It’s conference season again and this week thousands of museum professionals are meeting in Phoenix Arizona to reflect on how to best educate, engage and elevate during the annual meeting organised by the American Alliance of Museums.

If you have been to any of the main museum conferences in the last years, you probably remember the Vastari booth, and most likely have one of our USB pens on your desk.

This year, after thorough consideration, we decided to attend the conference without taking a booth. Since the decision was not taken lightly, I decided to share and unpack our reasoning.

We launched Vastari Exhibitions three years ago to change the way museum professionals connect and exchange their shows.

Since then we have been helping thousands of museum professionals come together to exchange their exhibitions and make them accessible to new and larger audiences.

As a new company in the space of travelling exhibitions Vastari has benefited greatly from having a booth. It’s been an interesting and fruitful brand building exercise, an excellent way to create awareness about our vision, mission and community.

That said, being able to reach such a large audience in such a short time, has been made possible primarily by the power of technology and a data-driven approach.

You might be wondering: if we are aiming to capture such a large volume how do conferences fit within our strategy?

Whilst we need volume in order to change how the cultural sector works, we appreciate that a qualitative approach is just as important. The more museum professionals we work with, the more it is apparent that identifying trends is only possible on a high level.

You can draw conclusions and better understand how to tour internationally, forecast whether a specific concept or exhibition idea is viable and raises interest before investing in producing the show, and identify the criteria used by hosting venues in selecting their exhibitions.

However, once the relevant partner and strategy has been identified, both parties need to appreciate the nuances of each others’ operating models in order to have a fruitful collaboration.

This is why our Travelling Exhibitions Specialist Liviu is reaching out to attendees to plan some focussed time and better understand our current and potential members’ needs.
We decided to use conferences as a learning opportunity to understand the main challenges of the museum professionals we are striving to help.

Rather than having hundreds of conversations about us, which is what a booth allows you to do quite effectively, we want to hear more from you. At conferences we will have fewer and deeper conversations, meet those of you that already know about us but would like to put a face to a name, and allow ourselves the necessary time to hear your thoughts.
We look forward to seeing you there and, if you really want one, we are still going to be bringing our USB pens!