Show me the dates Melbourne Museum!

11 04 2011

In putting together the next calendar post (for May 2011) I went looking for the dates of the Tutankhamun exhibition, the ‘blockbuster’ at the Melbourne Museum.

Well, here is a lesson in how NOT to provide the public with information about your exhibition – don’t bother putting the exhibition dates clearly anywhere on your websites/pages.

The opening month of April is relatively clear (some pages even clarify it was the 8th April 2011), but the closing dates were elusive.

I had to do an internet search to find the dates, and ended up getting the information from the National Geographic site. Update (25th April): ie. 6th November 2011.

Why on earth make it so damn hard!?

I can be generous and agree with my friend’s suggestion that it may be due to organisers keeping the end date reasonably flexible in case more demand requires the exhibition to be open for longer (or make it financially feasible to offer more time).

Though the sceptic in me would perhaps suggest it is to create an uncertainty about the end date, so people feel they need to buy tickets now (ie. more money).

It reminds me of a good article I read in a newspaper a few weeks ago about the ‘blockbuster’: “Big Bucks and the Boy King” – makes for interesting reading and critical thinking and wondering what may be settled for an ‘art exhibition’ in the near future.

Update (19th April, 9pm AEST): I’ve checked all the pages linked to in my story, and there is still no end dates; and unfortunately the comments left on the exhibition page indicate that a proportion of visitors are walking away quite disappointed

Update (25th April, 10pm AEST): the only reference I could see to an end date on the exhibition page were the following replies by museum staff to general public queries:

  • Tickets are being sold in two separate lots. The first one is for tickets from 8 April to July 17. The second one will be for tickets from July 18 to November.
  • it is anticipated that the exhibition will be at Melbourne Museum until November 2011

I’ve even checked out their Facebook page and the end-date on the exhibition ‘event’ there is actually 10th July 2011 – not right at all!

The more I think of this, the less I’m convinced the non-disclosure of an end-date is nothing but deliberate to accelerate ticket sales. There is no way an exhibition of this nature and size would, for the sheer matter of logistics and insurance, NOT have an end date already determined. Then why not publicise it?

Update (29th September): now I’m not sure when this happened, but while I was tinkering around I have since found that the exhibition is now open until 4th December 2011. Also, I’ve since found that the National Geographic site I refer to above no longer exists – weird?




7 responses

25 04 2011

You took the words out of my mouth, for I have been googling an end date for this exhibition on & off for a week!
We are going to Melbourne towards the end of the year and would’ve liked to have tied in the exhibition with my husbands time off but as I can see no end date ANYWHERE, I’m just going to have to book our holiday and hope we make it in time, how frustrating!!!!

25 04 2011

The only date I’ve managed to find is 6th November 2011 … hope it all works out for you!

25 04 2011

Just a few minutes ago I posted a question on the exhibition page, asking for an end-date for the exhibition.

I look forward to seeing how it is replied to. In saying that, I suspect museum staff replying to queries are only able to write within guidelines, so a vague reply wouldn’t be an individual staff member deliberately obfiscating but most likely due to instructions being given to them (ie. I won’t blame them, but the museum management, if I don’t get a specific date!)

28 04 2011

As at 10am on 28th April, the comment / question has been published (they are subject to moderation) but no reply yet.

1 05 2011

As at 3pm on 1st May: my question was published on the site, and there have been ten other questions/comments published from others subsequently. However, there have been no answers to any of those questions, nor to mine; in fact, no replies from museum staff since 21st April. Disappointing. I’ll keep my eye on it.

2 05 2011

As at 5pm AEST today the question has been replied to with the exact date of 6th November 2011.
Success! That’s great.

2 05 2011

My experience was as infuriating as yours and thank you for finding the finishing date for me !!

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