Post by Heather Moore, Applewood Estate
The Michigan Museums Association 2017 Conference is less than two months away, and while many of our conference teams do a lot of their work before the big event, the Conference Central Team is just gearing up. We’re the behind the scenes team. Our job will be providing support to the other teams to ensure sessions, stations, breaks, lunches, and audio-visual needs are all running smoothly, and if all goes well, you’ll hardly even notice us.
This year the conference will be hosted at the Radisson Hotel, a site that offers a wonderfully central location in Lansing, situated only two blocks away from the Michigan State Capitol and across the street from the Grand River. Impression 5 Science Center is just over the river, as is the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum. If the weather is good, be sure to wander along the Lansing River Trail while you’re in town!
What to Expect | TUESDAY, October 17th
After the pre-conference workshop, Becoming a Champion for Museums, registration will be open at the Radisson from 5:00pm to 6:00pm—just before the opening reception at the incredible Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on the Michigan State University campus. Though some of you may not be around all day on Tuesday, our team will be setting up and preparing for Wednesday’s busy morning.
What to Expect | WEDNESDAY, October 18thThe first “big” day of the conference will be action-packed! Registration opens at 8:00am with coffee and vendors available at 8:30am. Be sure to visit us at the registration table to check in and pick up your name tags and tote bags (lovingly filled by the team with goodies from our great sponsors and donors)! We also have a question of the day to get your synapses firing while your morning coffee tries to kick in. Once you’ve had a chance to say hello, our first keynote presentation will begin at 9:00am. Check out Melanie Parker's post "Sharing our Story" for more information on Juanita Moore's presentation.
From there, the day will be a flurry of activity: sessions, breaks, the awards luncheon, more sessions, and a fantastic variety of local tours. The Conference Central Team will be helping with all of it, happy to direct you to your next session, help you find your way to your tour’s meeting place, or just making sure the audio-visual equipment is working properly.The evening’s reception will be held at the Michigan History Center from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. We have invited representatives and delegates from around the state to join us for the reception in hopes that you are able to connect one-on-one with your local legislators. With the conference theme of advocacy, we hope this will enable you to speak directly with your representatives about your organizations, communities, and the importance of museums in general. The Advocacy and Conference Central Teams will be prepared for questions about identifying your legislators.
At 8:00pm, it’s time to celebrate a great day of advocacy and camaraderie with a Lansing pub crawl, starting and ending at the hotel.
What to Expect | THURSDAY, October 19th
Today’s registration opens at 8:15am. You’ll want to be sure to get good seats for keynote John Capecci’s presentation “Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference”. Drawn from his highly regarded book of the same name, Capecci’s presentation is sure to get you inspired for the conference’s second day. Swing by the registration table to check out a new question of the day
Once again, the day will be filled with sessions and breaks, this time with more opportunities to discuss your ideas with other museum professionals. The Conference Central Team will help prepare for a series of conversation stations around the area where you are welcome to drop-in with facilitators and other attendees for feedback or ideas on a project you’ve had in mind. Conversation stations will get you pumped up for the afternoon’s Museum Café, where you will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of topics and discuss or brainstorm further with others in an informal setting. (Don’t forget to join us for lunch before this and hear about next year’s conference location!)
After another inspiring day, the conference will wrap up with our closing reception at the Michigan State University Museum. Join us as the iconic Beaumont Tower next door chimes 5:00 and reflect back on yet another amazing conference.
The Conference Central Team will be there to assist in every way, so register today!Heather Moore
Conference Central Team Leader