What are ERIH members doing about site closures due to the Corona crisis? Is the online performance gaining importance and, if so, what are the preferred means of getting in touch with visitors – both past and future ones? Answers to these questions are provided by the online questionnaire we circulated with our last newsletter, with following results:
50 sites participated in the survey. 80 percent of them are increasingly focusing on online activities in order to keep communicating with their target groups. Nineteen participants or roughly fourty percent gained the best results with virtual tours of their exhibitions. Quizzes and competitions, oral history and online exhibitions rank below. Among numerous other online activities, we would like to particularly highlight the lovely idea of inviting local guides to use videos in order to introduce places that are usually closed to visitors, or to shoot video portraits of employees and their specific tasks.
Most of the teams involved in designing and producing the online content are small: one of two participants report a maximum of two people, one of three have three to four online editors. Ideas are mainly developed within the team, with inspiration and input coming from social media and other museums or ERIH sites. About half of the participants are planning to test new online formats, with seven teams even considering to add a new online channel. To ensure long-term benefits, a number of sites plan to pursue their newly launched online activities beyond Covid-19.
Among the 20 percent of participants who don’t increase their online activities, the majority report a lack of personnel or technical resources. Other sites are closed for some time anyway, due to renovation work.
The ERIH association has delivered a range of activities financed by the Creative Europe Programme. In order to evaluate the results of those activities and also to measure members’ satisfaction we undertook a printed poll and an online poll.
The printed version was given to members of the association during the ERIH Annual Conference that took place 21-22 September 2017 in Copenhagen. 50 printed polls were handed out and 31 of them were completed. The online version was sent to all members of ERIH. We received 60 responses.