Aaaannnddd…that’s a wrap for the annual MCN (Museum Computer Network) conference. We are simultaneously beat and energized by everything we saw and learned—and everyone we met—over the course of four days in San Diego. We already miss the camaraderie and the perfect blue skies of San Diego. 

Now that we’re back to the good work of creating the best audio experiences for all, what are we thinking about? What resonated the most from the conference?

Partnerships…were a resounding theme of the conference—not least because we announced own exclusive partnership with the leading purveyor of mobile platforms, GuruGuru produces digital platforms that harness the best of augmented reality, data analytics, intuitive UX, and failsafe wayfinding to empower the visitor to have the best experience possible at a museum, tourist site, zoo or attraction. Paired with our award-winning content and storytelling expertise, it’s a match made in heaven. You can hear about how and why the founders of Acoustiguide and Guru came together here, and read more about the announcement here

But that’s not all. We attended sessions that highlighted the sometimes-tricky relationship among stakeholders, be that client-vendor relationships (what BlueCadet’s Brad Baer prefers to call ‘partners’—as do we) or getting to yes with internal stakeholders, as beautifully and entertainingly strategized by Alison Koch and Anjuli Maniam.  Key take-aways? Honesty above all else in developing a trusting relationship, open and clear communication, allowing for ample timelines, preparedness on both sides, having everyone in the same room at the same time and creative thinking in helping communicate complex ideas to those who may not be the ‘digital unicorns’ (phrase to be trademarked by Alison Koch) many of us are.

Creativity…Of course and always.  How far can you push the limits of expectations?  We heard about that from our co-presenter, Sarah Wambold, who ideated a new digital audio experience when she was Head of Digital at the Clyfford Still Museum.  Opting out of a traditional audio experience, she devised a four chapter podcast that could be heard in and out of the galleries… and created an approach that brought listeners closer to the man behind the museum (and kept people listening so long they stayed in their cars and missed appointments!). 

Data Safety  took center stage. We all risk data breaches. A plenary session explored this subject and drew a few snappy conclusions:  Select what data your institution will actually use, create an internal advisory group made up of all departments who actually collect data , discuss and develop a plan for security and safe-keeping, and develop an organizational plan to quickly resolve data breaches.

We’d like to say thank you to everyone who participated and attended our sessions and for the tireless MCN team for making San Diego such a success!