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Gift extended

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Digital Manager Kevin Bacon on extending the Gift digital experience in Brighton Museum, what we’ve learned so far, and working with Blast Theory.

I’m delighted to announce that Blast Theory’s Gift app will remain available in Brighton Museum until 6 October.

Photo of hand holding mobile phone with Gift app on screen

Image credit: Sarah Julia Clark

When it launched last month, the original plan was to run the app until the end of June. The initial positive response has persuaded Blast Theory and Royal Pavilion & Museums to continue with Gift throughout the summer.

This not only means that more people can enjoy using Gift, but it will also give Blast Theory the opportunity to acquire more data about how the app is used. While it’s too early to draw firm conclusions, I can share some of my observations from the last month.

  • People of a wide age range are using it. Although I had originally expected this to mainly appeal to younger people, there are certainly some older people who have enjoyed using the app.
  • Some enjoy the quiet, reflective experience, while others use it as a scavenger hunt. People will always playfully repurpose technology, so it’s perhaps not surprising that people have used it to set clues for others to find. But what is surprising is that the app still holds up, even though the ‘gift’ shifts from being a shared message to becoming a set challenge.
  • It has great potential for group activities. We recently asked a group of Year 10 students to test Gift for us, and while they split across the messaging / challenge-setting behaviours, all were very positive about it being an enjoyable way of experiencing the museum.
  • People still use it for selfies. I know of at least one case of someone sharing a photo of their own face as a gift, which suggests that the impulse for some to selfie is more deeply ingrained than I’d expected.

More thoughts

I have already written a lot about why I think Gift has such huge potential for museums. Blast Theory have recently released a video interview with me where I share more of my thoughts about Gift and working with Blast Theory.


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