News & events > The Connected Audience Conference 2017 | Austria
14 Sep 2017 - 16 Sep 2017

The Connected Audience Conference 2017 | Austria

The role of museums and cultural institutions in society has changed and is becoming increasingly more visitor-focused. Successful institutions need to be open spaces and partner with multiple organisations and initiatives to support learning, social development and growth in a changing world. However, there is still a long way to go to ensure an audience-focused perspective within the culture sector and for this approach to be considered as a key strategic element of an institution’s culture. It is vital that museums and cultural institutions know their audiences (and non-audiences). This knowledge will enable them to come up with effective strategies to connect with diverse audiences while also addressing the audiences’ individual needs and expectations. To explore these challenges, the Connected Audience conference brings together experts and practitioners from the museum and culture sector from around the world to share and discuss cutting-edge thinking and innovative practice in audience research and development. The main goal of the conference is to examine how audience research and evaluation can support museums and other cultural institutions in gaining a greater understanding of their audiences. By using these tools, institutions will be able to increase participation and better inform their strategic development and overall cultural practice. The conference will focus on questions such as:
  • How can free-choice learning research support audience development initiatives?
  • How is audience research and evaluation helping to identify individual needs?
  • What does it mean to define target groups beyond demographic segmentation?
  • What are the challenges and barriers to include audience research results in institutional planning and strategic positioning?
  • How should an organisation be aligned so that all departments feel responsible for audience development?
  • How can a fruitful balance be achieved between visitor focus and institutional constraints?
  • What can futurist trend research contribute to new audience development initiatives and how can it help to proactively shape museum policies?

Conference design and speakers

This 2.5-day international conference will provide inspiring discussions and productive interactions between conference organisers, local museums and cultural institutions, conference participants and facilitators. This approach offers a role model of organisers' vision of how museums can connect with their multiple audiences. There will be a minimum of talking heads and a maximum of participant engagement. Organisers seek to create a facilitating and stimulating atmosphere with a strong dialogical approach. Participants will gain relevant experiences and insight for their professional practice. Speakers include, among others:
  • John Falk, Director, Institute for Learning Innovation, Oregon, US
  • Lynn Dirking, Professor Free-Choice Learning, Oregon State University, US
  • Oona Strathern, Futurist based in Vienna and Germany, Ireland
  • David Anderson, Director, National Museums Wales, UK
  • Lisa Baxter, The Experience Business, Halifax, UK
  • Charlie Trautmann, Director Emeritus, Sciencecenter, Ithaka, New York, US
The Connected Audience 2017 conference is organised by KulturAgenda, Austria, and the Institute for Learning Innovation, US, with support from the Federal Chancellery of Austria and sponsorship of Uniqa! It will be held at the Austrian Museum of Architecture, in the Museumsquartier, Vienna, Austria, on 14-16 September. For additional information and registration, please visit