VAM Annual Conference 2020

March 7-10, 2020

Making Museums Essential

VAM 2020 Annual Conference
Chantilly, Virginia ~ March 7-10, 2020
Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles


While museums will likely always face concerns such as caring for their collections, securing funding, and creating awareness of their organizations, 21st century skills are increasingly taking center stage. Attributes such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication should be applied now more than ever, whether to improve internal operations or external outreach. Breaking down barriers to be more inclusive, equitable and diverse are monikers of the modern museum.

As the latest national data indicates, museums are considered the most trustworthy entities in the nation. More than newspapers, non-governmental organizations, state agencies, and the federal government. An honor no doubt, but a heavy responsibility nonetheless. So as we near the end of the second decade of the new millennium, how can museums support the needs of their communities and strive for positive transformative change? Or is that our role?

We encourage you to get involved in the conversation at the 2020 Annual Conference of the Virginia Association of Museums as we come together, hundreds strong from across the Commonwealth and District of Columbia. Join us for four days of quality professional development training, engaging dialogues, fascinating tours, and fellowship as we visit Fairfax County, an area of diverse attractions, rich dining and shopping experiences, and near our nation’s capital.

The Conference Local Arrangements and Program Committees support reaching new audiences, embracing technology, incorporating mindfulness, advocating museums as change agents, and making social justice and equality issues at the forefront of the museum sector today. We encourage session proposals that help us make museums essential.

Session proposals are now being accepted through August 4. Apply Here.

Additional ideas for topics and training that may also inform proposals, such as:

  • Board development
  • Collections care and conservation
  • Community outreach
  • Core documents/policies 
  • Emergency planning and facilites
  • Exhibitions
  • Event planning
  • Financial management
  • Fundraising/development
  • Historic site issues
  • Human resources/staff management
  • Interpretation and storytelling
  • Marketing and outreach 
  • Museum shops/retail management
  • Presenting difficult topics
  • Support for sites with single or small staff
  • Visitor services
  • Volunteer management

*Please note that business representatives wishing to speak at the conference must be members of VAM and present alongside a museum/organizational representative. Learn more about membership here

VAM's 2020 Annual Conference will take place at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles. The block has a reduced rate of $139 double/single for the length of the conference, March 7-10, 2020. Sign up for Marriott Bonvoy if you're not a member already, and receive free wifi while on site.  Reserve your room now!