AMOT holds a yearly conference in October, which is open to all. The conference provides a great opportunity to share experience and best practice, with updates from within the Army museums network, the wider heritage and military history sector, and organisations such as the Ministry of Defence. We are keen to bring together all of those involved in Army museums, including Trustees, Curators, Educationalists, Front of House and others, to share knowledge and provide guidance.
The 2021 AMOT conference offered attendees the chance to attend either in-person or online. With conference hubs across the UK, network members had the opportunity to once again meet within a museum and talk to colleagues while watching the talks throughout the day.
Entitled Small Changes: Big Impact, the theme for the 2021 conference focused on the small changes which organisations could make which could have a big impact for the organisation, its visitors and communities, and the larger world!
Jules Wooding and Megan McManus from Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life shared their experience of the Kickstart Scheme which provides support for those currently receiving Universal Credit but seeking out employment opportunities. The scheme was clearly beneficial not only to the museums, but also to the Kickstarter, Megan, who had been actively looking to gain experience within a museum.
Lynda Powell from the Green Howards Museum talked about their experience of setting up an online shop through a second party, allowing for an extra source of income for the museum, but with someone else dealing with issues around website domains, card payment security and management. A clear message came across – the Green Howards would not be going back to an internal online shop.
Steve Derring from Direct Access gave a practical and informative presentation on the easy wins and simple solutions which museums can implement to help make their locations as accessible as possible to all of their visitors. While some changes required funding, there were lots of small things which an organisation could do to be as welcoming as possible to visitors with a wide range of needs.
Lynsey Jones, the North West Museum Development Officer, updated the network on the ‘Roots and Branches’ project currently being undertaken through the Manchester Museum in association with the Carbon Literacy Project with support from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. With a focus on how museums could become involved in tackling climate change and reducing their organisational carbon footprint, Lynsey also spoke about how organisations could get involved with the ‘Roots and Branches’ project.
As well as our speakers above, we were also provided with updates from the Army Museums Ogilby Trust, the National Army Museum and the Ministry of Defence’s Army Heritage Branch. With close to 200 attendees, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Videos for the talks will be made available in the near future.
Thank you to all our speakers, to all those who hosted as conference hubs and to all who attended, in person and online, and who continue to support this event.
We look forward to seeing you in 2022!
AMOT 2022 Conference Date: Wednesday 5 October