We’ve been getting ready for the annual Stakeholder Forum at the Powerhouse Museum, and it occurred to us that in some ways the title of this auspicious event doesn’t really do it justice. With its connotations of being a ‘player’ and a ‘mover-and-shaker’ that the word ‘stakeholder’ conjures, it could easily be seen as a misnomer.
Perhaps some of you don’t consider your small community-run, or regional museum to be a stakeholder at all, given the tight budget you work with; the struggle to keep the doors open and the front desk staffed; and the mounting responsibilities of keeping a historical collection well-conserved, carefully interpreted and now, of all things, digitised!
Or perhaps you see the general cultural landscape through an El Niño lens, with opportunities drying and shrivelling in a long hot summer.
But that’s where you would be wrong. You and your organisation are indeed partners, collaborators, contributors and custodians of NSW’s rich and vibrant cultural heritage, and the annual Stakeholder Forum is for you.
The Stakeholder Forum been a recurrent event in the almanac of regional professional development for many a year: an initiative of MAAS who in part built their reputation by fostering partnerships and by providing hands-on support for regional organisations. So they know their stuff, and this year they are again offering a diverse array of topical presentations, discussion opportunities, and importantly, a whole day to talk to each other.
We are particularly looking forward to exploring cultural tourism: how to recognise it when you see it, capture it as it passes your door and contribute to it to make it better.
The basis for strong cultural tourism is partnership; with your local council, with other community organisations big and small, and with a keen eye for what an audience might want from you.
Caroline Downer, Regional Arts Officer and past Director of NERAM gives us a practical guide on improving visitor experiences with attention to cost effectiveness and economies of scale.
Elliot Bedisloe, Marketing Manager with the QLD Writers Centre, will talk about fundraising by crowdsourcing and who will–guaranteed–start at the very beginning.
We’ll hear a host of speakers who have grass roots experience of working at the coal face, people like: Harlan Hall from Berrima Museum who has successfully raised funds for a new extension just by asking; Debbie Sommers from Port Macquarie who will give us the back story to the Our Rivers Our History project which united seven regional museums to create a digital experience of the region; and Kevin Williams from the mid-north coast who will share 10 simple steps to help you take a piece of the tourism dollar.
So have a look at the program right now! There is something for every stakeholder, which means You.
PS: Don’t forget that in the evening we will announce the IMAGinE Awards winners at the Justice and Police Museum at Circular Quay. And that, quite simply should not be missed.