Hybrid Technology and Programming at the Freud Museum


Sponsor: Freud Museum London
Sponsor Liaison: Giuseppe Albano, Monica Law
Student Team: Dhruv Patel, Tessa Phillips, Jack Pszeniczny, Istan Slamet

The goal of this project was to recommend improvements to the Freud Museum London’s (FML) Video Room and Exhibition Room to be more conducive to hybrid (i.e. online and in-person) events. To achieve this, we researched hybrid event technology, assessed online event practices at London institutions, and analyzed FML’s programming via staff interviews and member surveys. We offer separate recommendations for programming and technology. For programming, we recommended that FML prioritize its content and offer hybrid options for conferences and events but keep learning sessions online only. For technology, we recommended that the museum use Zoom and install ceiling microphones, cameras, and speakers and add a monitor in the Exhibition Room following our design plans.


Freud Museum London D24 Final Report

Freud Museum London D24 Final Presentation

Freud Museum London D24 Final Presentation PDF

Executive Summary

Project Introduction

The goal of our project was to recommend improvements to the Freud Museum London’s Video Room and Exhibition Room for hybrid (i.e. online and in-person) events and exhibitions.  To achieve our goal the team identified four major objectives: (1) Assess current and best practices used within various hybrid events in London, (2) evaluate the current use, needs, and limitations of the Video and Exhibition Rooms at FML to deliver hybrid events and exhibition space, (3) evaluate stakeholder perspectives on recent FML in-house and online events, courses, conferences, and learning sessions, and (4) recommend appropriate video conferencing equipment and configurations.


To assess the current and best practices of hybrid and online programming in London, our team scheduled interviews with staff members of other museums and organizations in London. When interviewing the staff members of other museums, we gathered information about how they hold successful online events through managing both online and in-person audiences, preparing their speakers, and programming appropriately in the hybrid format.

To evaluate the current uses and limitations of the Video and Exhibition Rooms, we interviewed the FML staff members who are closely involved in programming at the museum. We discussed their in-person and online programs, how the Video and Exhibition rooms are used during events, and which current programs offered by the Freud Museum London could be most successful in a hybrid format. Additionally, our team attended in-person and hybrid events to see what works and where there is room for improvement. Finally, we created an inventory list of the technology available to the museum staff for future reference.

To evaluate stakeholder perspectives on current programming at the FML, we developed a survey sent out by museum staff to members and past event attendees. This survey gauged their past experiences at FML programs and their interest in attending hybrid programming at the museum. The survey also had an option to sign up for a follow-up focus group. In addition to surveying and interviewing members, we interviewed professors who had spoken at the FML in the past.

Finally, to develop recommendations to the FML we did self-guided research into different hybrid hardware and software. This research also involved identifying UK suppliers and installers of hybrid event equipment. Our team visually utilized three-dimensional rendering software to configure the Video and Exhibition Rooms.


Our team executed our four project objectives to gather insight on the most appropriate hybrid program and configuration recommendations. We received many suggestions for developments to the future FML hybrid space and improvements to FML programming.

During the various programs that we attended, we found that FML programs contain great content, audibility, and hospitality. However, our team discovered first-hand and through interviews and surveys that the seating is uncomfortable after some time and the visibility is poor from the back of the room. Some interviewees mentioned that large events such as conferences would work well in the hybrid format because of the museum’s limited event space and the opportunity for locals and in-person attendees to foster a better connection with nonlocals and online attendees. Some interviewees believe that learning sessions would not work in a hybrid setting because students on each end will have different learning experiences, making it difficult to collaborate all together. Many survey respondents claimed that the on-demand recordings are useful and appreciated. Survey respondents as well as FML staff members highlighted the need for user-friendly technology to ensure that their programs remain distraction-free and enjoyable.

Out of the 62 program evaluation survey respondents, 61 individuals (98.3%) would consider attending a hybrid event at FML. Some wrote that they would attend the hybrid event in person due to living close by or because they enjoy being in Freud’s home, while others wrote that they would join a hybrid event online because of mobility issues or they live far away.

FML currently uses three lapel microphones and one handheld microphone which gets passed around to members of the audience during the Q&A session. There is a total of four speakers in the two rooms, with two in the front corners of each room. The Video Room contains a mounted 42-inch Panasonic monitor as well as a projector and drop-down screen.

During presentations and talks, the speakers may use the projector and laser pointer to present slides and images on the drop-down screen. For online-only programs, FML staff and speakers currently prefer using Zoom as an online programming platform for smaller events and Zoom Webinar for larger events. Speakers record online events on the second-floor office in the museum using a 4K handheld camera and lighting ring. Guest speakers have the option to record in the FML office or their own office/home.


Based on our research and findings above, we compiled a comprehensive set of recommendations for FML regarding hybrid technologies and event programming. Regarding software, we suggest that the museum continues using Zoom. To alleviate the pressure on the network when hosting large programs for proper quality, we believe the museum should inquire about two separate network plans, one dedicated to the museum and one dedicated to the visitors.

Our first hardware recommendation for the museum is to acquire a 75+ inch high-resolution display that will be mounted in the center of the Video Room, replacing the smaller 42-inch display. We also advocate a second, smaller 50+ inch display located in the front of the Exhibition Room in the top-right corner. We suggest that the museum acquire two high-resolution cameras. One camera should be on the front wall of the Video Room, facing the audience. The second camera should have optical zoom and auto-tracking capabilities and will be wall- or ceiling-mounted in the top corner of the back of the Video Room. For the audio solutions, our team proposes the installation of two in-ceiling microphones that can be programmed to listen to specific parts of the room at different times. In addition to the two microphones, we recommend that the museum replaces the current wall-mounted speakers with new high-quality speakers. The best option would be to have the speakers and microphones come from the same supplier to streamline training and maintenance. See Figure ES 1 to view a potential format for the Video and Exhibition Rooms.

Figure ES 1. Potential Video Room and Exhibition Room Configuration

For programming, we recommend the museum focuses hybrid format offerings on conferences and museum events but not for learning sessions and courses. Conferences and museum events can benefit from a larger audience without overly sacrificing audience-engagement, however learning sessions and courses suffer too much disengagement when combining online and in-person programs. Furthermore, we suggest that the museum focuses more on the content of the programs and credibility of the speakers, as this was valued most by past visitors.