Submit a Session

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 across a three day span.

Submit a session proposal today!

Session proposals should address one or more of the following topics as it relates to our theme question:
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!

Join us in Wilmington at the beautiful and historic Hotel DuPont, where we will discuss how objects factor into all areas of the museum. Come early to explore some wonderful museums, and perhaps stay the weekend to see all that the Brandywine Valley has to offer!

Whether you are at a small historic house or a large art or natural history museum, an emerging professional or a seasoned expert, you will find something for your museum at this conference.


Session proposals should address one or more of the following topics as it relates to our theme question:

  • Administration and Policy
  • Exhibitions including collections
  • Caring and Storing Collections
  • Fundraising
  • Repatriation (ex. NAGPRA)
  • Decolonizing the collection
  • Digital Collections
  • Dealing with collectors
  • Developing creative, relevant program/community engagement surrounding collections
  • Tackling tough topics regarding collections/controversial collections
  • Rapid response collecting
  • Deaccessioning
  • Living collections
  • Licensing collections for income
  • Accessibility of collections
  • Museums without collections
  • New approaches to the idea of the museum
  • Developing advocacy tools to lobby with your local, state, and federal representatives to protect museums “how to talk to your senator/representative”
  • Interpreting collections
  • Unique approaches to using collections in education and programming

We’re looking for sessions that provide a clear and focused discussion of these topics, bring a diverse range of participants to the table to exchange views, and can stimulate questions and conversations among the attendees.

How do I submit a proposal?
Please click the button below to submit your proposal through our Google Form. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 5:00PM EST on Friday, April 17, 2020. Questions? Email

What do I need for a session proposal?

For your session proposal submission, please have the following information*:

  • Preliminary Session Title
  • Topics your session addresses
  • Your contact information
  • 100 word description of the session
  • Number of speakers involved
  • Which member of your panel is a MAAM Member (at least one person on the panel MUST be a MAAM member, or must become a MAAM member to present at the Conference)
  • Target Audience
  • Session Chair and Panelist biography statements (approximately 100 words)*
  • Session Chair and Panelist Availability

*If you require assistance in submitting the session proposal form please contact us at (607) 431-8248 or


If you require assistance in identifying specific participants, please note in the Form what qualifications you are seeking – for example: “director of a small rural art museum who has recently completed a capital campaign.” If your session is then selected, our Program Committee members will then work with you to help identify potential participants.

Process for Selecting Sessions

The Annual Meeting Program Committee consists of representatives from the MAAM board of directors, an emerging museum professional, and a representative from our local arrangements committee. The Program Committee will review session submissions during April and May 2020.

After developing the schedule for the conference, we will notify contact persons for selected sessions on or about May 25, 2020. The Program Committee reserves the right to request modifications to the submitted programs.

Registration for Speakers

Speakers receive a discounted rate for the entire conference. Registration will open in August.

MAAM Member Requirement: At least one person on the panel must be a member of MAAM or must become a member of MAAM either at the individual or the institutional level before the preliminary program is released.

Group Rate: Member groups of 4 or more registering from a single institution receive discounted registration rates.

MAAM cannot provide any financial reimbursement or assistance to speakers who wish to be compensated for travel or hotel expenses.


Registration Cancellation Policy and Refunds

If you need to cancel your registration for the Annual Meeting, we will provide a refund of the ticket price, less a $20 processing fee, up to October 6, 2020. We must receive your refund request in writing, by email, or in a written statement through WildApricot no later than October 6, 2020 explaining the need for a refund.

After October 6, 2020, no refunds will be granted.

PO Box 4 Cooperstown, NY 13326


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