Beyond the Building – How Technology Expands Boundaries and Audiences

How is technology is impacting cultural institutions?

Soraia Salvador, Head of Museums & Galleries at Grande Experiences, has over a decade of experience, including seven years at the Natural History Museum in London.

The way audiences interact with cultural institutions has changed dramatically over the last decade. Firstly, social and political changes have led to cultural institutions becoming spaces for social discussions and debates that go beyond the experience in the building to the digital and online world. This is a growing area for many institutions as they become a platform for discussions on various contemporary issues.

Secondly, audience expectation of technology use is increasingly influential, with museums and galleries realising the need to use technology to create interactive, social experiences for visitors. Companies like Grande use immersive technology to enhance the viewing experience and bring content to life in new ways. The use of technology in this way encourages interaction, conversation and social sharing.

Interactive technology

Gone are the days of silently admiring precious objects in museums and galleries. Now technology can create interactive and participatory experiences that foster conversation and social engagement. Whether through immersive experiences, augmented or virtual reality or interactive exhibits, museums and galleries can make narratives more engaging than ever.

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An alternative experience

Critics argue that immersive technology takes away from audiences’ emotional connection with original artworks. However, technology provides an alternative perspective and enhances the details that may be missed in a traditional setting. Additionally, it allows visitors to share a social connection by discussing and sharing their experiences, a key factor when looking to engage Gen Z and Millennial audiences.

Contrary to popular belief, there are not two separate audiences for traditional and immersive experiences. Visitors may want both; the feeling of awe from a unique piece or artefact and the sensory engagement of an immersive show.

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Embracing a wider audience

By embracing technology, cultural institutions can open up new entry points to audiences and expand their reach to wider international audiences without moving fragile artworks.

To stay relevant and attract future generations, cultural institutions should consider how to integrate immersive technology into exhibition design. This can also allow institutions to build their presence worldwide, presenting digital adaptations of their displays in cities and regions they wouldn’t have traditionally considered in the past.

Through technology, cultural institutions can find new audiences and enhance the experience of the existing audiences. At Grande, we use technology to assist audiences with different relationships with artefacts and their narratives for a valuable experience.

Interested in finding out more? Contact Grande or email Soraia directly at