One of the first talks at the M+H Show was by the Museum Support Alliance set up earlier this year as a collection of cultural organisations that collaborate to offer guidance and resources and training to peers and was the epitome of the M+H Show where more than 2,000 visitors were able to benefit from the sharing of expertise at more than 60 free talks.

Visitors were also able to hold one-to-one conversations with the 160 suppliers who were on hand to explain their latest products and innovations some of which were launched at the Show. These included the Qurator app, which was officially launched at the Show and lists events and exhibits in museums and galleries across the UK allowing visitors to search for the nearest cultural attraction while on the move.

“We loved the Show and had a really productive time,” said co-founder of the Qurator app, Paul Freedman. “This was our first ever event of this kind and we made lots of new contacts, had great feedback on the app and have booked plenty of meetings in the diary.”

Some visitors had a particular agenda at the Show such as Belinda Wong Sau-Lan, the Museum Director Hong Kong Museum of History who was attending the show with the Department of International Trade, as her museum and one of its branches, are about to embark on a major refurbishment of its permanent exhibition spaces.

“I was looking for service providers to help with exhibition design, fabrication and multimedia,” she said. “My time at the Show was non-stop and there were a good number of service providers and we agot lots of information and references.”

Many of the talks in the four theatres, including Dr Fabrice Jouvenot’s on using Google Tango augmented reality at Queen’s House to bring historical figures to life, saw attendees cram into the theatre space, sitting and standing on the sidelines. Over the two days there were also 17 masterclasses and demos from various museum suppliers including PLB, which gave top tips for interpretive scripts and a special Ask the Expert area.

Among the experts were the Association of Independent Museums, whose executive director, Tamalie Newbury, also gave a talk on Helping Your Organisation Propsper. “We have a presence at the show because we get to see lots of our members and prospective members,” she said. “We can also catch up with suppliers and get an update on what’s happening in the sector to better understand the issues and concerns.”

M+H Show manager, Sara Bowen, said this year’s Show was a big success and the best-attended so far.  “There was an extremely positivite atmosphere, which was really great to see and as usual with this sector there was a real open exchange of ideas, insight and advice with so many visitors benefitting from the jam-packed programme of free talks – often with standing room only in the theatres,” she said. “Our on stand sessions were really popular this year too with visitors maximising the opportunity to learn direct from the partners and suppliers to this sector to gain more in-depth knowledge. I hope, as planned, that our visitors left with their thinking absolutely recharged.”

The Museums + Heritage Show 2018 will take place at Olympia West, London on May 16-17. If you would like to give a talk at the Show please contact M+H Show Manager Sara Bowen: [email protected]. And if you are interested in sponsorship or taking a stand please email Felicity Jolliffe: [email protected].

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