komadori spent much of yesterday at the Science Museum Festival of Innovation at Wroughton. The mix of old the museum’s old — and sometimes not-so-old — artefacts, a small number of exhibitors showing off their new technology, a location with fine views, plus excellent weather all made for a thoroughly enjoyable day.
One other thing that made the festival enjoyable was that it was busy, but not crowded. There was space to stand back and admire the exhibits; the place was bustling but not thronged. As others have pointed out, the event didn’t get a great deal of publicity. An article in the local newspaper, a page on Facebook, a video advert a few twitters from the museum’s senior curator, and that was it. Of more conventional advertising there was, seemingly, very little. That really doesn’t match the event manager’s stated aspirations.
We want people to know that this amazing facility is on their doorstep and it is the first and only time this year that it is open to the public. We want everyone in Swindon to come along and get involved.
In the run-up to the museum’s bid for lottery funding, the museum opened several times in the year. Now that’s passed, they seem to have given up somewhat. That said, if they had really promoted the festival, I doubt they could’ve coped without shipping in staff from other branches of the museum or volunteers. As the museum’s senior curator has said,
stored collections – where there is a will to open them up, there’s a way.
Lets hope they find both the will and the way more often in future, and shout rather louder about it when they do.