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2017 Schedule

CultureGeek 2017 Schedule



Collect your delegate badge and join us for tea and coffee.


CTRL + F “Black”

Kimberly Drew, Social Media Manager, The Met

According to research by the Mellon Foundation, museums within the Association of Are Museum Directors (AAMD) are 72% White Non Hispanic and 28% Minority with 84% of museum curators, conservators, and educators identified as White Non Hispanic. In a recent study by the Arts Council England, an “overwhelming number of organizations throughout the country are headed by white people.” 

In this lecture, Drew, who currently serves as The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Social Media Manager will discuss her work on her tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, her work at The Met, her work as part of the Black Art Incubator, and her work as an advocate for artists and cultural producers of color in New York City’s art community online. In addition to highlighting her own work, the lecture will highlight strategies for visibility that have been employed since the 1980s. 

With a keen interest on the power of collectives, time management, wellness, and work-life balance, this presentation will serve as a how-to for being an agent of change within the art world. 


We Chat and the Fondation Louis Vuitton digital communications strategy in China: a case study on how not to get lost in translation

Patricia Buffa, Head of Digital Communications, Fondation Louis Vuitton

With over 2,000,000 Chinese tourists who visited France in 2015, China is France’s second tourist market after the United States. The same year the number of visitors of the Louvre coming from China grew by 73%. In January 2016, with these figures in mind and the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s programming entirely dedicated to Chinese contemporary art and culture we launched our We Chat, Weibo and Douban accounts, as well as the Chinese version of FLV’s app.

With 800 million active users, an average engagement rate much higher than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and an integrated technology allowing for messaging, blogging, gaming and mobile payments, We Chat represents an incredible opportunity for western museums to attract and better communicate with the growing Chinese tourist flows.

However, for a Western institution, mastering the technical and legal aspects of activating a We Chat account only represents a collateral challenge, compared to successfully communicating with the young, dynamic, well-travelled and affluent Chinese museumgoers. Since simply translating the contents we produce for our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds into Chinese has proven not to be a good strategy, some understanding of the Chinese cultural context and their way of using social media is imperative.

This presentation aims at reporting back on Fondation Louis Vuitton’s experience while adventuring in the realm of Chinese social media, what we learned from it and our strategy for the upcoming years.


Adventures in Daytime TV - live streaming Rambert

Tim Wood, Marketing Director, Rambert

Annually for the past couple of years, Rambert has presented a day-long live stream behind-the-scenes as Britain’s national dance company goes about its daily business. Rambert Live is very loosely curated, has minimal production standards, and on the face of it nothing much happens. It is also by many measures the most popular thing that Rambert’s ever done.

Tim will talk about how and why Rambert Live came about, and what its success might mean in the future for the company and its audiences.


Message from our sponsor, Art Fund

Charlotte Wood, Senior Marketing Manager (Museums)




Kickstarting Eric: Recreating The UK’s First Robot

Will Stanley, Senior Communications Officer, Science Museum

In May 2016, the Science Museum launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to recreate Eric for the Robots exhibition. Eric, the UK’s first robot, was built in 1928 by Captain W.H. Richards & A.H. Reffell. Eric was a talking, moving mechanical person who amazed crowds across the UK and the USA, but then mysteriously disappeared.

By June 2016, thanks to the generosity of 861 backers from across the world, the campaign had raised £50,000 enabling the Museum to bring Eric and a second robot, Inhka, back to life. Made from a steel frame, motors, electronics and a fearsome aluminium skin, the new Eric is now part of the Museum’s permanent collection. Inhka was a sarcastic robot receptionist at Kings College London from 2003 until 2012, but needed careful conservation to bring her back to life for the Robots exhibition.

This talk shares the story of the Science Museum’s first Kickstarter campaign and how we brought Eric (and Inhka) back to life.  


DAM-ed if you don’t

Stacie Slotnick, Assistant Director of Communications, MIT Media Lab

In 2015, the MIT Media Lab began the largest website project in its 30+ year history. This required creating a basic digital asset management system (DAM). They needed a central repository for images and other collateral; they had closets and filing cabinets full of video cassettes and slides of decades of incredible Lab research, and wanted somewhere to put this content that was simple–and enjoyable–to use. As they explored features for a basic system, they unearthed many strategic reasons to create a more feature-rich and robust DAM system. They needed to give the Media Lab’s 25+ research groups, and hundreds of researchers and administrative staff, the ability to concurrently organize all this legacy media, and also wanted to create a foundation for additional media curation and presentation goals.

Their research into available solutions, both open-source and enterprise, didn’t produce options that they felt would work for them, so they decided to build a custom solution. As they’ve presented the completed first phase of the website project, including the first iteration of the DAM, there’s been a great deal of enthusiasm about the DAM’s open-source possibilities. The more they use the system, the more excited they are about its power and usefulness.

This presentation will discuss what MIT Media Lab  learned while creating this DAM, and opportunities for other organizations and institutions to leverage what they’ve built.


Storytelling with emerging technologies

Toby Coffey, Head of Digital Development, National Theatre

Theatre has a strong history of using technology to support storytelling techniques. This presentation will look into the work that the National Theatre is doing with emerging technologies and artists to find the compelling new ways of engaging audiences, telling stories and enhancing the practice of theatre-making. From 360 films, virtual reality and motion capture we look at what we have already found and what these ‘keywords’ really mean for the potential of dramatic narratives.




David Watson, Head of Digital, Hull UK City of Culture 2017


Great Digital Expectations: Visitor Experience in Cultural Venues

Joe McFadden, Chief Technology Officer, Royal Opera House

We all expect so much from digital. Increasingly our expectations are set by the biggest brands: Apple, Amazon, John Lewis, Virgin Airlines – in a real sense, they are ‘the competition’ our customers will compare us to. And today’s customers want to be dazzled & delighted; they will be very demanding; but they often end up let down by digital.

The Royal Opera House, as a ‘traditional’ cultural venue, is transforming its use of technology and its operating model to put digital at the heart of its customer experience, as we Open Up our Covent Garden home to welcome new audiences to great Opera & Ballet. 

We’re using user journey mapping and service design to rethink how we deliver better experiences to both our current fans and new visitors. We want to make digital a key customer touchpoint in everything we offer –before, during and after a visit to our venue. We’re testing a range of technologies before our new spaces open in 2018, including e-ticketing, location based mobile services, immersive AR and VR experiences and digital signage. We’ll talk about how we’re developing the experience and testing the tech while working in the middle of a building site! 


Wrap Up and Thanks