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Interpreting History Conference Programme

Check out the full day here….and see why you need to come too!

The Conference will last from 10.00am until 4.30pm on Thursday 19th September 2019. Here’s the draft programme, still subject to change as more speakers come on board. Don’t forget, you can arrive, register and network with fellow delegates from 9.15am.

Alongside the conference, there will be an exhibition to allow participants to see demonstrations of or to experience for themselves new interpretive technologies and to discuss in depth with their developers. In lunch and refreshment breaks, there will also be lots of opportunities to network with speakers and fellow delegates. And during the day, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the £27m renovation of the Theatre and East Court at Alexandra Palace, this wonderful Victorian landmark.


Arrival, Registration, Networking & Refreshments at the East Court Foyer, Alexandra Palace

10.00am – Session 1

  • Welcome and overview by Conference Chair Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and self-confessed “historic buildings obsessive”
  • Professor Deborah Ryan, Professor of Architecture & Urban Design at the University of North Carolina, and co-author of “The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums”

10.50am – Session 2

  • What’s Next? Future Trends in Historic Interpretation & Horizon-scanning
  • Lizzie Glithero-West and Hannah Shimko from the Heritage Alliance on the role heritage plays in the success of the creative industries and the Association of Heritage Interpretation on the benefits of good interpretation.


Coffee & the Interpreting Heritage Exhibition

11.40am – Session 3

  • What’s Next? Latest Tools & Techniques for Heritage Interpretation, including Virtual Portals & Augmented Reality
  • With Ben Moore, Managing Partner & Creative Director of Hex Digital
  • And Dr Nick Lambert, Director of Research, Ravensbourne University London, and others

12.25pm – Session 4

  • What works for the Funders? Find out what funders are looking for in heritage interpretation, what’s a good project to find, and why
  • With Lyndsey Turner-Swift, Head of England Planning & Delivery, VisitEngland,
  • And Stuart Hobley from the National Heritage Lottery Fund


Lunch, Networking & the Interpreting Heritage Exhibition

2.00pm – Session 5 (with short Coffee/Tea break at 3.10pm)

  • What works? Great-practice punchy Case Studies in Interpreting Heritage today: Meet the Practitioners!
  • Terry Collins, Chief Executive of Durham County Council, speaking about how Lumiere Durham has become England’s biggest outdoor city heritage interpretation display using art and light
  • David Eng, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at The Tenement Museum, New York City, on the museum’s experiences in connecting audiences and visitors with history
  • Anne Fletcher, Director of Interpretation at multimedia specialists ATS Heritage, on how multimedia can solve interpretive problems and unlock the world of heritage
  • Dr James Kennell, Principal Lecturer at the University of Greenwich Business School, on “dark themes” and interpretation of them using innovative techniques and unusal products
  • Melanie Sensicle, Chair, England’s Historic Cities, on attracting millennials to historic destinations by taking a different approach to interpretation
  • Mike Smith, Animator and Course Leader at Ravensbourne Museum London, on his work with Museo Galileo in Florence bringing Da Vinci’s work to life for the 21st century
  • Rhiannon Thomas, Learning, Participation & Interpretation Manager for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 St Fagans National Museum of History, on the challenges and benefits of heritage co-curation
  • Kathryn Thompson, Chief Executive of National Museums of Northern Ireland, speaking about the Game of Thrones Tapestry has worked to engage audiences in the heritage of Northern Ireland
  • Alasdair Willett, Managing Director of History Mystery Ltd, speaking about the success of his company’s historically-based Escape Rooms


  • Conference Summary by Dr Jonathan Foyle, Close & Post-conference networking


Optional post conference talk: The Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace – a landmark heritage regeneration project, with Louise Stewart, Chief Executive, Alexandra Palace