August’s Drinking About Museums/#Instameet/PEM PM

So August was a complete blast! If you weren’t there, we had 70+ people make the long trek up to Salem, to join 600+ other people playing retro games, analogue versions of video games, mobile games and more at Peabody Essex Museum. Many pictures follow…

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There’s more on our Facebook page, too:

Lessons Learned
We packed a lot into this one event that left me both excited and terrified. PEM PM is a regular monthly evening event the museum hosts. We had decided to invite a number of local Instagrammers to an event, and had a longstanding desire to bring more Boston-area colleagues up to PEM. Combining the three into one event was a bit ambitious, but it was great! So, what worked?

Planning, planning, planning
The PEM Social Media Action Corps (yes, we really do call ourselves that. Best not to be too serious about this stuff…) did a ton of work beforehand to figure out the logistics and plan for how to make them all work out. Figuring out how and where to meet people, identify people as part of our event in the sea of other people at the larger event, coordinating with the rest of the Museum, all took time. But it allowed us to meet in one place, get on the same boat, walk across town together and get into the museum without losing anybody, have a great time, gather again, and walk across another part of town in the dark to the train. And I don’t think we lost anybody.

Have lots of help
We needed seven people to pull off the event. Two left early to get to the pier in time to check guests in. Three of us rode the ferry down to lay out the food and admission buttons, and two more were stationed at the Museum to welcome people who didn’t take the boat. We needed all of them. Ask for volunteers!

Spend a little money if you’ve got it
This was a hybrid Drinking About Museums/PEM marketing event, and that institutional affiliation made a huge difference. There was a marketing budget attached to it, so we could buy some food and ferry tickets, which went a long way towards setting the tone for the event. Printing cool buttons to serve as tickets to the event didn’t cost a lot, but made it fun. Ditto for the name tags with everyone’s name, affiliation and Instagram handle. A bunch of little touches in the aggregate added up to a lot of satisfied people at the end of the evening, even if they had to buy their own train ticket back to Boston.

It was an ambitious experiment. It worked really well. Next month, we’ll be hosting Mr Koven J. Smith and others. And in October, we’ll be returning for another round of Museums Showoff! Don’t miss out!

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