Virtual Annual Meeting 2020

MAAM 2020 will occur online from October 5th through the 16th of 2020

What is the MAAM Annual Meeting?

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Annual Meeting is an annual conference dedicated to fostering excellence in museums by providing our region’s museum professionals with high-quality professional development, networking opportunities, and special events.

UPDATE: Due to the uncertainty of how COVID-19 will progress through the remainder of 2020, MAAM is moving the 2020 Annual Conference online. The Board of Directors and the Staff of MAAM made this decision collectively, determining it to be the safest alternative to meeting in-person. 

We are no longer accepting session proposals or submissions.

Questions or changes to your proposal? Email

2020 Annual Conference theme

Do Museums Still Need Objects?

Once perceived as static “cabinets of curiosities”, museums are now evolving their missions to meet the needs of their ever-changing communities. As we think about how museums will look in the future, we also need to think about how collections serve diverse audiences. The question remains: Do museums still need objects?

The MAAM Annual Conference will examine this question in its entirety. We will discuss the ways in which art, history, and science collections can play a new, or different, role in the museum. We will discuss how digital technologies make collections more accessible to communities. We will discuss how museums thrive with and without collections. We will discuss tough topics regarding collections. We want to know what you think about this question!

The Conference, originally scheduled to take place Oct 14-16, will take place between October 5-16, 2020.

Below are further updates about the 2020 Virtual Conference and beyond:

  • MAAM 2020 will be held in October 2020. We are steering away from a strict 2.5 day format, and we will push out over the span of a 10 days. There will be no concurrent breakout sessions.
  • We are looking at various online platforms for the Conference (Zoom, Twitch, etc.)
  • Our Program Committee is working hard to ensure that MAAM 2020 does not focus solely on Zoom Webinars and strict lecture content. We are committed to making it as useful, collaborative, social, and accessible to museum professionals at every stage of their careers as possible.
  • MAAM 2021 will occur in Wilmington at the Hotel DuPont.

Our decision to move online is motivated by health and safety precautions as well as understanding that soon you and your museums or organizations will be working hard to navigate this new reality. We plan to make our 2020 Virtual Conference as affordable and accessible as possible to our members, industry partners, and our friends in the field.

We look forward to welcoming you to MAAM in-person again at our 2021 Annual Meeting scheduled for October 14-16, 2021 in Wilmington, DE at the Hotel DuPoint, or at Building Museums in Late Winter/Spring of 2021.

Stay tuned, more updates on our Virtual Conference will be coming available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, stay healthy and stay safe. For the latest news, subscribe to our e-news by clicking here.

What is the theme?

The theme of this year’s conference is “Do Museums Still Need Objects?”. Our Program Committee found this theme to be relevant amidst the pandemic and period of social activism that we are seeing today. We recognize that the theme is larger than a simple question of whether a museum needs to have objects, but also begs the questions: how do we interpret the objects we have? How do we manage interpretation without a collection? How do we use controversial objects to discuss difficult topics?

What will the program look like?

The Virtual Annual Meeting will take place over October 5-16, 2020. We will have approximately 10 days worth of content including webinars, program affinity group meetings, the Weil Lecture, our Annual Meeting, and other networking opportunities. A formal schedule will be shared prior to the opening of registration in September.

What will registration rates look like?

Active MAAM members will be able to attend the conference at no cost.  Non-members may either join MAAM to receive access to the entire Virtual Annual Meeting, or pay-per-event. The cost per event will be under $10.

I have been furloughed, laid off, or am experiencing financial difficulty. What are my options?

You have many options!

  • Not currently employed? You can join MAAM at our discounted member rate of $25.
  • Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we will be giving away a number of FREE memberships: that means that you can join the entire Virtual Annual Meeting AND have access to MAAM benefits for 1 full year at no cost! There will be a short application process to receive one of these sponsored memberships. More information coming soon. Sponsors, want to support this cause? Contact us!

Conference Registration

Registration will open the week of September 1, 2020.

Registration will be hosted through MAAM’s Membership and Event Registration page at: Registration is not open at this time.

Current, active members of MAAM will be able to attend the conference at no additional cost. 

You will be able to access any session of the conference, including affinity groups and roundtables, at no additional cost. There will be a webpage dedicated to members with all of the information you need to attend the virtual Annual Meeting.

Non-MAAM Members

Non-Members may choose to purchase a membership to MAAM to receive access to all Virtual Conference content. We have several membership options to choose from (all membership options renew annually from the date of application):

  • Student/Retired and Museum workers that have been furloughed or have financial difficulty: $25 
  • Individual Employed- $50
  • Institutional- Covers multiple museum employees under one membership. Price is based on your museum’s operating budget. Click here for more information.
  • Corporate- Covers multiple staff persons under one membership. Price is based on your Firm’s number of full-time staff. Click here for more information.

Non-members that do not wish to purchase a membership have the option to select conference sessions ala carte at $8 a piece. 

Other Non-MAAM Member Options

  • Members of state associations in the MAAM region can attend sessions ala carte at $4 a piece. (includes MANY, NJAM, PA Museums, Delaware Association of Museums, and Maryland Museum Association)
  • Members of other museum regional associations can attend sessions ala carte at $4 a piece. (includes AMM, NEMA, WMA, MPMA, and SEMC)

Staff of regional, state, and affiliate associations may attend the conference at no cost. Please contact for more information on how to receive your complimentary registration.

Thanks to the generosity of MAAM sponsors, we will be able to offer a number of FREE event registrations and memberships. More information on how to apply for these free memberships and event registrations is forthcoming.

Code of Conduct

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment free of bias and intimidation at all of our in-person and virtual events. In accordance with federal and state laws and with non-profit best practices, MAAM expressly prohibits any form of discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, physicality, marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran, or any other protected classification.

Discriminatory or harassing behavior by or towards any staff, volunteer, contractor, member, fellow, presenter, participant, vendor, or other person participating in MAAM programs or activities will not be tolerated.


Anyone who experiences or witnesses any violation of MAAM’s Code of Conduct should report the incident to MAAM’s Executive Director or a member of the Board of Directors as soon as possible.

If you witness sexual harassment or assault, respond first to the affected person’s needs and safety. Support that person if they choose to report the incident but respect their decision to report or not report.

Averie Shaughnessy-Comfort, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums,, 607-431-8248

MAAM is not an adjudicating body. However, MAAM will receive complaints to support addressing grievances associated with MAAM programs and activities.


MAAM is committed to enforcing this code of conduct at all levels of its organization. Unacceptable behavior will result in immediate removal from MAAM message boards, chats, Facebook groups, Discord channels, and the MAAM Virtual Conference and MAAM Membership without refund. 

MAAM reserves the right to prohibit participation in future programs and activities as well as the right to rescind association awards, fellowships, and/or and revoking or prohibiting membership.

Registration Cancellation Policy and Refunds

If you need to cancel your ala carte registration for the Annual Meeting, we will provide a refund of the ticket price, less a $1.00 processing fee, up to 7 days prior to the start of the Annual Meeting start date (September 28th) . We must receive your refund request in writing, by email, or in a written statement through WildApricot no later than 7 days prior to the start of the Annual Meeting explaining the need for a refund. Those who choose to purchase a MAAM membership to attend the Annual Meeting will not receive a refund for failure to attend the conference.


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