Joining bgen

bgen Conference Proceedings 2017 – Day 2

Thursday 9th November 2017

Site visit: Developing audiences in Wicklow Mountains National Park and the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh

Field trip exploring Wicklow, the ‘Garden County of Ireland’, including a workshop to design and create a land art piece.

Glendalough Co. Wicklow: The Glendalough Valley is a tranquil haven just a short drive from Dublin in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. This morning visit will take in the incredible scenery, abundant wildlife and rich history amongst an unforgettable setting. The trip will start at the impressive monastic city and stone round tower dating to the 6th century. This will be followed by a visit to the placid lakes which were carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age, all nestled in a semi-natural oak woodland. Glendalough is also home to a great diversity of bird and mammal life including the great spotted woodpecker, the peregrine, feral goats, and Sika deer.

National Botanic Gardens Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow: Located in east County Wicklow, our sister garden in Kilmacurragh is the centrepiece of an 18th century estate that once covered over 5000 acres. The milder climate, higher rainfall and deeper, acidic soils of this historic garden, provide a counterpoint to the collections at Glasnevin. This tour will highlight plants from the Himalayans and Southern Hemisphere, many of which were collected and discovered on recent expeditions led by the Botanic Gardens.

We will also look at how features such as the wildflower meadows and the fossil lawn are used to engage and increase ecological awareness with the public. Education has a growing role at Kilmacurragh. In the spring of 2006, an Education Guide Staff was established and this small, dedicated team organise daily-guided walks, workshops and other educational tours. Following the tour of the gardens, participants will be invited to participate in creating a mandala using foraged pieces from nature to create a unique land art installation.

 Talk: Telling Ireland’s story – learnings for visitor attractions

Mark Henry, Director of Central Marketing, Tourism Ireland

Talk: Growing the Tourism market

Rory McCarthy, Innovation and Investment Officer, Fáilte Ireland

Mark Henry is an insight-driven, strategic marketer and an established leader in deploying new media marketing. He leads the Central Marketing Division of Tourism Ireland – the public body responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas. Mark has responsibility for the organisation’s marketing functions on the island of Ireland, with teams based in both Dublin and Coleraine. His remit covers strategy development, research, brand, content, marketing communications, e-marketing, customer service, and cooperative marketing activity with the tourism industry. He has previously led the promotion of national tourism initiatives such as ‘The Gathering 2013’ and ‘Northern Ireland 2012’ overseas. Mark is currently Vice President of the European Travel Commission which unites 32 of Europe’s national tourist boards. Before joining Tourism Ireland, Mark was Strategic Development Manager with the internet arm of Horizon Technology Group plc and Head of Research & Planning for the e-business subsidiary of eircom. Mark has a Masters degrees in both Psychology and Business Administration.

Rory McCarthy has worked at Fáilte Ireland for nine years. His current role involves developing and rolling out the capital grants scheme for large tourism projects including heritage sites and visitor attractions around Ireland. Other current and former projects within Fáilte Ireland include the Fáilte Ireland & OPW Strategic Partnership, Wild Atlantic Way Interpretation programme, the New Ideas in Ancient Spaces Grant Scheme for Ireland’s Ancient East, Dubline Development Fund, NYE Dublin / Gathering Launch and the National Festivals Funding scheme. Prior to joining Fáilte Ireland, Rory was Tourism Development Officer in York where he focused on development of new festivals to showcase heritage and culture and new interpretation projects to improve the visitor experience.

Workshop session 2

Growing for good: reaching new audiences at RHS Garden Wisley

Ian Thomson and Kate Orchard, Royal Horticultural Society

Share your experience of audience development and piloting new work. Explore together how we can grow the experience for new and existing audiences and grow our garden heritage, Science and our people; now and for the future. This workshop is inspired by Heritage Lottery Fund development currently underway at RHS Garden Wisley.

Ian Thomson has been Head of Media & Insight at the RHS for the past 12 months. In the previous 15 years, Ian held a number of senior roles within media agencies, focussing predominantly on digital media, account management and audience insight. In his time at the Society, Ian has introduced a number of new insight approaches and ways of working including a new brand tracker, Ad hoc online audience surveys and ACORN segmentation of our shows visitors. As part of the current HLF bid at RHS Garden Wisley, Ian is involved in improving the understanding of current and future visitors and creating a 5-year marketing plan to attract these new audience segments.

Kate Orchard joined the RHS Community Outreach team and RHS Garden Wisley in 2017 from Whitmuir Organic Farm where she was responsible for leading a Climate Challenge Fund programme about food, farming, land use and sustainability. She has 20 years’ experience in the horticulture, heritage and cultural industries in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Over the years her work has focused on the important role that heritage plays in regeneration, place-making and its social impact on individuals, diverse social groups and organisations. Kate has developed and delivered community outreach programmes through active engagement and partnerships including the Skills for the Future programme Scottish Council on Archives, UK Centre for Carnival Arts, the Museum of London / London Museums Hub, and the English Heritage economic and social impact study of Historic Environment of Liverpool Project (HELP).


Flourishing Partnerships

Jo Bradshaw, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Explore how to create unexpected partnerships that flourish, and how to handle those that do not! Throughout Jo’s working history, she has created and developed cross-discipline partnerships in order to engage new audiences. From recruiting film students to develop new digital events, content through a HLF funded traineeship programme, to training Deaf BSL users as gallery guides, or joining forces with the London College of Fashion. Successfully establishing new partnerships can be an excellent opportunity to attract and embed new audiences in the work of your organisation.
Looking at case studies from Jo’s work at a number of organisations including Tate, the Garden Museum, and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, we will explore how to assess your assets for potential partnerships, find the unlikely win-win, share the successes, and navigate the disappointments. In this participatory session, you will be asked to brainstorm your own ideal partnership models, get the chance to workshop new ideas and consider alternative perspectives on what makes a partnership successful.

Jo Bradshaw is the Visitor Learning Manager at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, currently leading a team of eight to deliver a larger scale HLF funded activity plan with new projects in family, community and youth-led informal learning. This role draws on her previous experience developing and delivery a range of successful learning programmes for diverse audiences in a number of major cultural institutions including the School of Life, the British Academy, the Garden Museum, Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Maritime Museum.

Engaging disadvantaged communities through story

Andy Crofts and Max Coleman, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

As above (workshop session 1)

Speed making

The theme for  speed making activities this year was small scale – ‘something to fit in your pocket’, which was a chance to share favourite making activities with others and pick up some new ideas too.