Creating Content for the 2022 Archaeology Roadshow Virtual Event
Best Practices Guide
2022 Theme: Archaeology of Water
Reminder – please register as an exhibitor! You do not need to have your exhibit finalized before doing this. We will contact all registered exhibitors with specific instructions for submitting/uploading your exhibit materials.
What is your goal? What are the ~ 2-3 key ideas/understandings/knowledge you want visitors to take away? We encourage you to think about how to incorporate “Water” into your concept, but promise–this is only a suggestion.
Types of Content
There are so many ways you can contribute to this year’s online event. Take some time to explore the 2021 content at archaeologyroadshow.org and consider what format works best for the information you want to share or the take-aways for visitors.:
- Do you have a professional talk, presentation, or poster that can be converted into a virtual exhibit for the public?
- Do you have video footage and/or still photos of an interesting field project and know someone who can turn it all into a brief, informative video?
- Are you good at writing for the public? Maybe an illustrated blog is the way to go.
- Are you brimming with ideas about how to get people outside and exploring the cultural landscape where they live in safe and non-destructive ways? Maybe you could create an interactive exhibit/activity (an “experience” bingo game for families, for example, our walking/driving tour of local heritage points of interest).
- Maybe you’re good with ESRI and want to create an ArcGIS StoryMap that can be linked to?
- Is your community planning a COVID-safe live talk or event that can be livestreamed or uploaded after the fact, and/or added to our events calendar?
- Other ideas? If it can be uploaded to the website, it just might work! Let us know what you’re thinking about creating so we can work with you to figure out how best to accomplish it.
How to Get Started
If you already know what software program you’re going to use, ignore this section. But if you feel like a deer in the headlights, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- For blogs, articles, photo essays, and many interactive exhibit types, Word/Google Docs or Powerpoint/Google Slides work well.
- If you’re planning to make a video out of photos or a slide presentation you can use Powerpoint to record the slides as a video. Here is a tutorial for that.
Tips for Design and Development
You’ve settled on the story you want to tell, and the format you want to use. What next? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you develop your content to draw people in and keep their attention:
- Show your passion and personality in your exhibit. Visitors will be more engaged and motivated to “read more” or “listen longer” if they become emotionally involved in what you have to share.
- If appropriate, share ways the public could learn more about the topic or idea you’ve addressed. This could be links to websites or places someone could visit.
- Video tips
- Less than 10 minutes
- Ask questions
- Blog tips
- Fewer words, more pictures
- It is legal/ethical to include images you find online for educational purposes, but you need to add a caption to that effect, which gives credit to the original source and internet link.
- Here are some handy links to the “dos and don’ts” of blogging:
- Avoid use of acronyms and jargon
- Guides to writing in “plain English” for the general public:
- Making your exhibit engaging and dynamic
- Consider including questions that visitors could puzzle over
- Minimize words, use bullet points or captions
- Use lots of pictures
The following is especially important if you’re converting a professional presentation (slideshow or poster) into a virtual exhibit for the public.
- Make sure content is accessible and viewable on a browser (even better, a phone browser).
Exhibit Title and Crediting Creators/Authors
- Title: Try to keep this to 10 words or less. Make it catchy and appealing.
- Content Creator: Please include the name(s) of the organization(s) and/or individuals that you wish to be linked to your exhibit.
While you are creating your exhibit, please keep these formatting criteria in mind. Please note– we will be contacting all registered exhibitors with specific instructions for submitting/uploading your exhibit materials. Just keep these in mind as you develop your exhibit.
- You will need one image that will serve as your exhibit’s icon/brand on our webpage. The image could be one of the ones you are including in your blog or photo essay, or a thumbnail from your video, or your organization’s logo if that makes sense to you. This image should be as close to square as possible. We will be arraying each of these images with a short title/description on our “gallery of exhibits” and visitors will find your exhibit by clicking on the image.
- For photos/images in general
- Please include photo attributes – who took the photo, who or what is in the photo. This information can be in the image file title, or in a separate Word doc or PDF.
- If possible, please format your photos to be at least 1800px wide, and no more than 250kb – if you’re not able to edit your photo size, or don’t know what this means, don’t worry – we can make the adjustments as needed.
- For videos
- Please upload your videos to Vimeo (preferred) or Youtube (next best), or other video hosting sites and share the link to it with us. For accessibility, please add closed captions to your video. Both Vimeo and Youtube give you options for doing this.
- For blogs/essays/articles
- Word docs or PDFs are great.
- For downloadable/printable activities or other files
- PDFs are ideal.
- For google forms, other items that you want to embed into our site, etc.
- A word doc with the link to your item, and the embed code is ideal.