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Saturday, November 7 • 10:15am - 11:15am
The Fourth Platform: The People Part

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For the past two decades, museums have embraced the technology revolution by producing ever-smarter and more effective digital tools for interpretation and visitor engagement. However, in our zeal to make smart digital tools that serve our audiences, many museums have neglected the very best visitor engagement and informational resource we have: people.

A museum’s public-facing staff--its “fourth platform”--has the potential to be as important as print publications, web and mobile resources, and gallery walls for telling museum stories, sharing knowledge, and creating empathetic and personalized experiences for guests. Projects such as the Dallas Museum of Art’s Friends initiative--lauded for the groundbreaking technology platform that provides the DMA and its partners with rich data about visitor behaviors and preferences--rely heavily on the human touch to support and encourage participants, representing a pendulum swing away from digital-only practices and toward the thoughtful and strategic use of human talent.

Borrowing technology and tools from the hospitality and retail industries, as well as from successful private-sector organizations such as Disney, museums are getting serious about the role of public-facing staff in both welcoming and educating our guests. In this session, attendees will hear about a range of new approaches to combining technology with visitor service from an outstanding panel that includes musetech veterans as well as fresh faces new to the sector. The panel will discuss new methods for onboarding and training staff using tools such as learning management systems, free-choice video, and tools for visitor observation; provide tips and tricks for engaging and training underused resources such as security, restaurant, and store personnel; and engage with attendees in an open discussion of current and future best practices in the use of technology to support public-facing staff.


Susan Chun

Chief Content Officer, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago


Eric Bruce

Head of Visitor Experience, Minneapolis Institute of Art
avatar for Rosanna Flouty

Rosanna Flouty

Associate Professor, NYU
avatar for Heather Hart

Heather Hart

Director of IT, The Broad

Saturday November 7, 2015 10:15am - 11:15am CST
Great Lakes A1 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

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