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That’s a Wrap…! AAM 2016

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It was a year where our audio reigned supreme, where Virtual Reality stole the show and where we questioned the use and abuse of technology.

AAM 2016 AG.JPG

MUSE-ings

Acoustiguide swept the top two MUSE awards in the category of Audio Tour/Podcast: Gold for The Broad Museum’s Artists on Artists Tour and Silver for Chicago History Museum’s Chicago Authored Tour.

You can read more about our Broad project here: http://bit.ly/1Q3Cg6o

For the Chicago History Museum project, we got to have a little fun with Chicago’s literary past and present by celebrating the writers who have defined the character of the city.

Inspired by the trending podcast sensibility and a desire to attract millennials, this experience featured two young hosts giving commentary on selected literary excerpts by Chicago authors. They were lively, funny, smart, opinionated and engaging. And, fittingly enough, Chicago natives read all of the literary excerpts.

We enhanced the audio content with photographs selected by the Museum from their archival collection and produced a series of original videos that celebrated contemporary Chicago.

Read more about it here: http://trib.in/1X79eqJ

 

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality had a huge presence at this year’s convention. There were several different companies primarily focused on VR and a few other companies that were offering it as a component. The VR booths got a lot of attention because they were typically large spaces with people doing strange things (some were lying on tables to experience the VR, others were in big glass boxes and sort of flailing around). They put on quite a show…but what the future holds for VR in museums remains to be seen.

 

Whither Technology?

At the Media and Technology Breakfast, they got us going with loads of coffee and kept us going with some provocative chitchat. The topic: where does technology fit into the museum experience?  It’s no secret technology can enhance and improve the visitor experience.  But can it detract?   Sure.  When the technology is too intriguing….or more confusing, it becomes a distraction.  What’s the happy medium? 

Some AAM participants felt there weren’t enough technology-focused sessions offered this year. Attendees wanted to learn more about virtual reality, about how to broker partnerships with website design companies, how to collect data on the quality of engagement with works of art.

AAM suggested we think about technology not as an isolated tool, but in relation to visitor services, in relation to exhibition design, in relation to collection management.  So, as it was explained, technology was part of many of the panels—but embedded as part of a broader discussion rather than called out on its own as a separate entity… Change the question, change the conversation: This is what the sessions at AAM endeavored to do. 

 

 

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