Interpretation and Engagement Training, Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management

At a time when everyone is under pressure to do more with less, Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management were keen to develop their audience engagement work. They wanted to maximise the value of the outreach work they do, and to generate creative new ideas for the future. So I developed a bespoke training day for the team at Port Sunlight…


We started the process by exploring the needs of the team, shaping the project with Claire Tunstall, Head of Art, Archives and Records Management. I reviewed the materials currently being produced, including their presentations, newsletters and the interpretation written for display cases.

I created a bespoke training day to explore ways in which the collections could be used to reach new and broader audiences. Using a combination of inspiring case studies and creative exercises, the team were introduced to new ways of thinking about the collections, taking audiences as their starting point. This was followed by a guided approach to writing engaging, accessible interpretation for exhibitions. Participants received information packs drawing together the key elements of the day, including links to useful resources and follow up reading.

All of this is just marvellous! We all got some much out of the day, you have really inspired us all, gave us great insights and set us up for some brilliant engagement! You should be proud of the effect your training has had on the team – they are actively thinking about the audience and working with each other on this. Totally brilliant.
Claire Tunstall, Head of Art, Archives and Records Management, Unilever

I’ll think more about the audience / who’s reading it when writing labels etc. In the past I’ve only really considered putting in as much detail as possible, rather than what someone is looking to get out of it. The different exercises helped me think differently about how I write things for people and about our collection. I wouldn’t have considered so many different perspectives could be drawn from one object. It was a really great day, I learned so much!!
Team member

Thank you so much for a very interesting and thought-provoking day. Good to think about different approaches. Concise explanations. Visibly pleasing presentation. Engaging topics, very relatable. Enjoyed seeing other examples of exhibitions and sharing ideas. Had fun with creative exercises. Wish we could do this more often!
Team member

Absolutely brilliant! I now feel really enthused and inspired to get going on our new exhibitions. All of it was very enjoyable. A very good mixture of visual elements, discussions and tasks (both individually and group).
Team member