New England Best Practices Mission 2019 (Nova Scotia Only)



Craft Product Development & Experiential Tourism Best Practices Mission

Working with New England Museums

Boston and Region,  December 3-6, 2019


To further engage the artisan, publishing and experiential tourism business community (museums) in Nova Scotia on the concepts and learning objectives of creating product for the museums market through a learning experience in the Boston region in December 2019. There is no fee to participate in this project. Funding assistance for travel is provided up to 75% by the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

The program will involve up to 10 craft, publishing and regional museum representatives to travel to Boston, MA in December 2019 to attend workshops and participate in an experiential tour to various museum sites in the greater Boston and New England areas. The program would be three full days, plus travel time.

Craft Alliance will work with an in-market consultant to coordinate the activities for the group while in Boston.  The program will involve participants from craft & artisanal producers, publishing representatives, and museum representatives from the province, based on mission criteria.  For craft producers, we will focus on those who have products that suit the museum sector and who are interesting in developing product for this sector. The museum participants will benefit from the knowledge transfer with other museums and the workshop on buying and procurement practices for museum gift shops and creating customer experiences through their retail programs.

During our 2018 mission to Boston, each of the museums we visited expressed the importance of their book collections to the retail shop, some of them estimating that as much as 40% of overall sales were from books. Therefore, publishing companies are invited to apply for this opportunity and will be selected based on the suitability of their catalogue for this project.

Participants will also get to participate in the annual Boston Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony as part of this project.


Project Summary

Craft Alliance will coordinate and manage a group of Nova Scotia craft producers and museum representatives to attend a Best Practices mission in Boston in December 2019. The project will be supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and participants will be eligible for travel assistance funding.

Project participants will take part in a coordinated event in partnership with all of the project partners. As part of the project, Craft Alliance will coordinate the mission activities with the assistance of Atlantic Trade Winds Agency which is based in Massachusetts. The mission is expected to be 2-3 days in length plus travel day.

The project will consist of participants flying to Boston on Tuesday, December 3rd, to attend a workshop 3-4 hours in length that would be specific to museum retail, buying, merchandising and product development. The following two days will consist of site-visits to museums in the Boston region to see their retail and experience what is being done in the area of product development for Craft and publishing. Site visits will be guided by an in-market consultant, who will also present at the workshops alongside another local guest.


This mission will be of interest to include individual craftspeople, artisans and other producers that feature product relevant to the museum sector and that have the ability to produce customized products for specific museum sites. The museum representatives will learn about best practices to use in their own facilities and programs.

All applications are reviewed on an individual basis and evaluated on suitability for the mission.  The criteria may include any or all of the following;

Participant Criteria:

Artisan participation will be reserved for individual craft producer or artisanal products that feature cultural elements or who can produce museum quality reproductions or have the ability or existing product ranges that suit the museum market and can adapt to the specific needs of museum retail programs.

Museum participation will be reserved for those museum sites that features retail programs and could benefit from experiencing various museum sites and program in the New England market and learn about different approaches to museum retail and merchandising.

Publishing participation will be determined based on suitability, dependent on the company’s focus on museum-oriented books and/or flexibility & intention to shift focus into this market.

Objectives & Learning Outcomes include:

  1. How can producers develop product specific to museum sites and retail in the USA market.
  2. How to capitalize on museum reproductions or customized product and develop the know-how by creating authentic products for museum experiences.
  3. Working with local publishers to develop exhibition and collection catalogues
  4. How adding specialized products to your operation will help become part of a larger regional or international tourism experience.
  5. How to tap into the trend towards local experiences and diversifying your product range to include the museum market.
  6. What tools are necessary to develop and connect with museums for product development
  7. How to effectively use retail exhibition space to show visitors cultural products in your museum site.
  8. Best practice strategies for craft producers and museum sites.
  9. Learn about working with what you have to create a successful retail & merchandising program
  • Understanding the role of authenticity in product development and the museum experience.
  • Learn how to alter your product offering to remain competitive and adapt to the “new tourist” experience
  • Learn about the partnerships, networks and efforts needed to incorporate museum elements into your products or retail program.


Timeline and Critical Path

Best Practices Mission

BOSTON and Region

December 3-6, 2019

 Applications Received by October 15, 2019

  • Mission Departure: December 3, 2019
  • Tuesday Dec. 3 (Arrival A.M. in Boston)

Afternoon workshops

  • Wednesday – Dec 4
    • Tour – Museum Site visits 9:00am – 4:00 pm
  • Thursday – Dec. 5
    • Tour – Museum Site visits 9:00am – 3:00 pm
    • Boston/Nova Scotia Business Meetup – 3:00pm – 6:00pm
    • Boston Tree Lighting Event – 7:00pm
  • Friday, Dec. 6 – Return to Halifax

There is no fee to participate in this project. Funding assistance for travel is provided up to 75% by the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

December 3, 2019
December 6, 2019
Project Type:
Boston MA United States
Greg Toole
Craft Alliance