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Thursday, November 5 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
How Did I Become the Ringmaster? The Art of Juggling Digital Projects

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Welcome to the circus! Whether a project manager by title or by accident, many of us who plan, coordinate, and deliver projects for museums receive little, if any, formal training in project management. Still, we juggle varied goals and, in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, learn what works—and doesn’t—as we go. Even when we may feel as though we’re balancing on a tightrope, our communication tools, including scheduling management, spreadsheets, to-do lists, budgets, and reminder emails, form the invisible architecture of how projects reach their (sometimes rescheduled) launch dates.

Digital projects present unique challenges—whether it’s pressure from a director to develop an app or persuading a more traditional board of the importance of social media engagement—within an ever-changing environment. How do we manage expectations when digital is the elephant in the room? How do we identify target audiences and objectives, as well as stay true to them throughout the process? How can we collaborate across our institutions and help to increase digital literacy across all departments? How can we take a cue from professionals doing similar work in the for-profit sector and work in more agile ways while facing non-profit time and budget constraints?

In this session, we’ll bring together emerging and seasoned professionals who have played ringmaster to a range of digital initiatives, from small-scale, short-term projects to the opening of new museums. Members of this group have launched redesigned museum websites, managed digital resources for educators, produced mobile apps, and created in-gallery interactives. This session will include representatives from diverse institutions, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, The Field Museum, National Gallery of Art, and The Phillips Collection. Presenters will share about their current projects and processes, then participate in a round-table discussion with questions introduced by both the members of the panel and audience members.

Planned Panelists:
Meagan Estep, Social Media Manager, National Gallery of Art
Scott Gillam, Manager, Digital Platforms, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Laura Hoffman, Manager of K-12 Digital and Educator Initiatives, The Phillips Collection
Jennifer Schmitt, Head of Information Technology and Electronic Communications, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Susan Wigodner, Web and Digital Project Manager, The Field Museum

avatar for Scott Gillam

Scott Gillam

Manager, Digital Platforms, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
avatar for Laura Hoffman

Laura Hoffman

Program Manager, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Laura is a museum education technologist specializing in visitor and online engagement. She develops public programs and digital interpretation for the Lunder Conservation Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In her previous role as the Manager of K–12 Digital and Educator... Read More →

Jennifer Schmitt

Head of Information Technology and Electronic Communications, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
avatar for Susan Wigodner

Susan Wigodner

Manager of Exhibition Media, Obama Foundation

Thursday November 5, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm CST
Great Lakes A2 Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

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