17 Jan 2014

TOTS on the Go

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In a client/contract based business, sometimes it seems like you’re just sitting there, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for something interesting to happen. Other days, you’re so busy that the hours fly by and it’s suddenly 4pm and you haven’t eaten lunch yet.

Luckily for us, we don’t have much time for daydreaming (though some days, we do a little). Our VP of Client Services, Brian McAlonie, is fresh off of a trip to Nepal following Christmas. He spent over a week hiking in the Himalayas and diving into Buddhist and Nepalese culture, and is now back safely in the United States refreshed for the new year! Which is good, because the next few months are busy ones for us here at TOTS.

It starts next weekend, when myself and Brian will skip across the border to Canada for the Canadian Museum Association’s Museum Retail and Visitor Services Symposium being hosted in Toronto. Brian is holding a workshop concerning visitor services in museums and various heritage organizations, and was invited back “by popular demand (!)” (according the to the MRVS program). I’ll be tagging along as well, looking forward to a bit of a weekend getaway while making some networking connections with our friends in Canada.

After that, TOTS is also gearing up for the Museum Association of New York (MANY)’s conference in March being held in our state capital, Albany. We’re currently putting together a panel that will speak to museum professionals across New York about income generation for museums outside of admissions. TOTS will focus on museum stores and retail, and we have Tara Lyons, the program manager from the Buffalo History Museum who will talk about the BHM’s incredibly successful “Party on the Portico” series in summers. In 2013, the BHM had record attendance at each party and brought in about $24,000 in additional revenue!

Preparing for these conferences on top of in-house projects keeps us nice and occupied. We’re excited for what 2014 has in store, both in terms of professional development and museum design projects.



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