Wam, Bam, Thank You VAM: Looking to the Future at VAM’s Annual Conference

Julia Kennedy - Marketing & Aud Dev Associate

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The Virginia Association of Museums turned 50 this year, so their annual conference in Norfolk, VA was one big, museum-filled party.

We loved getting the chance to take part in the celebration and a few sessions to meet up with amazing museum professionals from all over the state. Best of all? We got to give a keynote speech and talk about what the next 50 years might look like.

Beyond Best Practices: Using Social Media Creatively

Jenna, from the Mariners Museum & Park, with Julia, speaking about putting the “social” back in social media

First, Julia spoke in a session about using social media creatively with the Mariners Museum & Park and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.

This session wasn’t a standard Social Media 101. Instead, Julia focused on three case studies to show off the creative use of three different social media platforms. Then we turned it over to the audience for an activity to get them thinking about how to use social media at their own sites.

After all, social media has the word social in it for a reason, right?

Pop Up: The State of EMPs

Julia joining founding members of the Virginia EMP Chapter.

We joined some of the founding members of the new Virginia EMP (Emerging Museum Professional) Chapter in a short pop-up session to discuss the state of EMPs. The bulk of the session centered around an open forum for dialogue and discussion over what is missing in resources for EMPs.

One interesting idea that came out of the session was the concept of flipping the script and asking what it means for an institution or association to be EMP-Friendly. Job listings, resources, etc. can all contribute to the idea that an organization is committed to sustainable careers and a fair and diverse pipeline of candidates. We’ve already made the commitment on our job listing site, Museum.Jobs, to uphold these set of standards.

Looking Towards the Future

This photo from The Museum Girl Blog pretty much sums it up

Dustin then challenged attendees to predict what museum best practices will be like heading into the next 50 years of museums. What will the actual future of museums look like in 2060?

We can’t predict that — but Dustin inspired us to be the movers and shakers in our institutions by starting to enact change, and not just simply talking about it.

We’re obsessed with the live experience at Museum Hack, so, of course, our keynotes are no different. We’ll get you out of your seat to model out our best practices, and VAM attendees were no exception. In fact―they looked pretty good!

VAM attendees re-creating the Chrysler Museum of Art’s own Washington Crossing the Delaware

We love attending conferences, meeting museum professionals from all over, and hearing how they are inspiring change in their institutions and communities.

Want us to join you at your conference? Reach out to our Museum Consulting Team!

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