Sharon Heal

Tricky choices

Sharon Heal, 04.03.2014
Selecting conference sessions is no mean feat
How do you choose between subjects as diverse as ethical challenges, bilingualism in museums and revisiting cabinets of curiosity?

Selecting sessions for the Museums Association's conference out of the many great proposals that come in is always tricky, and this year was no exception.

The task the conference panel faced was to squeeze as many of the suggestions as possible into a packed programme and ensure a good balance of topics aimed at a very diverse cross-section of delegates.

Not easy, but made slightly simpler by having a conference panel from a diverse range of backgrounds and who represent a wide spectrum of museums and galleries.

Of course everyone has pet projects and pet peeves, and arguing it all out until we got the right number of sessions was half the fun; it challenges assumptions and made us think again – hopefully something that will happen at the conference itself.

This year in Cardiff there’ll be some new stuff as well as some things that are reassuringly familiar.

Great content that is challenging and thought-provoking will be centre-stage. One of the recurrent ideas in the proposals is around the idea of resilience and there will be a number of sessions that will look at how we can ride out the storm in these tough times.

Networking is another crucial component of conference and this year we will be doing more than ever to get people connected – watch out for Come Dine With Me mark two and some unprogrammed space that will allow new ideas and new alliances to be formed.

Also new this year are pop-up museums – the Wales Millennium Centre has great spaces inside and out, and these will be put to maximum use.

Finally the fact that we are in Cardiff for the first time since 1997 means delegates can expect a very warm welcome from the host city and museums; the Welsh language, food, culture and of course museums will be on display.

We hope to see you there – Rydym yn gobeithio eich gweld yno!

Call for MP workshops at Cardiff 2014