The National Model Aviation Museum has made its debut in the digital landscape with a humble live broadcast. At almost 3,000 views, #AskClaire was easily the most successful and ambitious attempt at digital engagement the Museum has ever made. Taking inspiration from other museums, the staff took just four things into the gallery: a selfie stick, two phones, and a plan. Lead a live tour and answer questions in real time, as though viewers were physically in the museum space. Staff invited friends and family members to the broadcast, expecting it to be a brief test run of the #AskClaire concept.
Except, it didn’t quite go that way. Suddenly, Facebook fans of the Museum and AMA began to log on, posing questions about specific objects, modelers, and model aeronautics history. #AskClaire became an hour-long event with an exciting behind the scenes look at object storage and a cohesive trip throughout all the exhibits peppered with fun facts not included in the typical museum visit.
In the end, the #AskClaire live event came away with 2,680 views, 40 questions asked and answered, 145 comments, 48 peak viewers, and a max post reach of 8,587. Viewers were not only from the United States – ten states were represented during the broadcast – there were international viewers as well, hailing from UK and even Lebanon. People continued to logon and watch well into the weekend, and continued to ask questions and express interest in the event.
The museum intends to have a more active digital presence, and to provide the public with a stronger sense of who we are and what we have to offer. The #AskClaire event was just one way we are extending our reach both onsite and online. The Museum also recently participated with thousands of other institutions in answering open-ended questions such as, “what’s your favorite artifact?” for #AskACurator Day on September 14th. This gained the Museum a 19,235% increase in Impressions on their relatively new Twitter account.
We also have another video-based project in the works: Fly By. Fly By is a collaboration between Dillon, museum media specialist, and Claire, museum education specialist. We are producing semi-scripted documentary short films that highlight specific objects, different model aviation topics, modelers and designers, the history of the hobby and more. The Fly By is intended to have a singular focus each episode and provide targeted content that will be accessible by both the casual modeler and the expert alike. We hope to offer the distance learner the opportunity to learn more about model aeronautics in a nonjudgmental and casual format. We want Fly By to drive interest in the museum and increase visitation. We hope also to tie in Fly By with #AskClaire and draw from viewer questions and interests in order to provide content specifically requested by our constituency.
Additionally, we will be launching a new virtual tour on the museum website on September 19, 2016. We are sure this update to a classic feature of our website will have a positive impact on web traffic. By offering access to quality content across various platforms, we hope to attract new visitors and fans to the Museum space, both physically and digitally.
For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum