Thinking digital?

Headline sponsors of AIM Conference 2024, Bloomberg Connects, on strengthening your digital presence.

Today, it’s more important than ever for cultural organisations to have a robust digital presence. Many museums are contemplating some sort of app or digital guide – and they have a wide variety of options to choose from. With audio, video, text, and images, digital guides can enrich the visitor experience before, during, and after a museum visit, and can also help engage those who might never set foot in your space. But sometimes it’s difficult to know how an app can fit into your digital strategy.

Here, the team at Bloomberg Connects – a free app that currently hosts digital guides to more than 400 museums and cultural organisations worldwide – explore a few key questions to consider before taking the plunge.

How might I use audio to engage my organisation’s audiences?

Have you heard that “people like to look with their eyes and learn with their ears”? Audio is a powerful tool for audience engagement and storytelling, and one of the key reasons to create a digital guide. Personal perspectives from artists, curators, and unexpected voices can provide unique and valuable entry points into your organisation’s art and artefacts. Museums of all sizes are using audio in creative ways on Bloomberg Connects. Check out the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s interviews with security guards, the Centre for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP)’s intern-led tour, or Somerset House’s Sonic Histories.

What accessibility needs or goals does my organisation have?

Providing a welcoming, inclusive, rich experience to all is a key value of many cultural organisations. However, depending on the size and expertise of your staff, it might be hard to know how to create a truly accessible visitor experience. Bloomberg Connects has been designed for maximum compatibility with assistive technologies, and offers built-in tools to support accessibility, including alt-text, transcripts for audio, and closed captioning for video. And if you’re ready to go even further, get inspired by our partners who are leading the way with accessibility, including MK Gallery, whose “Art and Us” programme for children with complex support needs is spotlighted in their guide and the Jewish Museum, whose guide features tours in American Sign Language (ASL).

Do I need support in reaching multilingual audiences?

Whether your museum is considering ways to increase access to the arts for residents that feel more comfortable in other languages, or seeking to engage with multilingual tourists, Bloomberg Connects can help. By integrating Google Translate directly into the app, Bloomberg Connects allows users to experience your content in over forty languages – helping your organisation to meet audiences where they are.

What resources does my organisation need to create a digital guide?

Choosing a digital product requires careful consideration of available resources. Even if you choose a free platform for your digital guide, your organisation will need to make sure to allocate appropriate staff time. A good guide is generally a collaboration between team members across a range of roles and departments, from marketing and communications to curatorial and education.

With Bloomberg Connects, initial training and guide development takes place over twelve weeks, alongside a cohort of other cultural organisations – a wonderful way to share ideas and experiences with colleagues. A dedicated team of content experts are on hand to help you throughout the process, but your staff’s perspective, expertise, and participation are essential to making a great guide, so make sure to plan around other important projects.

If you are interested in learning more about Bloomberg Connects or are ready to get started, please click here>>

And if you’re attending AIM Conference 2024, you’ll be able to meet the Bloomberg Connects team and find out more.