Conference Programme 2021

Note the opening plenary session with Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP on 16 June will be pre-recorded. Submit your questions by emailing Margaret Harrison on by the end of May and AIM Chair, Andrew Lovett, will put as many of your questions to the Secretary of State as time allows.



Wed 16 JuneThurs 17 JuneFri 18 June
Leadership and governanceNew ways of workingGet ready – future focus
1010- 1050Conference Opening Plenary


Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sport, Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP in conversation with AIM Chair Andrew Lovett

Responding to challenging times.


Chair of the National Trust, Tim Parker

Managing through COVID and staying relevant – another sector’s perspective.


Jessica Figueras, Chair, National Childbirth Trust

1050-1120Visit the ExpoVisit the ExpoVisit the Expo
1120-1220Leadership challenges in small museums


Coping with COVID and preparing to meet the future needs of visitors and local communities.


Carrie Canham, Curator, Ceredigion Museum; Karen Buchanan, Curator, Gairloch Museum

Going digital   


Telling your stories and connecting with audiences digitally is more important than ever. But how might you approach this as a small museum with limited resources? Two members explain their approach.


Amy Shakespeare, Innovation Manager, Cornwall Museums Partnership; Owen Roberts, Curator,  Eyam Museum

Getting ready for new audiences 


Adapting and preparing for the future is a focus for all museums at present. Hear how two major museum refurbishments opening in 2021 have risen to the challenge.


Sara Blair-Manning, Chief Executive Officer, Nottingham Castle Trust; Dr Jon Murden, Director, Dorset County Museum

1240-1330Succession planning for boards


How to manage succession effectively – case studies and helpful tips for success.


Heather Lomas, Prospering Boards consultant

Managing change in museums


Museums are currently having to adapt almost every aspect of their organisation to a changing world. Two sector experts offer practical change management advice and discuss concerns.


Piotr Bienkowski and Hilary McGowan


Future of volunteering panel discussion


Volunteers are the lifeblood of many small museums – how can we help them return to work safely and plan for a future volunteering world that may be very different.


Matthew Hick, Chair, Heritage Volunteering Group; Eleanor Moore, Sustainable Volunteering Officer, Museum Development South West; Becky Benson, Volunteering Officer, Shropshire Museums

1330-1400AIM AGM Member showcasesManaging risk in times of uncertainty


If there is one hard lesson the pandemic has taught us, it is that best laid plans can be thrown into disarray by the unforeseen. But what can museums do today to minimise tomorrow’s risks? In this panel session we’ll be exploring how museums have sought to better futureproof their strategies in times of uncertainty, as well as looking at how the scope and nature of available insurance options have changed in the face of the pandemic.

1400-1430Visit the ExpoVisit the ExpoVisit the Expo
1430-1530A new model for leadership


Sara Wajid and Zak Mensah, Joint CEOs, Birmingham Museums Trust explore a new approach to leading one of the UK’s biggest museum services as co-CEOs, hear about their challenges and their strategy for tackling them.

Tackling Inequality


AIM launches its new NLHF funded grant fund for members New Stories New Audiences and experts provide helpful guidance and case studies on successfully running community engagement and co-creation projects in the Heritage sector.

Ready for the future?


How museums and heritage organisations need to develop to stay relevant to their audiences.


Lizzie Glithero-West, Chief Executive, Heritage Alliance; Sarah Philp, Director of Programme and Policy, ArtFund; Sajida Carr, Director of Operations and Development, Creative Black Country