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Call for Proposals


MCN 2018: Humanizing the Digital

This year, MCN seeks proposals that investigate how museums can use technology to foster human connection and dialogue, advance accessibility and inclusion, and champion inquiry and knowledge. How have you used digital tools to solve institutional problems, enhance user experience, and make data a force for good? Share how you think technology can meet audience and community needs, or the ways in which our work is informed by the very human qualities of collaboration, creativity, and empathy. MCN is seeking a mix of hands-on, participatory solutions to museum technology problems and deeper discussions of the changes and challenges that face our ever-evolving field.


Session Types

  • 30-minute Presentation or Case Study

Presentations are explorations into specific concepts, often illustrated with examples and case studies from the field. They are typically 20 minutes of content, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. Two presentations are usually grouped together to create an hour-long thematic session. Note that the number of speakers for a presentation or case study is limited to 3.

  • 60-minute Professional Forum or Hands-on Demonstration

The Professional Forum provides an opportunity to dive deeper into a topic of interest to the MCN community building upon the conference theme. A Hands-on Demonstration emphasizes audience participation and learning outcomes. Choose the 60-minute option if you would like the maximum flexibility to choose your collaborators and formats. Note that the number of speakers for forums is limited to 5.

  • Pre-conference Tuesday Workshop (3 hours)

Pre-Conference Workshops are half-day interactive sessions held the day before the conference and are MCN's premier in-depth learning opportunity. Attendees pay an additional fee to attend these structured hands-on teaching sessions. If accepted, your workshop must meet minimum enrollment requirements before being added to the program. Workshop presenters will also be required to attend an online orientation session (sometime over the summer) prior to presenting.

  • Ignite Talk (5 minutes, Tuesday, November 13 only)

Ignite talks are fast-paced, energizing talks (20 slides auto-advancing every 15 seconds) that illustrate a single concept or idea. Ignite Speakers must be present for a Tuesday afternoon rehearsal as well as the opening night reception.

Watch the MCN 2017 Ignite Presentations

  • Other Format: Propose something completely different

The MCN community is endlessly creative, and this is your opportunity to propose something we haven’t thought of. While most presentations will fit into one of the 30- or 60-minute formats described above, we encourage and are open to innovative ideas. Sessions submitted under this category in the past included but are not limited to:

  • Participatory “gaming” sessions to share problem-solving solutions (“MCN Green Room”)
  • Peer-advising sessions matching MCN veterans and those with museum workplace dilemmas (“#MCNergy”)
  • Open storytelling hours (“MCN Open Mic 2.0”)
  • Multi-sensory “slow disco” session (“Slow Change: It's Not a Consolation Prize”)
  • Drop-in relaxation and meditation sessions featuring playlists and podcasts (“MCN Listening Lounge”)

Last year we received 25 proposals and look forward to a new batch of ideas this year. Please don’t just submit a longer version of a typical session!

Need help brainstorming session possibilities? Read “Other” Category Unpacked: #MCN2017 Call for Proposals on the MCN blog to learn more.

You can also contact us at program@mcn.edu before submitting to talk through your ideas, including how much space you're likely to need, any special equipment you'll be supplying, how long your idea will take to realize, and how many people can participate in it.

Before you submit any proposal, be sure to familiarize yourself with our Presenters Guidelines. MCN strongly suggests that presentations be accessible.


Proposal Selection Criteria

When reviewing submissions, the Program Committee will evaluate them based on the following criteria:

  • The session has a clear purpose, objectives, and learning ­outcomes for its audience.
  • The session has potential to make a significant contribution to MCN and the museum sector.
  • The organizer’s commitment to stimulate discussion at the conference.
  • Timeliness and expected interest in the session.
  • Relevance to the conference theme.

Proposals with the following characteristics will be favored:

  • Highlighting collaborations
  • Diverse presenters in various roles and seniority levels
  • Presenters from traditionally underrepresented and minority backgrounds
  • Variety of institution types
  • Engaging formats that encourage dialogue among participants
  • New and unique takes on familiar topics
  • For-profit firms and vendors paired with museum partners.


Submission deadline: Monday, April 30, 2018, 11:59pm in your timezone

Want feedback on your ideas before submitting? Join the conversation on Twitter with the #MCN2018 hashtag.

Need more information? Have questions? Email us at: program@mcn.edu

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