Immersion in Museums Time Thursday 21st November 10:30am to 12:00pm Place Symphonie 1, Hyatt Regency Montreal Edward Rodley @erodley Associate Director of Integrated Media, Peabody Essex Museum Robin White Owen @rocombo Principal / Creative Producer, MediaCombo John Russick Chief Curator, Chicago History Museum Kellian Adams @Museumninja Founder, Green Door Labs The plenary session at Museums & the Web 2013 introduced the immersive, interactive theater event _ Sleep No More _ as a source of inspiration for designing story worlds for exhibition experiences in museums. It instigated lively ongoing conversations about a variety of models to investigate, from video game worlds to Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, and highlighted examples of existing immersive experiences that range from the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, to Tino Segal's exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 2011, to the Indiana Experience at the Indiana Historical Society. Our panel will build on that presentation and subsequent conversations. We will explore models for enabling participation in exhibition settings, creating emotional experiences, and getting out of the transactional model of the museum visit--and into relationship-building that builds over time and has a high ceiling. We will examine how digital technologies can be used to create or enhance immersive experiences, and how to take advantage of their built-in social features. We will ask key questions about how to create these kinds of experiences: How do you create realistic and appropriate viewer expectations for a new kind of museum experience? How do you strike the right balance between providing scaffolding and freedom for visitors to control the flow of their own experience, enabling people to feel comfortable being a little lost? How do you create a relationship between the visitor and the characters in the story--and are those characters objects, artworks, or actors? How do you create opportunities for visitors to have shared experiences that don't break the immersion? When the curator is no longer simply the teacher, what is her or his role in this new type of exhibition experience?