101st Annual NEMA Conference

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October 4, 2019 - 11:59 pm Deadline for early registration discount
What's In It for Me?

It’s your career. Take charge of it.

Come to the NEMA Conference this November and see what it can do for you. Take advantage of the country’s largest regional gathering of museum professionals, with 90+ professional development sessions, lively discussions, and tons of networking opportunities that challenge your intellect and boost your museum passion to a whole new level.

Whether you’re new to museums or a seasoned pro, the NEMA Conference is the place to be.

“What’s in it for me?” It’s a phrase that museums hear more and more. Visitors demand customized experiences and crowd-sourced programming. Museums respond by becoming more visitor-centered than ever. Members expect greater benefits and amenities. Museums respond by developing more innovative and effective programs. Sponsors want more opportunities for visibility instead of “giving back” to the community. Museums respond by focusing on metrics and outcomes.

For better or worse, we live in a time of unprecedented individualism, when virtually every museum audience – visitors, members, donors, and employees – expect something in return for their engagement with the museum. Our 2019 conference theme is What’s In It for Me?, investigating how museums are responding to a society that is becoming increasingly individualistic and savvy in their cultural choices. Here is some food for thought as you develop your session ideas:

  • How has the crowd-sourcing trend affected your museum? Has it had an impact on your collections management? Exhibition design? Your sense of curatorial authority?
  • Have relationships with your audiences become more transactional over time? If so, what have you done to address this trend? Do you feel as though your museum is being commodified?
  • Or is it the opposite: are you finding a greater sense of community in your museum? If so, how is that happening?
  • Are outcomes and metrics more important to your educational programs? What evaluation tools do you employ to justify school visits to your museum? Are field trips still field trips?
  • Are your members, sponsors, and donors demanding more in return for their contributions? If so, what are you offering them and how do you measure it? Is this creating greater costs of money and time for your museum?
  • What have you done to become more visitor-centric?
  • How are you welcoming your community into your museum? What’s in it for them? Are you telling their stories and designing multiple points of access?
  • Are museum workers becoming more outspoken about improving their workplace culture? How has this impacted power structures, pay equity, and long-term sustainability?

Click here to download a .pdf of the preliminary program.