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2021 Schedule

Scroll down for an overview of the 2021 Visitor Experience Conference schedule. 

All times listed below are Eastern

Wednesday, October 13

10:00 AM

  • DEAI Workshop - The Akron Vibe -Chris Harvey, Wendy Duke, April Couch, Dara Harper, Timothy Bekelesky


11:00 AM

  • Workshop - Getting a Seat at the Table - Robert Philips 

1:00 PM

  • New Attendee Meet-up


2:00 PM

  • Keynote Address - Dr. David Pilgrim - View Here

3:15 PM

  • 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes VEX Edition - View Here

4:30 PM

  • Dinner Break

7:00 PM

  • Dry Tee Shirt Contest - Rock your favorite museum tee or your geekiest tee shirt for a chance to win!

8:00 PM

  • Welcoming Party featuring Museum Quizzo

Thursday, October 14

1:00 PM

  • Welcome

1:15 PM

  • Keynote Address - Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko & Chris Taylor - View Here

2:30 PM

  • The My Museum Project: Engaging with the Non-traditional Visitor - Lynda Kennedy - View Here

    • ​Presenting understandings gleaned from work the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum undertook with five public housing communities in New York City to help cultural institutions better listen to and engage with individuals from groups typically underrepresented in museum visitorship.

  • Reflecting on Digital Changemakers: Philanthropy and Visitor Experience During Pandemic Times - Christine Dong

    • ​In 2020, the Thoma Foundation launched the Digital Changemaker Grant to support innovation and improved user experience across small and medium arts and cultural organizations. This panel shares learnings from 5 awardees and almost 100 letters of inquiry about the challenges and potentials of in-person and virtual digital visitor experiences.

  • Redefining and Optimizing our Frontline Teams - Michael Padilla - View Here

    • ​What does a visitor services department do when visitors are no longer allowed in the building and the rest of the institution shifts their work offsite? In this session, we will discuss strategies for keeping visitor services staff involved in museum operations and productive in a work-from-home environment.

  • Engendering Inclusivity for Spanish Language Programming in Museums by Putting it First - Amy Oliver - View Here

    • ​Multilingualism in museums has long been treated as a supplemental service. Here, we make the case for Spanish as a first language in museums by following the challenges and evolution of public programming and the visitor experience at Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona, allowing a springboard for other languages.

3:45 PM

  • The Impact of Virtual Programs on Revenue Generation at Cultural Organizations - Maddie Taylor, Cuseum

    • ​With the rise of virtual programs at cultural organizations, new questions have emerged about the future of digital programs and the “digital visitor.” To understand how museums are generating revenue through virtual programs and the long-term outlook of digital, this session will share the results of a 2021 study of 500+ cultural professionals.

  • Data, Data Everywhere and So Many Ways to Use It - Liane Jacobs, Jill Roberts

    • ​In 2018 a group of museum professionals and data scientists came together to form the Museum Visitation and Analytics Working Group across the Washington, DC area. Our vision was to ensure a better visitor experience through data. We have been continuing to learn and build on our success ever since.

  • Training and Staff Engagement from Home - Briana Jilson - View Here

    • ​With all the COVID restrictions in place, training staff and keeping them engaged feels harder than ever. Come see how the SFMOMA Visitor Experience team developed a new training plan, transitioned to virtual training, and started a new staff engagement plan during COVID closures.

  • Melding Together - Meg Bowersox, Cassie Graff - View Here

    • ​Did you pivot? We did too! Hear from the Museum of the American Revolution and the California Academy of Sciences as they discuss how they adapted internal operations and guest engagement strategies during the pandemic, as well as what they learned and what's here to stay. 

5:00 PM

  • Accelerating the Shift: Transitioning from spatially focused experiences to visitor-centered journeys - Brad Baer

    • ​While physical outposts of places like museums will always remain central, the core function of on-site venues is forever transformed. This session will explore how a post-Covid visitor journey may look, including lessons from various sectors about pairing social, editorial, and event strategy with digital products and physical touch points to engage audiences online and on-site.

  • Team Building with Modern Board Games - Mark Baird - View Here

    • ​Team Building Activities can be both a challenge to create and then to initiate with your team.  From Ice Breaker ideas to Cooperative problem-solving activities for your staff, Modern Board Game Concepts can be used to kickstart some of these activities.

6:15 PM

  • Dinner Break

7:15 PM

  • VEX21 After Party featuring BATTLEDECKS

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