Looking Back on Seven Months at THATMuse

With just a few days left before I go on furlough, I’ve been reflecting on all the exciting things I have worked on in the past 7 months at THATMuse. I know I’m not the only one in this situation. Numbers speak clearly: this is a terrible time for many people out there, and companies working in tourism, like ours, are currently on hold.  While I’m sad to leave THATMuse for the next few weeks (or months, who knows?), I’m excited to get back to all the wonderful projects that I’ve been working on once museums open again and we can go back to our normal lives! While tidying up my work, I couldn’t help but think about how much THATMuse has taught me, and how much fun I’ve had working here.

Two men on a THATMuse British Museum Treasure Hunt pose in front of the Elgin Marbles, British Museum
British Museum fun, before coronavirus

1. Making THATMuse more visible

THATMuse’s main objective is to make art fun and museums more approachable. Part of my job is to make the company more visible, to show people that there is someone out there trying to make museums more enjoyable! We needed to be on as many digital platforms as possible. I therefore set up our product on TripAdvisor, where people can book a British Museum Treasure Hunt in less than 5 minutes. Setting up the product took a bit more than 5 minutes, but it was fun! I read the contract, skyped with Trip Advisor’s team, wrote a description of our offer and added a few fun photos of past clients having fun at the museum.

Five people on a THATMuse British Museum treasure hunt, in the Great Court of the British Museum
More fun at the British Musuem

2. Social Media

Aware of the power of social media, I kept our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as active as I could. Anyone who has played a Treasure Hunt with us knows that we love spotting our clients in silly poses around the museums. After all, that’s part of what treasure hunters need to do to win some extra points. My phone was always full of photos of visitors dancing like the Ancient Egyptians or posing like Greek gods. I loved sharing them on social media! The THATMuse team also appear in several photos, either working in the office (my colleagues Megan, Craig and Daisy must still be traumatized by me asking to take 100 photos a day!) or hosting in a hunt in one of our museums.

The staff of THATMuse in a pub
THATMuse’s Christmas party

3. The Launch of a big Treasure Hunt

In November 2019, along with Daisy and Frances (a wonderful intern who was with us for a trimester), I organised a public Fashion Treasure Hunt at the V&A. We wanted as many people as possible to try a treasure hunt at the V&A Museum. The organisation of the hunt involved sending invitation letters to anyone we thought may be interested, preparing supplies, advertising the event on our social media platforms and having fun with our guests on the day of the hunt. It turned out to be an incredibly fun afternoon, with over 35 players competing against each other on their scout for treasure. With more than seven teams, there were families with kids, bloggers, art-historians, tour-guides and photographers. During the event, Daisy and I had fun taking pictures which I then compiled into a video that reminds us of the fantastic memories from that afternoon.

Anna’s video of the public Fashion Hunt at the V&A, November 2019

4. Marketing for the Italian market in London

From the beginning of 2020, I worked intensely on the expansion of our Italian market in London. I began by translating our British Museum Fun & Games treasure hunt into Italian. Then, with the help of our great intern Mary Virginia, I started a big marketing campaign. This was so much fun and productive! I came to realize that London is a real magnet for Italians. I met many of them over coffees or in their offices and loved seeing how much we had in common! Many of my compatriots were very excited about THATMuse and accepted my invitation to our first Treasure Hunt in Italian ever. Soon enough, the acceptance rate was so high that we decided to split the participants into two separate events and, a few days later, into three! Unfortunately, due to the spread of coronavirus, we had to cancel our Italian treasure hunts, but I can’t wait to reorganise them once I’m back!

5. After the outbreak of Coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic began to worsen, the rest of the team and I started working from home. The closure of museums was very sad for us all, but we knew that there were a lot of other projects we could work on. Craig, Annie and I ramped up our work on the blog, writing on a diverse range of topics from art-history to ideas on what to do at home! I also had fun recording some short and kid-friendly art-history classes which I posted on THATMuse’s Instagram page, as well as YouTube and Facebook. Coronavirus was not going to stop my passion for the Classical world, so I decided to open my own YouTube channel, IterArtis! Leaving THATMuse is hard, but I know it is temporary and I’m so grateful that I got the chance to work in such an inspiring and stimulating environment for seven months. I look forward to getting back to work, and finding out what the future holds for THATMuse!

Art-history class on Nike, the Goddess of Victory

Where to next?

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