#IconTC 2019 breaks new records
It started with an idea turned into an unexpected phenomenon back in 2017 and now, at the tail end of 2019, the Icon Twitter Conference (#IconTC) made a resounding comeback, blowing its previous success out of the water to deliver a conference of unprecedented quality and engagement.
The conference kicked off December 4, with a keynote by Icon CEO Sara Crofts reflecting on the enduring search for excellence in conservation.
1 #IconTC Good morning and welcome to the 2019 @conservators_uk Twitter Conference. Join us throughout the day and be inspired by stories from conservators and conservation enthusiasts from around the world as we share ideas, tips and tricks from our projects and research. pic.twitter.com/JrvdSIOse2— Sara Crofts FRSA (@sarajcrofts) December 4, 2019
It couldn’t have been a more accurate prognostic of the conference, as the rest of the day progressed at parallel levels of quality, interest and entertainment value. From the get go, we had fantastic examples of project case studies - such as Becky Doonan’s report on tackling hair loss in composite objects:
1 #IconTC Regrowth and Repair: Tackling hair loss in composite objects: Hi everyone! My talk is a case study about the conservation of a group of paper and textile composite figures, focusing on the re-integration of hair elements using localised adhesive techniques. pic.twitter.com/YwdOhM9qK0— beckydoonan (@becky_doonan) December 4, 2019
Or the step by step of the archaeological conservation of the Scremby cup by Pieta Greaves, of Dragon Heritage:
Even within the same category, our speakers came up with ways to keep it unique, such as the paper by BMT Conservators on how the conservation department at Birmingham Museums Trustare adapting to working with complex and ever changing contemporary artworks:
1 #IconTC Good morning everyone! This paper explores how the conservation department at Birmingham Museums Trust (@BM_AG) are adapting to working with complex contemporary artworks, with a case study of one particularly changing piece… pic.twitter.com/nNTlXMETz5— BMT Conservators (@BMTconservators) December 4, 2019
This year’s #IconTC also showed a heightened sense of awareness and involvement in issues affecting the sector and, to an extent, the world, such as the paper by David Harkin on Climate Change’s impact on the historic environment:
1/#IconTC— David Harkin (@DMHarkin) December 4, 2019
A Guide to Climate Change Impacts on Scotland’s Historic Environment.
Read on for an introduction to this brand new publication that you can download for free here https://t.co/H3kFA2WL4X#ClimateHeritage pic.twitter.com/3ulRvOIDQd
Or the paper by Phil Parkes on precarious conservation careers:
1 #IconTC Precarious conservation careers - the case for trade unions with @LJaneHenderson @PhilParkes4 tweeting from #UCUStrikesBack rally. Proud to be striking against precarity with @CardiffUCU @ucu pic.twitter.com/3BKOdY8jQy— Phil Parkes (@PhilParkes4) December 4, 2019
But as with most things, in the face of adversity, conservators come up with new, creative ways to work around barriers - as perfectly exemplified by Lorraine Finch ACR in her thread of collection care tricks and hacks:
1 #IconTC Caring for your collection can be very expensive, yet you can reduce your costs with a few simple hacks. These tweets will share a selection of tips & tricks you can use to care for and conserve you collection on a budget #sustainable pic.twitter.com/jhy50jnACQ— Lorraine Finch (@conserve_lfcp) December 4, 2019
Or Bethany Palumbo’s list of tips to keep museum environments free of the ever-increasing threat of pest activity:
1 #IconTC From the visitor cafeteria to a catered special event, food is an increasingly common sight in museums. It generates income & enhances the visitor experience; however, it brings challenges for the preservation of collections such as increased pest activity pic.twitter.com/k50t8Dcij0— Bethany Palumbo ACR (@bethany_bug) December 4, 2019
Every single paper had something in it for everyone and yet, if we saw one example that had it all - quality, originality, usefulness, creativity and perfect use of the medium - it would have to be Emma Le Cornu’s paper “Get Up to Get Down: Conservators Move!” - a list of quick and easy exercises and relaxation techniques to manage bad posture and pains from working at the bench for long hours:
1 #IconTC Get Up to Get Down: Conservators Move! We have all experienced discomfort or pain during and after work. There is always time to move and work differently; start to counteract suboptimal working habits that aren’t doing anyone any favours pic.twitter.com/GdEu4GSLj3— Emma (@elecornu) December 4, 2019
In 2017 - with almost 60 speakers - #IconTC broke all records and expectations with nearly 2,000,000 impressions generated over the course of the day. This time, although the amount of presentations was practically halved, #IconTC managed to rake in an estimated 3,332,201 impressions*, with a potential 700,000 people being reached by any of the tweets sporting the conference hashtag.
More importantly, the total of 1,272 tweets made by a staggering 337 contributors, in several different countries over the course of 8 hours, made it possible for #IconTC to be the number 1 trend in the UK for much of the afternoon! You can download the full stat report for the event here.
It was nothing short of a privilege for Icon to be a host of such a fantastic gathering and display of passion and engagement for the conservation sector. We hope that all of you who followed it on the day - or are belatedly catching up now - enjoyed it as much as we did organising it.
Lastly, Icon would like to extend a huge thank you to Pieta Greaves - Drakon Heritage - for her invaluable input and contributions to #IconTC.
For questions, concerns or suggestions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Impressions: estimated amount of times content may have appeared on twitter users' timeline.