3 Mar 2017 - 4 Mar 2017
Galway City Museum
Venue: Galway City Museum & Town Hall Theatre
Sponsor: Irish Museums Association & DAHGR&R
Admission: EUR100.00

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) Annual Spring Conference 2017 will be held in association with Galway City Museum on 3 and 4 March 2017.


The IMA's annual conference is the main conference of the year in the Irish museum world, giving museum practitioners the chance to meet and exchange views. It provide a platform for exchange of knowledge and aims to disseminate good practice in museums.


CONFERENCE BRIEF: A themed conference, the 2017 conference will - under the title Cultural Tourism and the Contemporary Museum - invite members and professionals working in (and with) museums and other cultural institutions to examine and debate the principles for successful and sustainable cultural heritage tourism and the museums' role in its development. How museums can attract visitors while at the same time preserving the authenticity that makes them unique and attractive in the first place? Cultural heritage tourism is one of the key drivers within the tourism industry and is a powerful economic development tool. With a large percentage of visitors to Ireland participating in cultural activities through visits to museums, the importance of our collection-based institutions in attracting both national and international tourists is beyond doubt. Many museums find they must prioritise tourist visitors and prove their worth to the local and national economy in order to secure public funding and other revenue streams in an increasingly challenging financial climate. As a result, they need to gain a better understanding of tourist behaviour and be able to produce meaningful data which reflects their contribution to the cultural tourism sector. Developing their potential to attract tourists has become a key factor for many museums when it comes to the creation of effective and sustainable development strategies. Despite the greater focus on issues such as self-generated revenues and marketing opportunities, museums must also continue to meet their core responsibilities in relation to caring, preserving and exhibiting their collections and fulfilling their educational mandate. SPEAKERS The IMA has invited and selected speakers from the museum, cultural heritage and tourism sectors to respond to the above brief, including:

• Chris BAILEY, Northern Ireland Museums Council

• John CONCANNON, Director, Creative Ireland

• Michael DAY, Chief Executive, Historic Royal Palaces

• Emily MARK-FITZGERALD, Lecturer, School of Art History and Cultural Policy, University College Dublin

• Lee JOLLIFFE, Professor, Hospitality and Tourism, University of New Brunswick, Canada • Claudia KOHLER, Education, Community & Outreach Officer, Kerry County Museum

• Paddy MATHEWS, Head of Investment & Innovation, Fáilte Ireland.

• Dr Bridget MCCONNELL CBE, Chief Executive, Glasgow Life

• Eamonn MCENEANEY, Director, Waterford Museum of Treasures - three museums in the Viking Triangle

• Simon O'CONNOR, Curator, Little Museum of Dublin

• Fiona ROSS, Director, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

• Aoife RUANE, Director, Highlanes Gallery

• Frank SHALVEY, Principal Officer, National Monuments, Office of Public Works

• Kathryn THOMSON, Chief Executive, National Museums Northern Ireland

• Eithne VERLING, Director, Galway City Museum The full list of Speakers,

biographies and abstracts will be available to access and download from the 30 January, 2016. PROGRAMME The Conference is scheduled to run from 10:30am, Friday 3 March until 5pm, Saturday 4 March 2017. Please note, that - in consideration of the constrained resources faced by many of our members - the conference dinner will take place on the evening of Friday 3 March.

The detailed programme will be available to download from the conference website from 30 January 2017. REGISTRATION Click here to view registration fees, available for the full conference, individual days and the conference dinner.

Early Bird and Concession rates are available for bookings made and confirmed before the 3 February 2017. Click here to download a registration form and for payment details.

ORGANISING YOUR TRIP The Conference hotel is the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway. Bed and Breakfast, Friday 3 March: €129; Saturday 4 March: €159. Please contact the hotel directly to make your booking by Email: or Tel.: +353 91 894800 and state 'Irish Museums Association' on the booking request.

Please note that Galway has a wide range of accommodation options to suit different price ranges, however early booking is highly recommended. Galway is located approximately 2.5 hours from Dublin and 4 hours from Belfast. There are ample public transport and car-sharing opportunities, see the following websites for details and bookings:

The Town Hall Theatre is located on 1 Courthouse Square, Galway. Click here for map. Parking: If on street parking spaces are unavailable, there are car parks at the Cathedral (5 mins walk) and the Dyke Road (7 mins walk).


For further information, please contact: Gina O'Kelly | Irish Museums Association |11 Parnell Square East, Dublin D01 ND60 Tel: + 353 (0)1 873 4216 Mobile: + 353 (0)87 279 0518 Website:  Email:

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