2017 Conference


Truth & Trust: Museums in a Polarized Society
99th Annual NEMA Conference
Falmouth, Massachusetts
October 25 – 27, 2017


NEMA invites you to submit a proposal for lively, thoughtful and interactive sessions. We welcome new voices from a variety of institutions, as well as from people outside the field. Presenters from all stages of their careers and from all disciplines are encouraged to submit a proposal–all you need is a good idea!

Share your knowledge of best practices or innovative approaches, strategies for building a successful organization, or how to achieve professional or personal growth. Proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Program Committee, which may have suggestions on how to strengthen your session. NEMA does not require that speakers be confirmed at the time of submission, but you are encouraged to identify speakers as early as possible.

Our most recent conference survey indicated that attendees desire to know if a session is basic or advanced, hands-on or theoretical, or a “Think Tank” or brainstorming session. Please communicate as much information as you can so that attendees can make an informed choice of sessions.

The Schedule
The Program Committee will meet in March, and you will be notified whether or not your proposal was accepted by mid-April. Short descriptions of accepted sessions and final speaker’s names and contact information are due in early-summer.

Session Formats
Sessions are a variety of lengths, 20, 60 and 90 minutes long. Conference sessions may be structured in anyone of the following ways, or by another means of delivery that is well thought out and described:

  • Debate: Find lively, knowledgeable speakers to present opposing views, plus a firm but open moderator.
  • Guest speaker: Find a true expert everyone wants to hear.
  • Marketplace: Recruit 6-10 participants who will bring materials and create a browsing area on a topic.
  • Panel Presentation: Panels will be limited to no more than 3 speakers plus a chair to ensure adequate time for presentations.
  • Roundtable Discussions: Recruit a thoughtful, well-informed person for each table to facilitate discussion.
  • Workshop: NEMA can accommodate hands-on instruction in a three-hour “double-session” timeslot.

Off-site Sessions

In addition to the sessions held at the conference hotel, NEMA will work with area museums to create unique off-site sessions and evening events for conference attendees. If your institution is on Cape Cod and you are interested in hosting a day-long or half-day off-site session or an evening reception or dinner, please contact the NEMA office.

Speaker Policies
Presenters from within the museum community, including vendors and consultants who work with museums, are expected to register for the conference if they are staying beyond their session.

Presenters from other fields are welcome guests for the day of their session, but are asked to pay for any meals or events they wish to attend.

NEMA does not pay expenses or offer honoraria to presenters from within the museum community. If you have presenters from outside the field who ask for reimbursement of any expenses, you must get approval from NEMA.

Download the Call for Proposals form here.

Submit your session proposals by February 6, 2017.

Please limit your proposal to no more than 2 pages and return in a word or rich text document format to bj.larson@nemanet.org. Please no pdfs, thanks. If you do not receive an email confirmation within a few days of submitting it, please resend your proposal to bj.larson@nemanet.org.


Questions? Phone 781-641-0013 or email bj.larson@nemanet.org.