The international trade fair dedicated to the equipment and enhancement of museums, cultural and tourist sites will this year welcome 340 exhibitors and 4,500 visitors, 43% of whom are foreigners. What will be the main themes and novelties during this 2023 edition? Claire de Longeaux, Director of the Museum Connections show, tells us more.
What will be the keyword for this 2023 edition?
In the field of technology, the keyword of the show this year is “immersion”. Several devices will be presented in terms of sound, olfactory and visual immersion. Timescope will notably present a visit to the Berlin TV Tower in virtual reality. Microsoft and its partners will come to exhibit solutions that work with its HoloLens mixed reality headset. Astrea will present its immersive and interactive installations and Unendliche Studio its sound immersion technology. But immersion does not always go through technology and some exhibitors will present their range of period costumes, such as the Atelier du Chat Botté. Several cultural venues have created their own immersive experiences lately. The Château de Miromesnil, for example, organized the Cluedo Party. Culture Espaces, the company behind the Atelier des Lumières, continues to offer its immersive tours around the world. The Eternal Notre Dame experience created by Emissive and presented at La Défense, will make its arrival on the forecourt of the cathedral. All of these experiences allow you to imagine or show things that you can’t or no longer see. In this area, Graphic Art & Heritage will exhibit for the first time and present its 3D modeling technology. The company has notably reconstructed the Notre-Dame d’Ourscamp abbey, visible from tablets in augmented reality.
What’s new this year?
Two foreign pavilions will be present this year. We welcome an Italian pavilion for the first time and a Catalan pavilion for the second time. International openness therefore continues to develop. On the shop side, a “Rising Creator” area is appearing, in which we highlight young creators in the field of crafts, art or handmade work.
We also offer two tours in the capital to visit places of immersion and innovation. In particular, we have planned a visit to the Paris aquarium which has launched an NFT sale for the retail part in partnership with Metaseum. The world of shops and mediation usually speaks little to each other, so it’s quite new.
Another novelty is the appearance of players specializing in the back office. Smeetz, for example, offers an all-in-one solution, integrating the entire visit route. This makes it possible to have a global vision thanks to the data collected and to detect trends. Until now, cultural venues used several solutions at the same time. Now they can have a 360 vision.
I would also like to highlight a new exhibitor, Wikimedia, the media library created by the Wikipedia team, who will come to present its reflection on open-data at the crossroads of the general public and the cultural place.
What are the trends in the sector that will be transcribed through the conferences and various interventions?
Two major themes stand out this year. First of all, the ecological transition which is a significant subject in cultural places today. They ask questions about the use of digital technology and seek to calculate their carbon impact. Should we go back to a basic experience to pollute less? Do we still have to move visitors? Should travel be optimized in order to do as many things as possible? The director of the Lomé museum in Togo will speak in particular about the role of culture in the preservation of biodiversity.
The other theme is the changing role of the cultural venue. Last August, ICOM published a new definition of a museum. Sustainability also enters into this new definition. What role can the museum play in welcoming refugees, particularly Ukrainians? How did it become a sounding board and how can it convey messages, especially to adolescent audiences? We will also talk about the role of the museum in well-being. All these issues will concern cultural venues in the medium and long term.
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Museum Connections 2023: the show gives pride of place to immersive technologies
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