Collections are the reason we are here; they are our mission. We manage, preserve, and care for them, we put them on a pedestal and take pictures of them. We use our collections to tell stories, to educate, and to enrich.
Collections are the reason our audiences visit us, but there are changing expectations about what that experience should be. We are engaged in an increasingly-challenging competition for the attention of our audiences, so “the game is afoot” as we work to define what it means to be a 21st century collecting institution in an experience-driven world. What are the strategies and paradigms in this battle for engagement? How can we give our audiences want they want? Should we be giving them what they want? How do we define and promote engagement in this world, and what does all this mean for the collection tools we have at our disposal?
None of these questions may be answered to your complete satisfaction, but it will be fun and informative to try.
Nik Honeysett, Chief Executive Officer, Balboa Park Online Collaborative