Kitchener, ON – THEMUSEUM, in Downtown Kitchener, is seeking participants for a new research project to help museum staff offer exhibits and programs that respond to the interests of the community. At the project’s centre is an easy-to-use website with surveys that will allow interested individuals the opportunity to provide feedback and ideas that will help THEMUSEUM improve and grow.
Volunteers, or “Community Consultants,” are invited to visit a dedicated web page to complete the initial study (approximately 12 minutes long) and provide general information about their interests and opinions.
Those wishing to continue will be asked to participate in a brief 5-minute survey four to six times a year. All personal information will remain confidential, and those participating for one full year will be entered to win a trip for two to Havana, Cuba, and can receive more information by contacting WebPanel@THEMUSEUM.ca.
Algorithms will emerge over time and be analysed to refine the Web Panel data. The outcome will be a powerful marketing tool making the information invaluable to THEMUSEUM as well as other cultural organizations locally and potentially across Canada.
“One hallmark of THEMUSEUM is that we focus on fostering dialogue. I’m particularly enthusiastic about this project because I see it as the beginning of a critically important conversation between us and members of the community in a way we haven’t been able to do before,” said David Marskell, CEO of THEMUSEUM. “Ultimately, it’s not only going to allow us to make more strategic decisions, it’s going to provide us with an opportunity to hear from people we may not be able to meet in person.”
The Web Panel has been developed in consultation with a founding Board member of THEMUSEUM, Glen Drummond, Chief Innovation Officer at Quarry in St. Jacobs along with current Board member and Wilfrid Laurier University marketing professor Dr. Sarah Wilner.
“At a time when cultural institutions must compete for increasingly limited resources, this new volunteer panel is an innovative way for us to work smarter,” noted Wilner. “We are confident that it will not only allow THEMUSEUM to continue to provide exciting and relevant programming, but by allowing us to better understand the needs of our current and future audiences, it also has the potential to inform how we can effectively collaborate with other cultural institutions, both in the region and beyond.”
The initial costs were supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, with technical assistance from Kitchener -based MetricWire, and students from UWaterloo’s Master of Digital Experience Innovation program (Stratford).
Anyone who is interested in donating their time to participate in the Web Panel can do so online at www.THEMUSEUM.ca/themuseum-web-panel.