All-woman ceilidh band Danse McCabre will play at the Thursday evening reception at Conference 2012

Get your dancing shoes on for Conference 2012

Geraldine Kendall, 10.10.2012
Ceilidh band, storytelling and much more in store this November
The Museums Association Conference 2012 has a jam-packed programme of sessions, debates and keynotes - but you’ll also have plenty of chances to relax, mingle and even get your dancing shoes on at our wide range of social events.

Taking place on Thursday 8 November and Friday 9 November, there's an exciting variety of entertainment on offer. Early risers can start the day with a behind-the-scenes tour of Edinburgh’s museums and galleries from 7.30-8.30am both mornings, with coffee, tea and breakfast pastries provided.

Along with visits to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Edinburgh, staff at the National Museum of Scotland (NMoS) are giving delegates guided tours of the museum’s new galleries and an update on the next stage of the redevelopment.

Each tour leader at NMoS will explore a different theme, including learning, programming and events, conservation and logistics, collection highlights and future plans. Delegates should enter via the museum's rear entrance on Teviot Place by 7.45am each morning.

On Thursday evening, NMoS will also play host to an evening reception from 6.45-9pm, sponsored by Beck, Click Netherfield and Eastern Photocolour, to celebrate the culmination of the MA’s five-year Effective Collections scheme.

Entertainment will be provided by the all-woman ceilidh band, Danse McCabre – a great chance to have a few drinks and attempt some traditional Scottish jigs and reels.

Additional networking evenings are running on Wednesday 7 November at the NMoS and on Thursday night at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery - see our Conference 2012 programme for full details.

Do you want to meet the people you tweet? If you’re travelling to conference a day early, a tweet-up is being organised at the Jekyll and Hyde pub - five minutes from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery - on Wednesday from 5.30-7pm.

Get into the conference mood by networking with all those people you’ve never met but have swapped stories, professional advice or just hilarious cat pictures with on Twitter. Tweet @MUSA_StAndrews or @MuseumsGalScot to tell them you’re coming.

If that's not your thing, the NMS football team also has its regular kickaround 6-7pm on Wednesday at Meadowbank and is inviting delegates to come along.

The level of skills is variable and you'll need to bring trainers or astro-boots - email Stephen Allen at if you fancy burning off some pre-conference calories.

And finally, don’t forget to keep an eye out for Donald Smith, storyteller-in-residence at Conference 2012. Smith, the founder of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, will use live narrative to interpret the voices and experiences of conference participants, culminating in a summary of the whole conference at 4.40pm on Friday afternoon.

The MA’s head of events, Sharon Heal, said: "There's a wide range of social events at conference this year from breakfast tours (pastries provided) to networking events. Undoubtedly the highlight will be the ceilidh at the National Museum of Scotland - if you're asking, I'm dancing!"


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Tina Pittock
MA Member
Curator, Royal Signals Museum
11.10.2012, 15:54
Great to see there'll be dancing. The last time conference was in Edinburgh we had dancing, pipe and drums and whisky tasting. An chance of tasting the whisky again?
Vanessa Trevelyan
MA Member
Director, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
11.10.2012, 09:46
How great that dancing is making a return to the MA conference. Mr Trevelyan and I will certainly be taking to the dance floor - no sniggering at the back!