It is that time of year again - the annual MCN conference is almost upon us and I cannot wait! This year's theme is 'Looking Back, Thinking Forward, Taking Action' - a very fitting theme for the conference's 50th anniversary. 

I am quite looking forward to this week of like-minded professionals discussing and presenting their perspectives on the intersection of technology and the cultural sector. I have my eye on quite a few 'must-see' sessions, many of which include the implementation and experimentation of VR. I see new prospective uses of VR come to light almost everyday, though I have never used VR personally, nor seen it successfully in action at a museum. I would love to further understand the most practical uses of VR in deepening the visitor experience, and a few of these sessions I hope will shed a more realistic light on what works, what doesn't, and how to move forward with this technology as it becomes more attainable in future. Additionally, Antenna's Christine Murray and Earprint's Jason Reinier have teamed up to put together a 'Listening Lounge' to remind us that innovative and immersive audio too, augments our reality. It's the most creative 'session' I have heard of at a conference yet, and I hope to see everyone drop by! 

I am also highly looking forward to gaining further insight on what the most important innovations and needs of the muse-tech community. Working with an outside firm that serves these communities, it is of the utmost importance that Antenna can better understand how to situate our expertise and experience in the most effective way possible for the needs of visitors and institutions alike. Of course as experts in our right, we love sharing our latest ideas and innovations in the interpretive space as well, and how they have impacted institution's goals and deepened their mission in the eyes of visitors. With this conference's sole focus being on technological needs in the cultural space, I am sure I will have a notebook chock-full of new ideas, trends, and case studies. I'm a nerd who loves to learn, and I feel like I will be back in school for a week! Cannot wait. 

Though I am a newbie to this particular conference, I decided to dive in head first and lead a discussion panel with other industry experts on the topic of calling museum audiences to action: Moving Past Empathy - Calling Museum Audiences to Action (Thurs 9th, 4:15pm-5:00pm). However, many of the Antenna Creatives are veterans of this conference and will also be presenting some of their insights and best practices in cultural interpretation through the means of modern technologies. In fact, you can still get in on Antenna's involvement by getting in touch with Alice Walker to have a recent project of yours live-critiqued in Experts-critique: how do you actually cross the physical and digital divide? (Weds 8th, 4:00pm-5:00pm). Or send some of your favorite audio to Christine Murray for a spot on The MCN Listening Lounge (Weds 8th, 1:15pm-5:00pm) playlist.

Be sure to link up with Alice Walker, Nina Callaway, James Morgan, Christine Murray and I to say 'hi' and talk shop! And for all other first timers, keep your eye out for me at the first-timers session - I'm nice and don't bite.

See you all there!


(Did I mention yet, I cannot wait?)


Follow Alice, Nina, Christine and Mary on Twitter:

Christine: @cmurraydocs

Nina:@ninabeans

Alice: @alicedowwalker

Mary: @MstandsforMary