InterActivity 2019 Call for Session Proposals

Session Inspiration and Kick-Start Ideas

At InterActivity 2019: FearLESS, we will be exploring intentional risk-taking in all areas of museum operations. Use the lists below as inspiration for developing a session proposal: 

Exhibit and Program Design

  • Risk taking in visitor experience
  • Taking risks around content and approach
  • Managing unexpected outcomes (course correction)

Business Strategies

  • "Children's museums can't do that!" But we did!
  • Surprising partnerships
  • Creating a culture that invites risk taking
  • Flexible staffing models
  • Risk and donor relations 
  • Entrepreneurial ventures

Risky Positions/Community Action

  • Strategies for addressing social issues
  • Case studies

Messaging and Brand

  • Bold campaigns
  • Crisis communications


  • Planning for and managing risk

Plus, Trends in Suggested Topics from the InterActivity 2018 Evaluation (scroll down for specific topics):

  1. Very strong interest in programs for a variety of audiences: ages 0-4, teens, adults, school trips, family, special needs, etc.
  2. Strong interest in exploring leadership and organizational culture, as well as emphasis on staff morale and engagement.
  3. Interest in learning more about diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
  4. Desire for models and examples of processes, whether they be learning frameworks, staffing models, exhibit design and development workflows.
  5. Strong interest in fundraising, development, and financial/business practices.

P.S. They want nuts and bolts! Read on...

Creating and Delivering Extraordinary Experiences (especially on a small budget)

  • How to design exhibits and programs (process)
  • Outdoor learning and nature play
  • Cost/benefit analysis of exhibit design
  • What materials are safe for exhibits
  • What's working, what's not working in outreach programs 
  • Effective customer service practices

Development/Fundraising/Revenue Generation

  • What works, what doesn't in capital campaigns
  • Donor cultivation
  • Membership as part of development
  • Financial analysis of membership programs
  • New earned income strategies

Communicating Value and Impact

  • Marketing how-tos (especially low- and no-cost)
  • Effective ways to document, measure, and communicate learning in the museum or social impact, etc.
  • How to tell your museum's story (not your museum, but how you tell it)
  • Writing a marketing plan

Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice 

  • Community-specific outreach strategies, what works, what doesn't
  • Creating a community advisory group 
  • Exhibit design for all visitors 
  • Access programs that engage
  • Processes to address social issues in the community

Research and Evaluation

  • DIY evaluation methods
  • New research findings on learning, play, impact, etc.

Organizational Management

  • Recruiting, engaging, and retaining a diver staff that looks like the community
  • Pay equity
  • Volunteer programs
  • Board development
  • Professional development for floor staff
  • How to have less fear as a leader
  • How to lead change
  • Data-driven strategic planning
  • Financial reporting

Self- and Career-Management

  • How to conduct better meetings
  • Time management
  • Motivating direct reports
  • Work and family life balance
  • Project management tools and tips
  • Networking for career advancement
  • Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice 

Operations and Facilities Management

  • How to create and budget for a preventive maintenance plan
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Cafe and museum stores: outsource or operate in-house?
  • How to handle everyday issues: injury, visitor altercations, theft, etc...
  • Guidelines for exhibit safety
  • How to develop an emergency and disaster plan

Don't See the Topic You Are Considering?

That's okay! We welcome proposals on other topics that advance the field's practices, spark professional growth, or inspire fresh thinking. Post your ideas to the InterActivity Session Idea Exchange Groupsite for discussion.

 Questions? Contact Victoria Garvin, Sr. Director, Professional Development, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..