Networking at the Museums + Heritage Show – a Q&A with the Visitor Experience Forum

For the first time at this year’s Museums + Heritage Show there will be a Museum to Museum Networking Space – taking place on Wednesday 15 May between 1.40pm and 2.40pm – which will encourage visitor experience professionals to share ideas and inspiration.

This session, run in partnership with the Visitor Experience Forum (VE: Forum), aims to facilitate networking for those involved in the creation of visitor, guest or customer experience.

The M+H Show (which you can register for free here) will also provide the opportunity of one-to-one chats with sector leaders in the Ask the Expert zone, which offers a free and easy way to get specific advice from eight key organisations

Here Rachel Kuhn, co-founder of the VE: Forum and consultant at BOP Consulting tells Advisor what to expect

Q&A with Rachel Kuhn, co-founder of the VE: Forum and consultant at BOP Consulting

What is your primary role in the sector?

We run free networking and learning events open to anyone creating and managing experiences for visitors in museums galleries and visitor attractions. We run regular Meet-Up events, problem solving hacks, an annual seminar day and an annual awards scheme.

Why is it important to you to be involved in the Museums + Heritage Show?

Nearly half of our 300+ members are museums or heritage attractions so the show is a great way for us to touch base with our existing members as well as to meet new members. We’ll also be holding one of our Meet-Up events at the show which is a great way for organisations (so rarely all in one place) to connect and share ideas.

What are your goals of participating in this year’s Show?

Our main goal is to help visitor experience professionals connect either through our Meet-Up event at the show or via our LinkedIn group or other events.

We also keen to spread the word about the VE:Forum – the great work we do and the fact that it’s free. Membership is free and it’s free to attend all of our events.

What can visitors expect by visiting your stand?

We’ll have members staffing the stand both days so its an opportunity to meet members and hear first hand how they have benefited from their involvement with the Forum. They’ll also be happy to offer advice on any visitor experience queries or put visitors in touch with members who might be able to help.

What do you think are some of the key challenges professionals are currently facing in this sector?

Role descriptions seem to be getting broader and broader with people expected to undertake tasks outside of their experience or primary skill set. The VE:Forum provides a real source of support to staff finding themselves in this position as they are able to tap into a huge knowledge pool and peer-to-peer support network.

What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Museums + Heritage Show?

Meeting old and new faces and hosting our Meet-Up event on the 15th.

What can our visitors expect by attending the Museum to Museum Networking Space that you are running at this year’s Show?

A relaxed networking event where they can find out more about what we do and meet existing members. If you’re nervous, not sure if its for you or are worried about speaking to people – please don’t worry – we’re really friendly and our existing members will be there to encourage things along and to make sure no one’s left standing in a corner!