Greatest Portraits - all curated through the very discerning lenses of some of National Geographic’s most well-known photographers and top editors. View more information on these or other exhibitions here.


We love cultivating relationships with our members and meeting in person at conferences, but we also acknowledge that the best way to bring value to them is to focus on a data-driven approach.

Our database allows users and our team optimal accuracy in identifying venues with appropriate interest, space, availability and budget for each and every of the exhibitions listed.

Centralising this data and making it easily searchable and accessible is what we have done differently, and has been the key to our success in building the world’s largest community for travelling exhibitions.

We are always keen to find our next success story! If you have a show in need of extra attention, reach out to Liviu, our Travelling Exhibitions Specialist, so we may work together on making your show's tour as successful as possible.