2018 Conference Teams

MMA uses a group of teams to organize the different elements of the conference. Each team is led by a different MMA member, most of whom have been involved in conference planning in the past. Members come from the MMA membership. 

Teams "meet" online and via conference call. We use Basecamp, an online project management tool, to coordinate the various teams.  Most teams have a conference call about once a month. Time commitment varies by teams. 

All conference team members are also part of the ALL conference team on Basecamp, and are invited to participate in a monthly conference update call.  Participation in this call is not mandatory, but is a fun way to keep up with all the news. Notes from the call are also posted on the Basecamp. 

The 2018 conference teams (and their leads) are:

  • Programs (Melanie Parker): Coordinates sessions, conversation stations, and museum cafe and helps with speakers.
  • Events (Julie Cook): Coordinates the three evening receptions, and the tours, and helps with the lunches and maybe a pub crawl alternative.
  • Revenue (Mallory Bowers): Coordinates sponsorshops, advertisements, and vendors.
  • Conference Central (Ashley Ross): Coordinates the conference central area (registration) and conference volunteers. 
  • Students (Megan McCullen): Coordinates Student Papers session, student coffee, and other student conference experience activities. 
  • Communications (Caitlyn Perry Dial): Coordinates conference communications and social media.  
  • Awards (Malcolm Cottle): Coordinates Awards program.
Teams do have size limits, so expression of interest is not an automatic add to the team. But we will find a place for everyone who is interested in being involved with the conference. 

See below for more information about specific teams. 

Sign up to volunteer here. 


The purpose of the Programs Team is to develop a robust, dynamic conference program that satisfies the needs and expectations of the MMA membership. The Programs Team has three primary responsibilities: 

1.     Organizing the concurrent sessions, which will include the development of the call for proposals, the review and selection of sessions, maintaining communication with session presenters, and facilitating conference evaluation during the conference. 

2.     Organizing the conversation stations, which was a new conference experience in 2017. Conversation Stations are hosted by professionals from museums around the state and feature a variety of topics and projects. The goal is to spark dialogue and new ideas, gain feedback from peers, and/or find partnerships. Programs Team responsibilities will include the development of the call for proposals, the review and selection of stations, communication with station facilitators, and having eyes-on the setup at the conference.

3.     Planning and facilitating the museum café. The museum café occurs during the conference, and brings small groups of people together to have conversations around various topics relevant to museum work. 

The Programs Team will also lend support to the keynote speakers. 

Time commitment:

The Programs Team has one 30-60 minute team planning phone call per month. There is also one updates phone call per month will all volunteers from all conference teams. 

Because the Programs Team oversees several different aspects of the conference, the team is broken into subcommittees assigned to specific tasks to better distribute the work. This means that each subcommittee will have months where there is more work to accomplish, and months of down time where their only responsibility is to join the team call. 

We anticipate that the team will be busiest between February and April and in September and October. 

Skills and/or experience desired/Requirements: 

  • Professionals and volunteers from museums of all concentrations, sizes, and counties around the state.
  • Individuals with experience or interest in facilitating programs with large groups of people (logistics, anticipating needs, communication etc.)
  • Creative, out-of-the-box, flexible thinkers
  • Knowledge of the issues and topics most relevant to the field right now

Communications Team

The MMA Conference Communications Team is the hub in which all conference news is broadcast. Our team works together in concert with other conference teams to communicate important conference news. Using social media, email, and other tools each member on the team has an important task to keep MMA members in the know.

  • The team will start working as soon as possible in 2018, ending after the conference in October 2018.
  • The team will be the busiest in the summer during open registration of the conference. We call this "the blitz."
  • Members of the team must have experience and interest in working with communications and marketing, especially social media. Those looking for moreexperience with marketing and communication are more than welcome to join the team.
  • Members of the communication team must commit to at least one team phone call a month and at least one hour a week during the busy "blitz" period. Members must also have a twitter account.

Sign up to volunteer here

Student Team

The student team will coordinate the Student Papers session, the student coffee, and activities or elements that support a great student conference experience. 

Check back later for more details about this team.

Sign up to volunteer here

Awards Team

The Awards Team will coordinate the 2018 MMA Awards, which will be presented at the conference lunch on Monday, October 29. The team may help develop new awards this year. 

Sign up to volunteer here


The 2018 MMA Conference Events Team creates opportunities for conference members to connect and network with one another through one-of-a-kind experiences that highlight local organizations and our own MMA community. We provide these engagement opportunities through the following venues:

Evening Receptions

  • Local museums open their doors to to provide a relaxed networking setting while showcasing their own exhibits and programs.
  • The Events Team coordinates with host organizations to ensure the receptions are memorable and to provide on-site support during the reception
  • Local organizations provide unique, behind-the-scenes tours offered exclusively to MMA conference members. This is a great way to explore the host city through the lens of our museum colleagues that reside there.
  • The Events Team is responsible for organizing tours leading up to the conference and providing on-site support during the conference
  • The Annual Awards Lunch and Business Meeting Lunch are both great opportunities to hear about all the wonderful things our organization and members have been up to!
  • The Events Team coordinates with the MMA Project Manager to plan the lunches and provides on-site support during the conference
MMA Mixer
  • In lieu of an official pub crawl, the events team may coordinate some other type of evening social. 

Skills and/or experience desired/Requirements: 

Experience in education, event planning, visitor engagement, or programming are good fits for the Events Team. Plan on attending at least one conference call a month. We're busy planning and organizing events during February-May, and then making final arrangements and providing on-site assistance September through the conference.

Sign up to volunteer here. 

Revenue Team

Do you have experience in developing integral relationships with not-for-profit sponsors?  Have a knack for helping vendors get the most out of attending a conference to ensure attendees learn about companies and organizations that can help their mission?  Would you want to learn these important skills to add to your resume or bring back to your institution?  Than we have the conference team for you!

The Revenue Team works with conference sponsors, advertisers, and vendors to strengthen relationships within the museum community and keep conference rates attainable for our members.  In this group, you will reach out to established contacts and work to foster new connections.  Communication occurs via email and phone, and we work to have a template or script available so everyone is comfortable with the needed information and tone.  Expect to attend monthly conference calls to check in on team advancement.  The team utilizes Basecamp and Google Sheets to organize information and track progress.  The work load will ebb and flow over the next year, with high spots in the summer with sponsor asks, beginning of September to collect logos, and right before the conference.  

The Revenue Team members should be organized, passionate about sharing MMA’s mission with new and existing partners, and excel at efficient and professional communication.  Any development experience is greatly appreciated, but not required.  We are excited to have you on our team!

Sign up to volunteer here

Conference Central

Conference Central is the team for people who have a talent for logistics, organizational skills, and flexibility. 

This team has two main responsibilities:

  • Prior to conference: event planning! Prepare wayfinding documents, solicit cool swag for tote bags, create a concierge area for conference go-er comforts, schedule volunteers for day of tasks. The all-encompassing, “other tasks as assigned.” This team is the catch all to ensure the ease of the actual conference.
  • During conference: stuff tote bags with all the cool swag, staff the registration desk, work with programs team to introduce sessions and gather evaluations, help with set-up and/or tear-down of event.

The time commitment varies based on roll either prior-to-conference or conference volunteer. The team is busiest in the week prior to and during the conference.

Prior to conference volunteers can expect about 4-5 hours per month leading up to conference. 

Conference volunteers can expect to work one full day of the conference. This is the perfect role for students and emerging museum professionals. Volunteers who commit to one-full day of conference central work, will be comped one day of conference attendance. Application process forthcoming.

Skills and/or experience desired

  • Willingness to work and do the heavy lifting (literally). 

Sign up to volunteer here

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721      lcbrisson@michiganmuseums.org

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