5 Ideas on how to engage with visitors during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

We have all been affected by the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in one way or another. The virus has clearly hit some countries and regions harder than others, but when faced by a pandemic, we are all in the same boat.

As of today, many museums, science centres, schools and public venues have taken precautions against the spread of COVID-19 to ensure the health of both their visitors, students and staff. Some institutions have been forced to temporary close their venues due to local outbreak or governmental orders. In times when visitors can’t come to interact with your physical exhibitions – you must come to them.

Visualization of a 2019-nCoV spike glycoprotein captured with a FEI TITAN KRIOS Microscope, visualized in Inside Explorer.

We put together a list of 5 activities that you can do while the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping visitors at home:

1. Share your exhibits and research: through the eyes of a sworn enthusiast

Museums and science centres are filled with sworn enthusiast with great love for science, research and collection artifacts. Their passion is so strong – it’s contagious!

Post short movies on social medias of curators/researchers/educators talking about their favourite things. In this way your community gets exclusive thoughts from people working behind the scenes. It will certainly stir up their interest in topics they didn’t know could be fascinating.

Like snails.

We could all take some inspiration from Carnegie Natural History Museum and their brilliant strategy to create a hype on teenagers’ favourite platform, TikTok: https://www.wesa.fm/post/natural-history-museum-curator-becomes-shell-ebrity-mollusk-tik-toks#stream/0.  

2. Make your artifact collection accessible to the whole world – through STEAM.

Follow the example of the Field Museum, University of Florida, Kolmården Wildlife Park and Blue Star Animal Hospital, and join us as we enter STEAM, the gaming platform used by millions of people daily. As we release the Inside Explorer software to consumers, we partner up with unique content providers to create interactive exhibitions that can be experienced from a living room. 

If you have 3D visualizations produced by Interspectral in the past or access to digitized data of your collection artifacts, we can extend the experience and make it accessible outside the walls of the museum. Contact sales@insideexplorer.com for more information about a collaboration on STEAM.

3. Museums out there – Seize the opportunity to digitize your collections and prepare for a great comeback.

Be ready to make up for lost time, when the visitors are returning. Offer a new experience by bringing light to your own collection and the research that goes on within the museum.

We collaborate with museums, researchers, scientists and schools in digitizing and visualizing objects from their own collections. All the datasets you see in our library come from our partners through previous collaborations and productions. While visitors take their time to follow restrictions due to the virus spread, you could seize the opportunity to prepare for their return and present new exhibitions of interactive objects that are digital twins from your own collection. Turn to thomas.rydell@insideexplorer.com to learn how to proceed and get started on your own production.

4. Work together with your audience to create dynamic and engaging social media content

One way to keep the engagement up is to invite your audience to join in on the process of creating content for your social media channels. This can be done in many ways.

Ask your audience to share stories and memorable experiences from visits. Present these stories in your social media feed and encourage others to share their treasured moments. If you manage to get people talking and thinking about those good old memories, who knows, they might be the first to knock at your door.

For more practical tasks, encourage children and their parents to try out a series of experiments at home and ask them to post the results. Or present a challenge on a topic that is typical for your museum. A good combination of education and engagement.

A great and fun challenge to be inspired by:

5. Live stream guided tours and shows and allow for questions

Use what you got. The exhibition halls are still filled with great exhibits waiting to be shared. Give your visitors the possibility to experience it from a distance.

If you have staff onsite, you can live stream guided tours and shows daily. The live video feature on Instagram and Facebook is easy to use and people can ask questions directly in a chat. If you want to give people the opportunity to actively participate in a topic they care for; post a schedule. It could be a good idea to save these videos on a platform where they can be seen afterwards. Just make sure that you don’t give away too much. We want people to come and experience your exhibition for themselves.

Virtually discover the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities using Google Arts & Culture: https://bit.ly/2U0IyPg

In a video from 2018, Denver museum of science and nature answer questions about the exhibit “Look inside the Mummies” in a video posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&v=GmoJJuHjHG0&feature=emb_logo

If you’re already doing any of these activities, great job!

But please contact us if we can assist you in your visualization efforts! We would love to help creating experiences that go beyond the walls of your venue.

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