Virtual Conference – Sustaining our museums through and beyond Covid-19

Webinars, Monday 28th September 2020

IATM is pleased to announce a virtual annual conference on Monday 28 September 2020, a day of four linked webinars with a concluding session.

Each webinar to be 1hr 15mins, with short 10-minute presentations, questions and discussion to be chaired by hosts from the board of IATM.

We invite all the museum colleagues to register and join this conference through ALVA, AIM and Museums Association and across international networks. The IAMT membership is not required to attend the webinars.

The conference is free of charge, but it requires a separate registration for each session. Please note that all the times are BST (British Summer Time) and remember to check the right time in your time zone. ;-D

The conference will be generously supported by Gateway Ticketing.


09:30 Welcome, Sam Mullins OBE, President, IATM
09:4510:45Webinar 1: Operating museums in an epidemic –
what have we learned?
11:0012:15Webinar 2: Can museums sustain themselves through digital content and income?
13:0014:15Webinar 3: Postal & Communications museums
15:0016:30Webinar 4: What will the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19 look like for Transport and Communication Museums
  Questions & Discussion
  Concluding discussion and summary; Sam Mullins, IATM President

Webinar 1: Operating museums in an epidemic – what have we learned?

All the world’s museums in the world have entered the year 2020 in a dynamic and creative way. In mid-March, the Corona pandemic led to an unprecedented lockdown of museums and the entire economy. Our museums provide visitors with experiences – indoors, hands-on, interactive, in family groups, inside heritage buses and trains – how are museums responding to the Covid epidemic and what will the new normal offer be to visitors?

Some museums have been reopened since May 2020, other museums are planning to reopen their operations soon and some will remain closed for some time.

Webinar 1 gives you the unique opportunity to get in direct contact with three experienced museum experts and discuss issues such as “reopening after the lockdown”, “developing protection concepts” or “putting legal requirements into practice”.

Host – Martin Buetikofer, Swiss Transport Museum/Verkehrshaus, Lucerne, Switzerland

Webinar 2: Can museums sustain themselves through digital content and income?

Many museums have turned to online delivery of their content during the epidemic and we expect the mixture of digital and physical experience to become the norm. What opportunities are there for digital and experiential content to be turned into income to sustain the organisation into the future?

Host – Sam Mullins, Director, London Transport Museum

  • Richard Smith, Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, UK
    ‘Six Key Lessons for online success’: The Tank Museum has built a very large online audience through its YouTube channel and is now looking to monetise this through membership and its online shop
  • Callum Lumsden, Lumsden Design
    “How will the ‘new normal’ influence museum’s retail formats?”: Every museum, whether large or small, now needs to raise income more than ever. Museum shops and on-line retail, will be a vital component of your visitor experience in the ‘new normal’. How will that influence your retail formats?
  • Erik de Zwart (founder & director) and Paul van der Lugt (chief editor),; the new online streaming platform for train aficionados;
  • Hidden London tours go virtual’; Molly Jackson, Commercial Director, LT Museum, London on how a profitable disused stations tour programme has gone online.

Webinar 3: Postal & Communications museums

How are postal and communications museums around the world responding to the changes in society, the post, politics, museums and business over the last 6 months?

Host – Laura Wright, Director, The Postal Museum, London

Webinar 4: What will the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19 look like for Transport and Communication Museums?

The health and societal impacts of the current pandemic will continue to have a detrimental effect on all our museums’ ability to function in a viable manner. Our museums not only need to be agile and creative in responding to the changes in our economy and society but will need to search for a new normal that will be viable and sustainable. Essentially, as museums we will not return to our previous models so the task of this panel is to discuss the features of a new normal and the factors we should note when designing our future plans.

Host – Stephen Quick, VP Business Development, Ingenium, Ottawa