The Visitor Studies Group: Championing excellent visitor experiences

Newsletter – December 2015

**Please note that the information below was correct at the time of being emailed to members but may have changed since.

In this newsletter:
•    Conference 2016 – Bookings Open
•    London Xmas event
•    Access Event, Manchester
•    More dates for your diary

It’s been three months since our last full newsletter, but don’t worry, the VSG committee have been working hard. Thanks to all those who responded to our conference call for papers, we’ve been pulling together the conference programme which is very nearly ready to go live – Bookings are now OPEN!
The Manchester committee team ran a thought-provoking event on consulting with audiences with specific access needs.
We also welcomed Chris Whitby from the Science Museum to the team as a co-opted Committee Helper.
For those of you in the London area there’s a chance to get together before Christmas. For everybody else, we’d like to wish you a happy Christmas and New Year and we hope to see you in March at the conference.
As always, if there’s something not included in our plans that you’d like to see then do get in touch.

Conference 2016

The Visitor Studies Group committee is pleased to announce the opening of bookings our upcoming annual conference; “Visitor Studies: It’s what you do with it!” 
This two-day conference will take place on the 16 and 17 March 2016 at the Royal Geographical Society, London.
This year’s conference will examine how we can find ways to ensure that visitor studies have real impact – something we all struggle with. We need to become better at turning research and evaluation into action.
Dynamic, interactive and packed with engaging sessions, confirmed speakers include:
*   Keynote presentation from the BBC talking about their approaches to audience research and ensuring their findings are acted upon.
*   Presentations by Science Museum’s Jane Rayner, Historic Royal Palace’s Emma Morioka, Margot Walker and Lucie Fitton from the Audience Agency, Natural History Museum’s Marie Hobson, and Berlin’s Annette Loeske
*   Interactive skills development by Carline Florence an Insight Narrator examining storytelling from research
*   Workshops by Andrew McIntyre exploring techniques on how to turn data into useable insight; Natural History Museum’s Emma Pegram and King’s College Jen de Witt demonstrate how a learning research agenda can enable visitor research to have real impact; and consultant Maurice Davies and Sam Horsman from Wellcome Collection investigate how more inclusive ways of understanding and undertaking evaluation can achieve more results.
These will be accompanied by many more speakers, networking spaces, a case-study poster session and numerous opportunities for discussion, debate and conversation.

Early bird discounted tickets are on sale now until 31st December from:
For early bird discount and choose your ticket then ‘enter discount code’ and use code ERLYBRD.

Full programme to be released soon.
We look forward to seeing you all in March 2016.


Xmas Event, London

Dear London-based VSG’ers
Joining up with our new partner the London Interpretation Network we are arranging a pre-Christmas meet up on Wednesday December 9  at the Geffrye Museum in East London and then a local pub after.
Geffrye Museum:
The lovely Hannah Fleming, a curator at the Geffrye, has agreed to give us a short tour of their renowned Christmas exhibition and chat with us about the research that feeds into it and plans they have for future re-interpretation of the displays.
We would like to gather at the Museums entrance at 15.50 for a 16.00 start. Please do let me know if you attend this part of the afternoon.
For details of how to get there and what’s on do check out their website:
Christmas drink:
After the Museum we shall be heading to local pub Howl at the Moon on Hoxton Street. We are planning to be there from 17.30 so if you can’t make it to the Geffrye do join us there for a Christmas tipple or two and lots of chats.
Looking forward to seeing you
Kayte, Co-Chair Visitor Studies Group


Access All Areas? Event, Manchester

Thanks to those who came along to this event and a warm welcome to the new members who joined at the event.
Feedback on the event has been very positive and it sounds like a very thought provoking and useful day. If you have not yet completed your feedback survey please do so as it really helps inform future events.
Presentations for the day are now online at


More dates for your diary!

Planning into next year, we will be delivering a training on using visitor studies in interpretative planning for Scottish Natural Heritage with the Forestry Commission Scotland in Battleby on 24 February 2016.

As always, the email address for getting in touch is

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