Section Menu
> > Attendance at Museums Association Conference 2014, Sue Shave

Attendance at Museums Association Conference 2014, Sue Shave


Sue Shave, Director, Chiltern Open Air Museum

Title of Project

Attendance at MA Conference in Cardiff


9 - 10 October 2014

What was the Project aim(s)?

To provide an important CPD for the Director of Chiltern Open Air Museum through attending the sector conference of the Museums Association.

What was the impact of the project?

What new skills have you gained?

Some of the sessions I attended provided me with more knowledge and methodology in HR, marketing and fundraising.

How has your organisation become more efficient and/or effective?

The conference stimulated discussion and new ways of thinking for museum operating models with the managers at COAM.

What are your organisation’s plans for a sustainable and resilient future as a result?

We are rethinking our operating models for 2015 and in particular, volunteer management and fundraising models to ensure financial sustainability.

What went well and what didn’t go well?

Was the consultant/trainer the right person for the job? Why is this?

The most beneficial parts of the conference were the Friday key note speech by Matt Fraser on disability in museums, the HR session with Tamsin Russell and the Press Gang session on marketing. The opportunities to meet key suppliers such as the Modes Association or ACE were extremely useful too in moving collections care and retail opportunities forward at COAM. One of the greatest benefits was the networking opportunities to meet new people, colleagues from similar museums and existing contacts which helped to set up new projects and provide useful personal feedback and encouragement. I was also able to visit St Fagans, a similar open air museum to see how they operate.

I did find that some of the sessions were not very good or were even very poor and did not stimulate discussion or an interactive approach, which felt like a wasted opportunity to learn. Some of the speakers didn’t really share lessons learnt either but were full of rhetoric instead.

How did you encourage everyone in your organisation to engage in the project?

I have been able to share my experience and learning with the staff team at our staff meetings and this has provided some good discussions and generation of new ideas.

Top Tips

Make the most of all the opportunities that conference has to offer. I went to the networking party and then the “come dine with me” experiences on Thursday evening with Sam Mullins and Gaby Porter and I learnt a lot in the stimulating dinner discussions about the AIM ACE bid and different models of working in museums and membership organisations.

What are your plans for the future?

How will the learning from this project be implemented in your organisation?

Learning shared with Trustees, staff and managers and this will inform our future development thinking and plans.

What further work has this project identified, and how do you plan to address this?

My experiences have revealed what might be possible here in the future and our staff, managers and Trustees will be discussing how we might change to meet the challenges of 2015.

Overall Cost of Project

£263.19 plus Conference ticket.