Up to Friday, September 15, you can register for the IDEA Conference for the discounted rates.
To tantalize you, we’ve just posted the National Park Service’s planned presentation on the conference blog. With tasty morsels such as:
The Challenges for Media Professionals
» NPS Innovations in Park Media— Harpers Ferry Center
The Center was established in 1970 to bring media specialists together in one place to share talents and resources. What have we learned from this experiment?
» Centralization (HFC, regions) vs. local control (parks)
In the mid-1990s the NPS shifted power from central offices to parks, making it more challenging to effect develop and enforce national standards in media. Who should set the media standards?
» Government model vs. business model
NPS media professionals are asked to work more like contractors in the private sector, but remain under the constraints of a bureaucracy. How can media planners, designers, and producers thrive in this sometimes contradictory environment?
» Insular model vs. partnership model
NPS sites have always been islands of government real estate within a secure boundary. Now we are more and more dependent on partners and volunteers to greet visitors and develop media. Are park rangers and NPS designers on the way out?
» Information (facts) vs. interpretation (minds & hearts)
Facts have lost favor in the NPS, with more energy going toward relevance and making emotional connections. What is the proper balance between information and inspiration?
» The virtual vs. the real
There have been reports that visitation to parks is declining, perhaps because many people, especially the young, are preoccupied with computers and digital media. Should the NPS be offering lots more digital and virtual experiences, or should we be focusing on providing opportunities to see and appreciate the real things that make up our natural and historical heritage?