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Connected Audience Conference 2019

The Role of Emotions in Museum and Cultural Experiences

Conference Programme Booklet

Conference registration OPEN

WORKSHOP Registration (only once you are registered for the conference)

How to get there?

Conference Hotel booking

About the conference

KulturAgenda Institute for Museums, Cultural Enterprises and Audiences, The Institute for Learning Innovation and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin together present a conference exploring the newest research in human emotions and the role they play in museum and cultural experiences.

Emotions are core aspects of human behaviour which have an impact on learning and the development of memories. They are influenced by social factors and can help shape connections which are hugely important for cultural institutions and their audience development activities.

In the past museum experiences were too much focused on the intellectual and logical transmission of knowledge however research shows that emotions are key to visitor engagement. So what can museums and other cultural institutions do to be more effective in meeting individual visitor needs and connect to their local communities? Can we design better cultural and museums experiences by knowing more about the impact of emotions and the whole complexity of arousing emotional responses?

In a series of presentations, small group workshops and panel discussions we would like to discuss with emotion specialists, academics, museum professionals and professionals from other cultural institutions the challenges we face in generating exhibitions and developing audience-focused organisations that talk to the many and what role emotions play in all this.

Participants will have the opportunity to both contribute and learn about topics such as:

  1. Creating awe, wonder and empathy in museum and cultural experiences

This strand explores how exhibition design and narration/interpretation (or scenography) use (or arouse) emotions in order to create more engaging experiences.

  1. The role of emotions in visitor engagement and visitor satisfaction

This strand explores the role emotions play in museum education and what kind of impact they have on learning and visitor satisfaction.

  1. Emotion as the driver of decision-making and its potential for programming and marketing

This strand is all about decision making – why do people come to museums? But also: How can we create messages so that they speak to the a wider public but also meeting individual needs?

Confirmed experts

The following high profile experts have already confirmed their attendance: John Falk (Institute for Learning Innovation, US), Maria Gendron (Yale University, US), Paul Spies (Stadtmuseum Berlin, DE), Sheila Watson (University of Leicester, Museums Studies UK), Mirjam Wenzel (Jewish Museum Frankfurt, DE), Elif M. Gokcigdem (Author and founder of Empathy-Building through Museums, US), Martin Tröndle (Zeppelin University, DE), Tom Owen (PGAV, US)

Who is it for?

Who would we love to meet at the conference:

  • Museum directors and managers of cultural institutions
  • Academics and specialists in the field of psychology/emotions
  • Museum designers and interpretive planers
  • Educators
  • Museum curators
  • Marketers
  • Audience researchers
  • Professionals from other cultural institutions
  • Teachers and
  • Visitors and non-visitors

Conference Design

This 2.5-day international conference will provide inspiring discussions and productive interactions between conference organisers, local museums and cultural institutions, conference participants, facilitators and visitors. We seek to create a facilitating and stimulating atmosphere with a strong dialogical approach. Participants will gain relevant experiences and insights for their professional practice.

With this conference format we want to bring together museum staff and researchers, scientists, artists and many other stakeholders and even connect with visitors and non-visitors. We are keen to make audience research and development a key component of museums work and want to showcase good practice, discuss new research findings and connect theory and research with practical work on the ground.

Location & Date
Kulturforum Berlin
(Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz)
Matthäikirchplatz (close to Potsdamer Platz)
10785 Berlin

4 – 6. April, 2019
Start on Thursday, 14.00
Finish on Saturday, 17.00

Conference Fees:
Early Bird:             300 EUR (till January 20th)
Standard Ticket:   360 EUR
Tickets are on sale now!

Student Ticket:     200 EUR (limited tickets available – please via this link – student registration)

Organising Committee

The conference is jointly organized by the Institute for Learning Innovation, KulturAgenda – Institute for Museums, Cultural Enterprises and Audiences and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

Cooperation Partners



KulturAgenda sees itself as facilitator and promoter of audience focused museums and promotes a change in institutional culture from being object centred to being audience focused, more open and inclusive and fulfil a social role in society. Our members strongly believe that audience research and audience development are the ‘fundamentals’ in the goal to make museums more relevant to a wider audience and KulturAgenda wants these topics to have a more prominent role in what museums do.