New England Museum Association 2012 — Aftermath

It is evident through my last two posts, I am extremely grateful to have attended the New England Museum Association annual conference. I also appreciate the professionals who took the time during the conference to converse with me. I learned a great deal from asking questions and being curious.

In the days following the finish of the conference, I did my best to follow up and say “thank you!”. I put in a lot of time. Probably not every single email was perfect.

I have also been thinking about what has been missing from the year’s conference, and what I may like to propose for a conference session for next year to cover that gap. Having a strong idea in mind, I begun to think about:

What does make a conference session “EXCELLENT”?

I recalled conferences that I have attended — Webwise Denver in 2010, Webwise Baltimore in 2011, Museum Computer Network 2011, Mountain-Plains Museum Association 2011 — and thought if I could still recall an insight or presentation, I think that is “great”. It could very well be that the session was just “memorable”, for some reason or another, rather than truly “excellent”… so what makes a session for attendees to walk away feeling the session was “excellent” and purposeful, and possibly also left the attendees walking away: optimistic, fulfilled, stimulated, and/or energized?

While it might be true that a conference session may be excellent in one person’s perspective and the session is not “excellent” for someone else, sometimes sessions can cause many people — no matter their background — feel universally “wow!”. I would like to work on this for a session for NEMA 2013.

I would like to contribute a really meaningful session. First thing is sorting out a “thesis” with clarity — making sure the proposed discussion is useful and relevant, and applicable for this region. Ok and… go!



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