How to Empower Staff with New Ideas for Audience Engagement (Case Study: Museums of Mississauga)

Museum Hack - Renegade Tours

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Does your heritage site want to revitalize your current programming and attract new audiences?

The Museums of Mississauga are a collection of heritage buildings that showcase the early settler experience and life in nineteenth century Canada.  Among them is the Bradley Museum, which features three historic homes that bring together the stories of several pioneer families.  The Museums of Mississauga were seeking new ways to engage audiences and empower staff with fresh ideas and tools.  They called Museum Hack!

Mississauga Museums

Start with What Inspires You

We packed our bags and headed to the Museums of Mississauga to lead staff in our Audience Engagement Workshop.  Lia and Evan spent their first day exploring the diverse collections of the museums, finding objects and stories that inspired them.  They customized these stories into short demonstrations as an introduction to our methods for successful audience engagement. 

The next day, Lia and Evan presented their mini-tours to Museums of Mississauga staff, exploring the museums from a new point of view.  After the demonstrations, Lia and Evan led staff in a series of fun icebreaker activities to encourage collaboration, get to know one another, and provide great talking points about fun activities to use on tours.

Museums of Mississauga staff participating in fun icebreakers.  Image courtesy Merri Fergusson.
Museums of Mississauga staff participating in fun icebreakers. Image courtesy Merri Fergusson.

Add Museum Missions

Mississauga staff interactively discussed our techniques for high-level audience engagement that can be used during their programs and tours, including the object hacks and activities that we had demonstrated.  We also discussed varied types of activities that can be used during tours or one-on-one to help visitors engage with objects and discover new, interesting facts about the museum’s collections.

Learning how to Hack the House.  Image courtesy Merri Fergusson.
Learning how to Hack the House. Image courtesy Merri Fergusson.

Have Fun!

Museums of Mississauga staff loved it!  Check out these great testimonials from Bradley Museum staff:

“You are both gifted, fun and inspirational young adults – we were so fortunate to have you for our Hack. Staff were responsive, excited and imaginative in their work on Saturday and I loved the amount of laughter!”

– Merri Fergusson, Museums Education Program Supervisor

“Be prepared for new tour experiences. Coming soon! Thank you @MuseumHack for the training & staff empowerment.” Image courtesy Museums of Mississauga.
“Be prepared for new tour experiences. Coming soon! Thank you @MuseumHack for the training & staff empowerment.” Image courtesy Museums of Mississauga.

We had an amazing time with Museums of Mississauga staff!  It was wonderful to help them brainstorm new ideas and learn about the incredible history of these great historic homes. 

Ready to increase audience engagement at your museum? Contact us to find out more about how we can help your institution develop fun activities and new audience engagement strategies.

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