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Mark Tosdevin: You can actually employ a lot of additional events and activities and interactive elements to any exhibition to make it interesting for different audiences.
Female Student 1: For the younger generations, I think Hallowe’en weekend is an awesome idea, and I think a music events would pull ranges.
Female Student 2: Years and years ago they had a fashion think upstairs. That was quite interesting.
Jenny Beale: When you have an exhibition that’s just an exhibition, some people find it hard to engage with it and understand the meanings behind it.
Caroline Krzesinska: Our learning teams can open up dialogue and routes through different audiences, whether they’re young children, mums and dads, or the formal education sector, so they are hugely important, and they add such an important ingredient in the way we work our exhibitions.
Tanya Weall: I think it’s really essential to open up galleries in this way. I think that especially for young people wanting to go into the art field, if they haven’t had the opportunity to go into the galleries, it can be a ver intimidating field.
Rachel Moss: Whereas for some people once the displays are up they breathe a sigh of relief, someone like me will try to come in and activate it to get people to engage with it.
Jo Cunningham: We run talks, we run interest groups, we have a volunteering programme to get adults involved.
Adam Milford: Rock concerts, poetry readings, comedy nights…
Rachel Moss: …photography, to painting, to drawing, to DJing, dancing, fashion shows, all sort of things.
Doris Pearce: It’s so great to be able to use that space creatively and to come out of universities and classrooms.
Male Student 1: This module that we’re doing at the moment, we have to completely make a performance from start to end. All done by us.
Female Student 1: The show is about comedians, and there’s been a display space in the gallery for comedians. So we went to that gallery, and took down information about comedians and put it in our play.
Jo Cunningham: It’s a different experience than working in the classroom, the objects are there or the paintings are there, the atmosphere is different. I think it just takes people out of the everyday, and puts them in a different atmosphere where learning can happen in a different way.
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Theatre takes place all the time, wherever one is, and art simply facilitates persuading one that this is the case.

John Cage, Artist, Composer and Poet

The gallery is a unique space in which to perform an event – a living, breathing stage in which to interact with your audience. You can create a world within a world. Your set is the building and the display itself – you are performing in context with your audience. With your imagination you can open their eyes to different ways of seeing or take them way beyond the gallery walls.


Spend some time finding out what events are taking place in your local gallery or museum. Who do you think would be interested in the event? Why is the event taking place at the venue? Go to an event and analyse its success.


Think about organising your own event. What do you want to achieve? Who do you want the event to appeal to? Who will you work with to ensure the event is successful? How will you know if your event has been a success?


Managing an event requires good organisational and communication skills to ensure everything falls into place. What logistics do you need to think about on the day of the event? How do you ensure the audience feels welcome and relaxed?


Events evaluationHow will you know if the target audience liked the event? How will you know if the event budget was stuck to? What would you do differently next time?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Organise a Successful Event?

Dominic works for Museums Sheffield. Ask him your top 10 questions about organising events?

  1. What events do you organise?
  2. Who do you invite?
  3. When do you start planning the event?
  4. Is the audience important in organising an event?
  5. Who do you invite to speak?
  6. What's your budget?
  7. How do you evaluate success?
  8. How do you decide when to have an event?
  9. How do you avoid clashing with other events?
  10. What is your top tip?