Volunteer at Conference 2023 - Museums Association

Conference 2023: The Power of Museums

A group of MA volunteers stand at our 2021 conference in Liverpool

If you are a museum studies student, museum volunteer or unwaged then this opportunity is for you.

We are recruiting volunteers to help at our annual Conference 2023, which takes place 7-9 November 2023 in Newcastle-Gateshead.

Please note you must be a member of the Museums Association to volunteer at conference.

Our conference is good fun, and you’ll get to experience the Conference in exchange for helping us out.

If you are interested, please read the below information and then complete an application form by 2 October.

Please note we are unable to offer financial assistance with travel or accommodation. If you have any questions about volunteering at Conference, please email events@museumsassociation.org.

About volunteering at Conference  

The Museums Association’s annual Conference 2023 takes place in Newcastle-Gateshead on 7-9 November. Sessions will also be broadcast for online attendees.

Volunteers receive a free place at Conference at The Glasshouse (formerly the Sage Gateshead) in exchange for helping with front-of-house and theatre stewarding on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 November.

Volunteers are not expected to volunteer at the evening networking receptions or the tours on Thursday 9 November, but they are invited to attend these if they are able to. Tours of venues across Newcastle/Gateshead take place on Thursday 9 November.

What to expect 

Volunteers should expect to be at The Glasshouse from approximately 0730 until 1800 on Tuesday 7 November and from 0800 until 1800 on Wednesday 8 November.

Before the event, volunteers will be sent a Volunteer Handbook and allocated sessions where they undertake theatre steward duties. Each room will have at least two volunteers assigned to it.

We will arrange a tour of the venue and discuss any questions or concerns you have at an in-person briefing from 0730 on Tuesday 7 November. You will also be introduced to a member of the MA team who will provide direct support to you during the Conference.

Volunteers should dress smartly and comfortably – we recommend flat shoes as in some cases you may be standing. The Museums Association will provide badges for volunteers and t-shirts.

As a volunteer, you are entitled to lunch (vegetarian/vegan) and other refreshments served.

We will also make every effort to accommodate any access needs you may have (please provide details in confidence via the application form).

Responsibilities and duties 

At the start of the day, some volunteers will be required to assist MA staff with front-of-house duties. This includes:

  • Welcoming delegates to the venue and helping them with badges or directions around the venue.
  • Answering any questions.
  • Directing speakers to their correct room or a member of MA staff who will be able to assist them.

All volunteers will be assigned a room each day. Each room will have at least two volunteers who act as theatre stewards. This includes:

  • Welcoming speakers/chairs to the room approximately 10-15 minutes before a session is due to start and ensure they are met by theatre technician. 
  • Contacting a member of the MA team immediately if there are any problems – for example, if a speaker has not arrived.
  • Checking that signage outside of the theatre is in place, seats are tidy, and the top table has fresh water and clean glasses.
  • Welcoming delegates they arrive.
  • Ensuring some seats are reserved at the front for delegates with additional access requirements.
  • Assisting with roving mics if required to do so. 

The application process 

Volunteers must be member of the Museums Association. Please be aware that we will prioritise volunteers who live in the local area. You must be able to volunteer on both Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 November.

We are actively seeking and welcome applications from people from a range of diverse backgrounds, particularly people with disabilities, people of colour, people who identify as LGBTQ+ and people from a range of socio-economic and educational backgrounds. We will make every effort to accommodate volunteer’s access requirements.

The application includes the Museums Association equality and diversity monitoring form.

In accordance with the Museums Association Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy, the Museums Association will provide equal opportunities to all applicants.

This includes not discriminating under the Equality Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of the make-up of the workforce in encouraging equality and diversity.

To enable us to ensure our compliance with this policy, we would be grateful if you would complete a set of questions in our application form for monitoring purposes.

We will treat the information confidentially, and it will not be directly used as part of the shortlisting process. However, in cases where applicants are equally qualified, as per our recruitment policy we may use this data to give preference to applicants from diverse backgrounds.

We will treat all personal information in line with current data protection legislation and our data protection policy.

All candidates will be contacted via email on 3 October to let them know if their application has been successful or not. Please let us know if you need to withdraw your application.

Please read all the above information carefully.

If you are interested in volunteering at the MA Conference, please complete the application form by 2 October.