Communicating the museum: Programme


‘The Art of Being Contemporary’

9 – 12 September 2015

Communicating the Museum, the world’s leading arts communication conference, is back, and this time we’re in Istanbul. 

Each day of the 2015 conference takes place at a new location within the city – a Byzantine church, a contemporary art space, a military museum, and an exquisite Ottoman palace. Communicating the Museum (CTM) boasts a diverse programme of speeches and discussions, tours and talks to stimulate a timely rethink of the complex relationship between city and museum.

The 2015 theme is ‘The Art of Being Contemporary’. New technologies are radically changing relationships between the museum and the visitor. The pace of change brings new challenges for the creative sector, but also new opportunities. CTM15 asks the important questions: How can museums foster a dialogue between past, present and future? Who are the contemporary museum visitors and what do they want? At the same time, we confront some radical new ideas: What if we banned branding in museums? How can museums feel contemporary?

New for 2015 is the idea of the conference as mobile feast. Each day takes place in a different location, with exclusive, after-hours guided tours. Also new for 2015 are museum workshops across the city and an experimental new workshop format: World Café is a collaborative group exercise in which participants share past mistakes to help others avoid the same pitfalls. “Fail fast, move on” is the motto.

2015 also features our most stimulating social programme to date. We seek to create an environment for informal discussion and personal experiences. Highlights of CTM15 include: a tour of the Istanbul Biennial; exclusive events in private museums and foundations; a cruise on the Bosphorus; studio visits with artists based across the city; and excursions to the beautiful city of Gallipoli and the Baksi museum, winner of the 2014 Museum Award.

Eventbrite - Communicating The Museum 2015

Watch out for the Conference speakers


Corinne Estrada – Agenda, Paris
Mark Goggin - Sydney Living Museum


The conference programme covers every aspect of museum communications today: from PR and marketing to branding, partnerships, advertising, and the ever-expanding field of digital media. Our panel of local and international speakers includes not only museum professionals, but also high-profile leaders in areas such as technology, business and branding, who can share their wider perspectives and experiences. Together, we will interrogate new ideas to help museums excel in the contemporary moment and flourish in the future.

Pre-conference: Tuesday 8 September

Before the beginning of the main conference, we’re hosting a half-day workshop on best practices and ‘Building Brands’. Featuring renowned experts as well as a consultant from the museum sector. After hours we will host an exclusive visit to Hagia Sophia, part of Istanbul’s UNESCO World Heritage site.

Wednesday 9 September

After registration, the conference kicks off with keynotes, masterclasses, face-to-face meetings and interviews with our panel of local and international experts at the amazing archaeological site of Hagia Eirene close to Topkapi Palace. After lunch the afternoon consists of a series of workshops on ‘The Art of Being Contemporary’, at the Archaeological Museum and Sergi Exhibition Space among others. Wednesday evening closes with a welcoming reception.

Thursday 10 September

Thursday morning starts with keynote speeches before a series of morning workshops at Istanbul Harbiye Military Museum. After lunch comes a diverse programme of talks, masterclasses, face-to-face meetings and interviews. In the evening we host a gala dinner in the sumptuous surroundings of Topkapi Palace.

Friday 11 September

Friday we’ve organised guided tours of Istanbul, taking in some of the city’s most prestigious museums: Archaeological Museum, Citymuseum, Istanbul Modern, SALT, and Pera Museum among others. These are followed by dedicated workshops in each museum as the conference proper gets underway. Museum workshops continue after lunch. The main conference closes with farewell drinks at the Harbiye Military Museum and an optional farewell dinner.

Social: Saturday 12 September

Our social programme continues well beyond the three days of the main conference. Saturday begins with guided tours of Istanbul’s most prestigious museums and heritage sites and a visit to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial with artists and curators, one of the highlights of the contemporary art calendar.

Social: Sunday 13 September

The programme continues in Gallipoli and Baksi.

Where applicable, keynote speeches include simultaneous translation from Turkish to English and vice-versa.
Programme subject to change

Photo credit: Archeological Museum