steveslack.co.uk

Consulting at Fulham Palace

In Museums on January 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

I’ve just finished a piece of work with Fulham Palace – another of London’s amazing ‘hidden gems’. It’s been a pleasure to work there, not only because the staff and volunteers there are lovely and the work was stimulating, but also because it’s such a beautiful building.

Traditionally the home of the Bishop of London, the palace is now split into a variety of different functions. Alongside the offices, cafe, shop and gardens are some rather handsome gallery rooms, a great hall and – fortunately for me – a museum! They’ve done some amazing work in recent years, opening up the building and refurbishing areas which were in dire need of repair. Indeed while works are currently underway to restore some of the garden areas and to create a new education centre the palace commissioned me to undertake some audience research in advance of their third HLF funding application – the first two have both been successful!

The museum asked me not only to find out what visitors think of the museum and how it might develop in the future, but also to train them in how to go about audience research on their own. This was great from my point of view as it meant me not having to move in and undertake the research myself – instead I was able to train up a group of volunteers to conduct face-to-face interviews themselves.  I then chaired some focus groups, analysed the interview results and wrote a report based on the findings. But more than just finding out what their visitors think of the museum, Fulham Palace are now equipped with the skills to do it for themselves.

As a freelancer I can build bespoke pieces of training for museum staff and volunteers in any of the areas where I have experience and expertise: audience research, writing for museums, writing for audio, being a freelance show off etc.

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