Successful Museum Exhibits - Meeting the needs of local and international museum visitors

Phil Aldrich
AldrichPears Associates, Canada

What makes successful museum exhibits successful? How does a museum achieve success, especially in transnational collaborations where distance and cultural differences must be accommodated? In this interactive presentation, Phil Aldrich, a widely recognized expert in institutional and interpretative planning, discusses the relationship between successful exhibits and museum audiences while revealing the process of achieving effective exhibit design and production.

In the final analysis it is the impact and the relationship we build with our audiences that determines whether exhibits succeed, so understanding and meeting the differences in audience needs with a variety and balance of techniques is paramount. Providing cues to content and theme; accommodating a variety of learning styles and interests; making the content relevant; and offering opportunities for personal reflection and social interaction are approaches that effectively satisfy the visitors’ motivations for visiting an exhibit.

The process of designing and building successful exhibits is explored with a focus on visioning, organizational planning and partnership development. Phil’s facilitated planning approach emphasizes collaboration and facilitated workshops to help museum groups create or advance their vision, exhibit design concept and thematic framework.
Within a transnational context, this process is modified to accommodate long distances, many players, cultural differences and diverse audiences.

As a principal of AldrichPears Associates and a Certified Professional Facilitator through the International Association of Facilitators, Phil brings to ICOM decades of experience in the exhibit design industry. AldrichPears Associates is a Vancouver-based firm that provides exhibit design and planning services to museums, science centers, zoos, and interpretive centers around the world.

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