Thematic Sessions 2012

Symposium and Workshop “Understanding Each Other’s Heritage – Challenges for Heritage Communication in a Globalized World” BTU Cottbus – July 19-21, 2012

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Advertising and Edutainment: managing expectations and reality Heritage (mis)interpretation: challenges and opportunities for interpretation for diverse audiences There’s an app for that: World Heritage sites and new media

Session 1: Advertising and Edutainment: managing expectations and reality.

The first impressions of a community’s heritage are often in place before a visitor has even physically visited the location. Advertising and marketing can heavily shape and influence expectations and colour the experience and perception once at the site.
The marketing and advertising strategies for (world) heritage sites can either serve to promote multiple values and realities or they can serve to promote a single narrative.
How much, and what kind of promotion, marketing and advertising are needed for (world) heritage sites? How can communications strategies attract visitors while maintaining the historical, cultural and educational integrity of a site? How can sites be made attractive to visitors with diverse backgrounds and requirements without turning them into amusement parks? These are only some of the many questions which we hope to address in this session.

Session 2: Heritage (mis)interpretation: challenges and opportunities for interpretation for diverse audiences

Among the challenges faced by museum and heritage managers is the need to develop effective interpretation strategies while ensuring the attractiveness and accessibility for visitors and tourists with different expectations and backgrounds. In this context, interpretation is a fundamental tool for promoting cultural awareness and mutual understanding. Employed correctly, it can help avoid conflict, misunderstanding and intolerance. Despite this crucial role, the potential of interpretation in the management of museums and sites is still often underestimated and in many cases neglected.
How can interpretation avoid reinforcing stereotypes and prejudice? Is current interpretation alienating some groups? How can interpretation support dialogue between opposing ideologies, beliefs and historical truths? What methods and strategies appeal to the widest audience? Is it ever appropriate to focus on a specific audience?

Session 3: There’s an app for that: World Heritage sites and new media

Electronic and print media, as favourite sources of information and entertainment in our globalized world, also play an important role in the transmission of knowledge about other cultures. Depending on the perspective and representation techniques employed, media discourses can serve to broaden the audience’s knowledge about foreign cultures, traditions and heritage places or can contribute to the reinforcement of existing cultural and ethnic stereotypes. When talking about World Heritage and Universal Values, how can the new media help to transmit these values? How are World Heritage Sites currently presented in the new media and what are the strategies to improve their presentation? What are the opportunities in using new media tools, such as 3D innovation, multi-touch screens, smart robots and others in communicating with visitors?