The British Museum relies on Trail in AV equipment management
The British Museum in London is perhaps the most famous museum in the world. Its permanent collection is one of the largest, and it was the first public national museum in history.
It is also one of the largest museums in the world. It covers over 92,000 m2 area, and includes also 21,600 m2 of on-site storage space and 9,400 m2 off-site storage space.
Since 1753, the British Museum has educated and fascinated countless people all around the world. During the past years, presentation technology and AV equipment has become more and more important in creating unforgettable exhibitions. Management of the AV technology in the enormous museum facility requires strict processes and a reliable equipment management system.
The British Museum implemented Trail in 2021 for managing AV and presentation technology. We interviewed museum’s A/V Team Lead Clark Henry-Brown, who was kind enough to share his experiences with others.
Mr. Henry-Brown, could you tell us what you do at the British Museum?
The AV team manage multiple exhibitions, conferences and building systems across the British Museum. I manage the team and the resources across the museum, to ensure we can fulfil the AV expectations to the highest standard.
What were your main equipment management challenges before you implemented Trail?
The AV department at the museum are responsible for a vast inventory of AV resources, ranging from projectors and screens, to portable sound systems across various store rooms across the British Museum.
With the AV team managing multiple exhibitions, conferences and building systems simultaneously, keeping track of where these were museum-wide was a difficult task on a day to day basis. Often losing track of where AV equipment was, and not having a notable inventory or what equipment was available for future events and exhibitions was a common occurrence.
Moreover, having AV in multiple galleries across the museum, there was no way in noting maintenance schedules or logging technical faults - meaning that any reported issues were easily forgotten.
What is the main use of Trail at the British Museum?
Trail works fantastically as a multi-faceted asset management system for the AV team at the museum. From a management perspective, it allows us to budget appropriately when a piece of kit is approach it’s expected lifetime - with such a vast inventory it was previously very hard to keep track of everything. Within the team, AV techs can use the system to reserve equipment for upcoming events and exhibitions they may be working on.
What made you choose Trail as your equipment management solution?
Having previously used various asset management systems, Trail had stood out as an intuitive and easy to use interface. Most importantly, the Trail team were very helpful and eager to customise our Trail site to suit our fairly diverse needs specifically.
What are the most important benefits Trail brings you?
As a project management tool, Trail makes my job much easier. The exhibitions calendar is planned years in advance, with earmarking of equipment for multiple exhibitions starting as early as a year before. Keeping track of what equipment is available, becomes hugely laborious within a spreadsheet and the hours of work it has saved using Trail to do this is priceless.
What best practices of equipment management in your field you would like to share?
Being web-based means you can run Trail from virtually any device. We plan to use Raspberry Pi as an inexpensive way to have scanning stations across our multiple stock rooms.
Anything else you would like to add?
The team at Trail are one of the happiest support teams I’ve had the pleasure of working with!
Thank you, Mr Henry-Brown.
- Improved visibility to equipment and its locations
- Budget equipment purchases better than before by utilizing the life-cycle data in Trail
- Plan equipment usage better in the upcoming exhibitions and events with Trail’s equipment reservations
- Intuitive and user-friendly user interface makes day-to-day work easier