2022 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo Open Call for Proposals

The #AAM2022 Call for Proposals

is Now Open

May 19-22 | Boston


After a time of many disruptions, changes, and adaptations to our world and our field, museum professionals are more eager than ever before to share their stories, crowdsource solutions, and learn from each other. Our 2022 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo will be held in Boston on May 19-22, providing a much-needed space for the field to come together and tackle the critical issues we’re facing today.

Historically, the Annual Meeting has had a more traditional structure, with a primary focus on educational, lecture-based sessions.

As part of our rethinking of the Annual Meeting, we’re reimagining a few legacy practices and experimenting with new processes centered around diversity and inclusion and designed to foster connection and engagement. Feedback from our attendees has highlighted a strong desire for more structured, practicum-based content, that allows for engaging interaction with innovative presenters. Our attendees want to walk away with concrete take-aways that they can directly implement at their institutions.

The 2022 Content Advisory Committee, a diverse group of subject matter experts, is currently coming together and will host an open call for proposals that address the changing needs of our field. We look forward to sharing more about the CAC in the coming weeks. #AAM2022 is centering around four focus areas: Museums in Society, Financial Wellness, Innovation, and Organizational Culture.

The call for proposals is now open through December 3, 2021.

Focus Areas

The 2022 annual meeting program will center around four focus areas. Each of these focus areas will coalesce around an inspirational Keynote followed by interactive breakouts that allow attendees to dive deeper into the content with their peers and come away with practical tools and techniques. Based on audience feedback, trends in the field, and member discussions, the following themes and topics are of the most interest:

Museums in Society (all content presented on Friday, May 20, 2022, except posters)

  • Social Impact
  • Environment and climate change
  • Truth and democracy
  • Advocacy
  • Social justice and equity
  • DEAI
  • Community wellbeing
  • Education and public programming

Financial Wellness (all content presented on Saturday, May 21, 2022, except posters)

  • Revenue generation
  • Development and fundraising
  • Boards and governance
  • New business models
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Impact investing

Innovation (all content presented on Saturday, May 21, 2022, except posters)

  • Technology
  • Digital engagement
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Exhibitions
  • Audience research and evaluation
  • Collections stewardship
  • Curatorial practice

Organizational Culture (all content presented on Sunday, May 22, 2022, except posters)

  • Internal staffing and hiring practices
  • Structuring for equity
  • Empathetic culture
  • Self-care and thriving at work
  • Burnout prevention
  • Effective leadership
  • Decolonization
  • DEAI
  • Workforce trends

Presentation Types

The objective of this hands-on model is to present innovative and engaging content resulting in concrete tools and take-aways. To encourage thought-provoking conversations, we are collecting proposals for the following session formats with preference given to proposals that include interaction and audience engagement:

Presentations: This instructive format will allow for up to 5 presenters and is intended to educate audience members on a specific topic. This format will include Q&A.

Interactive Panels: A panel of up to 3 presenters will present relevant content including a combination of follow-up audience discussions, debates, Q&A, or audience surveys during the session.

Brainstorming Discussions: This conversational and free-flowing format will include up to 5 moderators facilitating audience discussions, questions and answers, or audience surveys. This format will encourage imaginative and spontaneous idea-sharing. Some format styles may include, role-playing, demonstrations, gaming, or a group exercise.

Facilitated Workgroups: Up to 5 facilitators will guide instructional workshops where the audience can collaboratively progress towards a goal. This format should have the strongest takeaways for the attendees and encourage post-conference action plans and conversations. Some format ideas might include breakouts, an exercise, small groups that allow teams to collaborate on a specific discussion, or detailed demonstrations.

Poster Presentation: Up to 2 co-authors/presenters will create a digital poster that summarizes information, data, or research concisely and attractively. Posters will be available online and printed and displayed for the duration of the 2022 Annual Meeting. Presenters may also be selected to give a 10-minute poster talk.

Preparing Your Proposal

  1. Identify your focus area and topic. Which focus area aligns best with your session proposal’s content? Within that focus area, is there a topic that you host a deeper discussion on, provide gainful insights, and showcase diverse or varied perspectives? Be sure to thoroughly review the focus areas and topic suggestions for guidance.

2. Decide which type of proposal you will submit.

  • Session proposal (Select the format that fits best with your content. Sessions are 1-hour long and are scheduled concurrently with other sessions). Select a format type for your session: presentation, interactive panel, brainstorming discussion, or facilitated workgroup (see descriptions under the presentation format types list.) You will be asked to provide a brief description of how you will conduct the session.
  • Poster proposal (Uploaded digital poster graphic that will be printed and displayed at the annual meeting. Some poster presenters may be invited to present a 10-minute poster talk during the annual meeting.)

3. Reach out to colleagues to include in your session. Our Alliance is committed to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion as it is vital to the future viability, relevance, and sustainability of museums. Ensure that your session panel is diverse in presenters and institutions/organizations.

  • There is a “blind review” of session proposals by the Content Advisory Committee, however, you will be able to include position levels, institution type and describe the diversity within your panel on the submission form.
  • You must have the email address of each of your proposed presenters in the system. The presenters will be sent a link to complete their profile. To finalize your proposal, all presenters must have logged into the system and agreed to be added to your proposal.

4. Write out a proposal description. When meeting with your other panelist(s), prepare to write a short description of no more than 250 words. This should be a summary of your deeper dive presentation that relates to the overarching focus and benefits that you expect attendees to gain. Tips for writing a winning conference proposal.

5. Give your session proposal a title. Consider a title that tells your audience exactly what you will cover without being overly wordy. Consider catchy titles that will draw attendees into your session description.

6. Think about your learning objectives. Provide three (3) one-sentence learning objectives that are clear, measurable, and achievable that you want attendees to recall after leaving your presentation. (20-word limit) Tips for writing effective learning objectives.

7. Who will be your target audience? Who would benefit most by attending your session? Select up to 3 Professional Networks on the submission form. Creating this content filter will help attendees discover your presentation by providing additional information on the audience your session is best suited for.

The Review Process

Each year, the Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo open call for proposals receives a larger number of proposals than we can accept. The CAC will apply their expertise to review each of the proposals, make recommendations, and grade based on the grading criteria below.

The Content Advisory Committee is looking for proposals that:

  • Dive deep into and directly align with the selected focus area.
  • Showcase varied perspectives on events, issues, and topics
  • Are relevant to a diverse range of disciplines, cultural perspectives, geographic locations, and/or museum size
  • Clearly state the relevance of the topic to attendees’ professional and personal development needs
  • Offer practical and relevant examples and how to apply them, with helpful resources and take-aways.
  • Include meaningful audience discussion and participation.

Proposals may not be accepted based on the following criteria:

  • Narrow – Topic is too narrowly focused to have broad appeal.
  • Underdeveloped – Topic did not offer any new insights or innovation in the area.
  • Unclear – Proposal description lacks clarity and/or specificity.
  • Lacking Diversity – Proposal content lacks applicability to a diverse range of disciplines, cultural perspectives, geographic locations and/or museum size.

Session proposals will be scored using a 1 – 5-point scoring system. The CAC will rate proposals using the following rubric:

1: does not meet criteria
2: needs improvements
3: not specified or unclear
4: meets criteria
5: exceeds expectations for criteria.

The highest possible score is 30 points.


  • The proposal topic directly speaks to the selected content focus area.
  • The proposal content is clear and can be presented in an effective and meaningful way.
  • The learning objectives are clear, relevant to the topic presented, and appropriate for the audience.
  • The proposal provides attendees with relevant, timely, and applicable content with useful takeaways.
  • The proposal offers diverse perspectives or content, and diverse contexts.
  • The format selected to present this proposal is appropriate.

The call for proposals is now open through December 3, 2021.