Front of House — why are we here and where do we want to go?

Monday 14th November 2022 at Tate Modern

This event invites people working in front of house roles to set out their ideas, visions and aspirations for what those roles should be like – for individuals, organisations and across the sector. If you could make any changes you’d like, what would they be?

We want you to draw on your experience and imagination, and set out what you would like to see happen in any aspect of front of house work… you name it, it’s up for discussion.

This isn’t yet another event where there’s lots of talk but no action. The ideas conference participants come up with will be shared with heads of visitor services, who will discuss how they are going to take them forward at a Q&A event in March 2023. Both events will be facilitated by Rachel Souhami from Museums Showoff, who devised them.

The conference day will be in two parts: Provocations and Plans. Provocations will be a series of talks and discussions on ideas you’ve got. Plans will be a chance for delegates to collectively write a manifesto for the change you’d like to see.

We’re now looking for proposals for Provocations – 10-minute presentations for the first half of the conference. Ideas and questions you might like to consider include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • FoH as entry into other roles (or not)
  • The ins and outs of the role of FoH
  • Qualities you need to do a FoH role
  • What makes a role FoH
  • How you become a member of a FoH team
  • What would happen if there was no FoH
  • Anything else to do with front of house work

If you’ve got an idea, please fill in the application form at the bottom of this page by 16 September 2022.

The selection process

The selection panel will be Rachel Souhami, David Hingley (Tate), Matthew Hale (Southbank) and Frances Sampayo (Chelsea Physic Garden). All proposals will be anonymised to try to minimise bias. Each member of the selection panel will read all the anonymised proposals and will give them a score of 1-5 based on the following:

  • Relevance to the topic of the conference
  • Coherence and clarity of the proposal
  • Can the presentation reasonably be delivered in 10 mins?

The panel will create a short list of proposals based on the scores and variety of topics. The short-listed proposals will be partially de-anonymised to reveal the institutions of the proposers. This is to make sure we have proposals from a spread of organisations. The final six will be completely de-anonymised and the applicants contacted. All other proposals will be de-anonymised and the applicants contacted.

Application form

When you submit this form, your data will be processed according to Tate’s privacy policy. All participants at the event will be required to abide by Museums Showoff’s code of conduct.