Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join
2020 Request for Session Proposals
Share |

Session Proposal resubmission deadline is February 19, 2020
You will be notified of your status by March 15, 2020
All presenters are expected to pay the registration fee and are encouraged to attend the entire conference

Navigating New Ideas

With the very purpose of museums currently under debate at an international level, all museums are facing unique opportunities and challenges related to change--both internally and externally. Whether you are encountering changes to audience or community needs, collections and interpretation focuses, accessibility and empathy, or staffing and institutional structures (just to name a few), we want to explore how you are navigating those often-unfamiliar waters with new ideas. Building on UMA's previous conference themes that examined how museums can make local connections, increase community impact, create belonging, and demonstrate relevance, we look forward to hearing how you are navigating new ideas! 

UMA is seeking people interested in sharing their stories, successes, and challenges with the Utah museum community in sessions and posters that present strategies and ideas for strengthening the future of Utah museums, their programs, collections, and communities.

Sessions should be applicable to a range of museum sizes and disciplines, and should be designed to assist employees and volunteers of Utah museums to better perform their duties, organize engaging educational experiences, develop in their profession, protect their collections, obtain necessary resources, and serve their communities. All sessions should be involve audience participation. 


How to submit

In order for your proposal to be considered you must submit by the deadline using the Session Proposal form below. 


Session Format Options

Panel (60 minutes): A panel has at least two with a maximum of three speakers, often with contrasting perspectives, institutions or experiences. The moderator briefly introduces the topic and the presenters formally address it in some detail. The moderator may also serve as one of the presenters. The session concludes with a general question and answer period.

Dialogue (60 minutes): A dialogue uses a moderator and at least one presenter. Unlike a panel, a dialogue devotes almost the entire session to a lengthy and facilitated discussion with the audience on a specific topic. The moderator and/or presenter(s) are limited to brief remarks at the beginning and closing remarks at the end.

Workshop (2 hours): A small number of workshops may be selected to demonstrate and initiate in-depth or hands-on practice in one component of museum work. Financial assistance is not available to cover the cost of workshop materials.

Conversation Table (60 minutes): A small number of conversation tables may be selected to allow for small-sized groups of attendees to engage in facilitated conversations with their peers in a safe environment.

Poster (15 min): Please review poster submission guidelines and submit here.


Conference sessions will address one or more of the topics below

Business & Administration: If your day includes writing a grant proposal, managing a schedule, advocating for your mission, setting up a business plan, working within a budget, pitching a proposal, or figuring out an ad campaign attend these sessions.

Collections: Do you manage objects and images? Learn how to better safeguard and exhibit objects at your museum now and for years to come.

Community Engagement: Engaging your museum's community is essential for remaining relevant, offering new and meaningful experiences, and reaching wider audiences. These sessions provide insight into the process of increasing accessibility, developing community partnerships, community-based initiatives, and enhancing our mission through outreach.

Leadership & Careerpath: For anyone in the museum field wanting to explore issues related to professional development, institutional governance, unraveling roles and responsibilities, management of human resources, developing leadership capacity, and getting ahead in your career.

Visitor Experience: Museum staff, volunteers, and visitors all have their own perspective on the museum-going experience. Learn more about guest service, audience research, evaluation, and other strategies that can enhance your visitors' experience.

Indigenous: These sessions provide a platform for indigenous and non-indigenous museum staff to explore issues from diverse perspectives, to learn about innovative projects, and to deepen practice-transforming sensitivities.

Session Guidelines

  1. Presentations should go beyond “show & tell” and provide the audience with current, theoretical, and practical information.
  2. Presentations should speak to a wide range of audiences. Be prepared to discuss applications for large/small museums, seasoned professionals/beginners, and museums of different disciplines.
  3. Presentation descriptions should be accurate. Do not twist titles/descriptions to fit the theme.
  4. All presentations need to be practical with regard to space, location, and time constraints.
  5. Presentation dates and times will be assigned by the program committee. If you require a specific date or time, let us know as soon as possible and we will try to accommodate you.
  6. All presentations are voluntary; we are unable to offer honoraria.
  7. Presenters are expected to register for the conference, and will be responsible for their own conference registration (but are eligible to apply for scholarships).
  8. Vendors are allowed to present a session, however the session is to remain neutral and in no way is your session to be an advertisement for your business.
  9. All presenters are responsible for providing handouts or other supplementary materials.
  10. Due to limits in space and time, submittal of a proposal does not guarantee that your presentation will be chosen for the conference. The Program Committee reserves the right to decline or recommend modifications to proposals in the interest of the conference and attendees.
  11. All session rooms will be equipped with a screen, projector, and computer. Presenters are expected to bring a flash drive with their presentation.
  12. Have an idea for a session, but aren’t sure how to proceed? Send us your name, institution, contact information, and a brief summary of your idea. We can help you find co-presenters and hone your concept into a full session!

Questions? Contact Ruth White, UMA Executive Assistant at or (202) 251-0549.

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal