Thursday 19 March 2020

08.30-09.30 Registration, Breakfast and Trade Show Viewing

08.45-09.00 Freshers’ Meeting

09.30-10.15 Opening Keynote: The Big Picture
Hilary McGrady, Director-General, National Trust

Good for the Environment, Good for Business
Last year the National Trust’s commercial income grew to more than £23 million. Hilary McGrady will set out how the Trust is responding to changing consumer demand for more environmentally sensitive products and practices whilst continuing to grow.

Hilary became Director-General of the National Trust in 2018. She’s worked for the Trust since 2006 since joining as regional director for Northern Ireland. Originally trained in graphic design, Hilary’s career path started in the drinks industry in brand and marketing. In 1998 she moved to become director of a national arts charity and was seconded in 2002 to become CEO of Belfast’s bid to become European Capital of Culture.

Hilary McGrady
Director-General, National Trust

10.15-11.00 Coffee and Trade Show Viewing including Showcase Sessions

11.00-12.00 Directors’ Question Time chaired by Caroline Brown, with Hilary McGrady, Director-General, National Trust; Paul Carty, Managing Director, Guinness Storehouse; Iain Watson, Director, Tyne & Wear Museums & Archives; Bernard Donoghue, Chief Executive, ALVA


Caroline Brown is Head of Commercial Services at the British Library and the Chair of Trustees for the Association for Cultural Enterprises.

Bernard Donoghue has been the Director of ALVA since September 2011 following a career in advocacy, communications and lobbying. In May 2017 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, appointed Bernard to be the Mayor’s Ambassador for Cultural Tourism and a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Leadership Board.

Paul Carty is Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s number one visitor attraction. Welcoming over 1.7 million visitors per annum, it has become a must see iconic attraction under Paul’s stewardship.

Iain Watson is Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Vice Chair of the National Museum Directors’ Council, Chair of Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues, a member of the Advisory Board of Art UK, a member of the Steering Group for the English Civic Museums Network and a ‘Distinguished Friend’ of the Migration Museums Network.

The panel will also feature Keynote speaker and Director-General of the National Trust, Hilary McGrady.
Caroline Brown
Bernard Donoghue
Paul Carty
Iain Watson

12.00-13.30 Lunch and Trade Show Viewing

13.30-13.45 Chair’s Welcome – Caroline Brown, Chair of the Association for Cultural Enterprises

13.45-14.15 Seminar Sessionschoose from:

The view from the high street: lessons from businesses bucking the trend
Catherine Erdly, Director, Future Retail
Physical retail isn’t dead – boring retail is dead. Blogger and retail trainer, Catherine Erdly will look at what we can learn from high street retailers who are bucking the trend, with examples from the new breed of retail businesses who are delighting their customers and adapting to the new retail reality. Catherine will explain how they are sharing their stories and rethinking their physical spaces.

Tullie House launches patron scheme in style
Amy Walker, Head of Programme & Projects, Tullie House
In November 2018 Tullie House Museum launched a new patron scheme at a celebratory dinner to mark its 125th birthday. Guests were invited to view exhibitions, explore collections, hear about future plans and be entertained by a staff-led ‘Call my Bluff’ game. The event provided a platform to tell VIPs and stakeholders about the Museum’s purpose and charitable status. 

Book cover design: who is it for and how do you make it work?
Angus Hyland, Creative Director Lawrence King Publishing Ltd
Never judge a book by its cover…but we all do. This session will look at the challenge of producing a striking cover that will not only work on the printed book, but also stand out in your gift shop and high street bookshops and as a thumbnail online or in your catalogue. Angus will discuss the trials and tribulations of juggling key stakeholder needs, from authors and artists to sales reps, retail and editorial.

14.15-15.00 Seminar Sessions – choose from:

The visitor attraction to fashion at the V&A
Sarah Sevier, Head of Retail, V&A
In the last five years the V&A has staged a wide range of fashion exhibitions including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Dior and Mary Quant. These exhibitions have proved to be extremely popular, with high visitor numbers, an increase in V&A membership and significant uplifts in shop sales. Sarah Sevier will present an overview of recent fashion exhibitions at the V&A and illustrate the qualities that have made each one different in terms of the retail proposition.

Catering in partnership
Phil Smith, Commercial Director, SS Great Britain Trust
Phil will share his experiences of running the visitor catering and venue hire business across four very different museums, including what he has learned about contracting out, running the business in-house and developing a profit share partnership model.

The hard sell: the life of a book sales rep
David Segrue, Director, Pinnacle Books
Hear from the other side with this insight into the life of a sales representative; the trials and tribulations of calling on book buyers who either want to see you, don’t want to see you, or who are no longer allowed to see you, as well as the visits to wholesalers and a certain dominating high street bookstore. What are the challenges for sales reps calling on cultural shops and can we work better together?  

15.00-15.45 Tea and Trade Show Viewing including
Showcase Sessions

15.45-16.30 Seminar Sessionschoose from:

Breaking the plastic addiction: can museums lead the way?
Victor Oliveira, Director of Merchandising, Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts
Victor will examine the potential of museum shops to lead by example in sustainable commerce. In the same way that many cultural organisations raise awareness on environmental issues, cultural shops can also be a vehicle for teaching best practice in sustainability, providing knowledge and alternatives to environmentally unfriendly goods.

“We know we need change, but don’t change that, or that….”
Sarah Fellingham-Adkin, Director of Enterprises, National Theatre
It is widely acknowledged by many executive teams and advisory boards at arts and cultural institutions that they need a steep increase in self-generated income to help provide funds to enable them to fulfil their mission and vision. The trickier bit is accepting how significant the changes might need to be in order to achieve that. Can commercial teams thrive and deliver in that environment?

Publishing and retail: friends or foes?
Gina Fullerlove & Lydia White, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
How can publishing and retail teams work better together? What do both sides want? Engaging and understanding different aspects of our businesses can be tricky but so worthwhile. How can we be more creative and make more money for our organisations through closer working practice?

16.30-17.15 Seminar Sessionschoose from:

Creating successful collaborations with artists and designers
Ross Christie, Assistant Manager, University of Edinburgh Shop
Since 2014 the University of Edinburgh shop has regularly collaborated with artists and designers on a range of retail projects. Ross will reflect on previous projects before moving on to a detailed case study of a current collaboration with a local illustrator. Ross will explain the whole process from initial meeting to final products and discuss the challenges and opportunities that can arise from projects like this for all parties involved and how to make the most of these.

How to build a commercially successful visitor attraction
Paul Carty, Managing Director, Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s number one attraction, with 1.8 million visitors a year. Seventy per cent of visitors to Ireland decide to visit the home of Guinness before they arrive in Dublin. What did Paul get right in the 20 years he has been at the helm and what would he have liked to have been better in his initial strategy? What are the key metrics and revenue streams to support the business? Paul will share his top 10 tips for success that have worked for him.

Publishing with a tiny team or no team at all
Panel chaired by Declan McCarthy, Ashmolean Museum; with Rory Hill, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts; Susan Pacitti, Glasgow Museums (Glasgow Life); David Tibbs, IWM; and Maxx Lundie, Tate
Our panel of publishing professionals will discuss some of the common challenges faced by anyone involved in book publishing, with a special focus on organisations that have very small in-house publishing teams or none at all. The panel will cover a range of topics, including when to publish or not, working with publishing partners, and how not to get ripped off.

20.00-23.00 Gala Dinner & Cultural Enterprises Awards at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate

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