Heritage Impact 2010

For 5 years practitioners and academics have been gathering in Brighton to contribute to Heritage Impact, a symposium series dedicated to the study of the socio-economic impact of heritage.  This year is no exception and on 22 and 23 April 2010, the University of Brighton Business School, the CUBIST Research Group and the Cultural Informatics Research Group, under the aegis of the European Commission, will host Heritage Impact 2010.

 The symposium will bring together speakers from across Europe and North America to consider the impact of heritage sites on society and the economy.  This is crucial because heritage sites are facing an unprecedented threat.  The current economic environment is hastening the long-term erosion of funding sources; this in turn is putting all of us in the heritage sector under increased pressure from funders to measure the benefit of heritage to society, to add value to the visitor experience and to increase self-sustainability.  The evidence for the impact of heritage on society has rarely been studied in a holistic manner and thus one of the key aims of Heritage Impact 2010 is to bring all this information together coherently.

 The key focus of the symposium will be to explore the processes that influence impact at heritage sites. Making informed and accurate assessments of the many values of cultural heritage and determining its impact on society and the economy is crucial for the future of the heritage sector. As the heritage community begins to understand the processes that influence impact, the sector will be in a better position to influence positive future outcomes in turn. Furthermore, if the heritage community can provide evidence of why certain strategies are successful, this information can be put to direct use by heritage sites to exploit their assets most effectively and influence decisions at a policy level.

 Specifically, the conference will look at methods for measuring and evaluating impact; how impact can be influenced or changed through strategy, marketing and policy; how heritage can be used as a regeneration tool, and issues of sustainability. Furthermore, time will be devoted to consideration of the impact of Information and Communication Technologies at heritage sites.  Alongside the presentations, an impact workshop will be run specifically for practitioners who wish to understand more about the methods of measuring the impact of their sites.

 Heritage Impact 2010 will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders – practitioners, academics, policy makers, archaeologists, heritage strategists, heritage technologists and marketing professionals to share and shape the latest thinking, not only on the direction of research, but also on strategies for improving and evaluating impact in the cultural heritage sector. The measurement of impact is seen therefore not merely as an academic or political exercise, but as the cornerstone of future heritage strategy.  The archaeological community needs to express its voice in this crucial debate.

 Heritage Impact 2010 will be held at the University of Brighton, Grand Parade, Brighton, on 22 and 23 April 2010 , For queries contact the Administrator on +44 (0)1273 642135 or e-mail c.r.matthews@brighton.ac.uk.  (to register see www.heritageimpact.org to download a booking form. Completed forms can be faxed to +44 (0)1273 643597 or returned by post  by Friday 16th of April to: Chris Matthews, Heritage Impact 2010 Administrator, University of Brighton Business School, Mithras House (Room 140),Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 4AT.

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