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MCN 2019 Call for Proposals Submission Requirements

 

The Call for Proposals for the MCN 2019 annual conference will be open April 1-30. Given the various (and often quite substantial) changes we’re making to the overall process and more specifically to some session types, we thought we’d share the submission requirements ahead of April 1 so you have some time to familiarize yourself with what’s new.

We look forward to seeing your proposals!

If you have any questions, email program@mcn.edu. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

MCN 2019 Theme: Interface: Communities + Museums

For MCN 2019, we invite proposals that will explore the ways technology, platforms, and communities interface in museums. Often we create devices and design experiences to connect with audiences. We build networks with users and systems. We devise and revise channels to overcome obstacles. Bringing people, technology, and collections together, these interfaces are rich with challenges and opportunities that are worth exploring. Let’s look into the many ways communities and museums intertwine, face challenges, and adapt. What platforms—human and technological—have made museums more responsive? How does collaboration factor into innovation? What interfaces most impact your institution and benefit your community?

Interfacing—in all its forms—will anchor the general conversations at the conference; however, we welcome proposals on whatever topic is meaningful to you. Envisioning a world in which all museums are empowered digitally to achieve their missions, MCN wants to hear from you how making technology choices empowers you in your work.

That said, we also welcome proposals on whatever topic is meaningful to you at the moment.

Session Types

PLENARY PANELS — NEW!

Starting this year, in addition to the traditional Opening Plenary Keynote on Wednesday morning, we are adding two Panel discussions in plenary format on Thursday and Friday morning. Bringing everyone together at the start if the day will be an opportunity to listen, reflect, and participate in a moderated discussion around important sector-wide issues.

As organizer of the Plenary Panel, you serve as moderator, leading a discussion about your topic with three to five panelists. You will foster a dialogue by encouraging conversations and leading a Q&A with the audience.

Duration

60 or 75 minutes

Submission requirements

  • Description: A Plenary Panel proposal should describe the structure or format of the session and the underlying issues or themes to be discussed. Identify some key questions that will either be addressed by your panel or in feedback from the audience.
  • Topic/Theme: In selecting a theme, make sure that it’s broad enough to be of interest to the entire audience. Consider sector-wide issues that affect museums as whole or general technology trends.
  • Panelists: Panel organizers should have prior experience leading and moderating interactive group sessions. Diversity among panelists is important to the success of the session. Your proposal should demonstrate how your panelists bring different voices and multiple perspectives. You and your panelists should also recognize the need for advance preparation.
  • Outcomes: In a few words, outline the key outcomes you expect for attendees: “After attending this session, participants will be able to…”

DEEP DIVES — NEW!

Deep Dives are designed as “roll up your sleeves” experiences. They are an opportunity to brainstorm on challenges or specific issues affecting the sector or focus on particular practice areas from multiple perspectives. All Deep Dives should aim to explore novel approaches to a given topic and create a space that welcomes and amplifies a multitude of perspectives. They may or may not identify potential solutions to a given challenge. As Deep Dive organizer, you will design and facilitate the session.

Duration

90 or 120 minutes

Capacity

At least 20 participants, maximum 30.

Sign-up required & No extra fee

Due to limited capacity, attendees will be required to sign up for a Deep Dive when they register for the conference. Spots are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All Deep Dives are included in the cost of registration. No additional fees will be charged to those who sign up.

Submission requirements

  • Description: A Deep Dive proposal should describe the topic, theme, issues or challenges that you intend to address, the overall structure of the session, and the types of activities you will use to engage attendees.
  • Presenters: Deep Dive organizers and co-presenter(s) should have prior experience leading and moderating interactive group sessions and recognize the need for advance preparation.
  • Outcomes: Brainstorming activities are the primary drivers for Deep Dives. Outline anticipated outcomes for your session and/or the learning objectives you have for participants. Detail the methods you intend to employ that will help your group investigate a topic, develop new understandings, and connect with each other.

30 & 60-MINUTE SESSIONS

30 and 60-minute sessions are the core of the conference program. They allow presenters and attendees alike to investigate issues related to and/or inspired by the conference theme.

30-minute sessions are best suited towards short presentations and case study on the field. They typically contain 20 minutes of content and 10 minutes of discussion or Q&A. Note that only three speakers may participate in a single 30-minute session, and the program may group sessions together to create an hour-long session around a common topic.

60-minute sessions can accommodate panels, professional forums, and hands-on demonstrations. Propose a 60-minute session if you have more to share about the project or lots to discuss with panelists. No more than five speakers may participate in a single 60-minute session.

Duration

30 or 60 minutes

Submission Requirements

  • Description: A 30 & 60-minute session proposal should describe the structure or format of the session, the underlying issues or themes to be discussed. Identify some key questions that will either be addressed by your panel or in additional questions from the audience.
  • Topic/Theme: In selecting a theme for the 30 & 60-Minute Session, make sure to describe the topic, theme, issues or challenges that you intend to address.
  • Panelists: Diversity among panelists is important to the success of the session. Your proposal should demonstrate how your panelists will offer different voices and multiple perspectives. When confirming your panelists, they must also recognize the need for advance preparation.  
  • Outcomes: In a few words, describe the key outcomes for attending this session: “After attending this session, participants will be able to…”

WORKSHOPS

Led by a presenter with specific knowledge on and expertise in a particular topic or practice area, Workshops are in-depth, hands-on sessions. They’re designed to impart a highly focused and defined “know-how,” such as a new methodologies, updates on specific content or practice areas, introductions to new techniques, or refreshers on one or more skill sets.

Duration

90 or 120 minutes

Note that this year, Workshops will be scheduled Tuesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday morning.

Sign up required & Additional fees

Workshops are optional sessions. Attendees must sign up for their workshop of choice at registration and pay an additional fee to participate.

Minimum enrollment requirement

For Workshops to run, we require a minimum enrollment of 3 attendees per workshop. We will monitor enrollment for all accepted workshops from July through October, promoting individual workshops to increase enrollment as needed. MCN reserves the right to cancel workshops that fail to meet the minimum enrollment requirement. If necessary, we will cancel workshops and notify organizers by mid-October.

Submission Requirements

  • Description: Workshop proposals should describe the topic you intend to cover, the overall structure of the session, as well as the types of activities or methodologies you will use to teach participants. Marketing pitches for commercial products or services are not allowed.
  • Organizers: Workshop organizers should have prior experience leading and moderating interactive group sessions and recognize the need for advance preparation.  
  • Learning objectives: Include 3 to 4 learning objectives for participants of your Workshop. Indicate the level of complexity and expertise of your workshop, i.e. whether it’s a beginner-level, intermediate, or advanced session.

FIELD  TRIPS

A conversation between museum technologists and local artists, Field Trips fuel critical dialogue and provocative conversations on art, ideas, and culture. They take attendees out of the conference bubble to explore local art spaces and engage with the artists and professionals from the host city’s robust creative community. Bring your brain and your voice!

Successful experiences are a synergy of four elements: the discussion topic; the venue in which it takes place; the participants drawn from the MCN museum technology community; the local cohort.

MCN will support organizers to reserve venues, draft schedules, contact local collaborators, and manage Field Trip groups.

Sign up required & Additional Fees

Field Trips are optional sessions. Attendees must sign up for their field trip of choice at registration and pay an additional fee to participate.

Duration

Half day

Submission Requirements

  • Discussion topic: What topic would be discussed? Hosts and attendees should expect to connect the conference with the projects and people at work in the host city. Proposals should include two prompts: a written prompt (with references as necessary) for participants to receive/review before the field trip and an “in-person” prompt for participants to discuss on site. The latter can be an adaption of the written prompt; both will frame the field trip experience.
  • Venue & Collaborators (Optional): Every trip is a site-specific opportunity to evolve perspectives and make connections across communities and disciplines. If you have ideas regarding collaboration with local practitioners and artists, as well as art spaces, or community organizations  please include them here. Otherwise, we’ll help you find a venue and partners for your field trip, if selected.
  • Intended Audience: Field Trips are community exchanges. Thinking of the museum technology community, what audience do you think will get the most out participating in the experience you are proposing? Please include information about practice area, experience/level, work role/function.
  • Session outcomes: In a few words, describe for the attendees the key outcomes for attending this session: “‘After attending this session, participants will be able to…”’

IGNITE TALKS

Ignite talks mark the start of the MCN conference. They are energizing and inventive,  thought-provoking and fast-paced. And we mean fast—presenters have five minutes to run through 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. A signature MCN experience since 2012, Ignite talks take place on Tuesday during the Ignite reception. All speakers must participate in a Tuesday afternoon rehearsal as well as the opening night reception.

Watch the MCN 2018 Ignite Presentations

This year marks an evolution of Ignite MCN. We invite presenters to offer their perspective on a central question. Additionally, MCN will enroll all Ignite presenters in the “MCN Ignite Academy”—a structured, mentoring process in the run up to the conference in which first timer presenters will be connected with past Ignite presenters and other seasoned professionals to offer encouragement, support, and feedback.

Duration

5 minutes, Tuesday, November 5

Submission Requirements

The MCN 2019 Ignite theme is: “Imagine the future of…” Your proposal should include:

  • Description: Describe the topic or provide a narrative summary of your talk. You can provide this as a bulleted list outlining your high-level talking points.
  • Commitment: Presenters agree to participate in the “MCN Ignite Academy” and attend four 1-hour virtual video conference calls over the summer to develop and refine their ideas and talks.

For questions or ideas about an Ignite proposal, please contact: Nik Honeysett at: nhoneysett@bpoc.org.

OTHER SESSION TYPES

Have an idea for something completely different? The MCN community is endlessly creative, and this is your opportunity to propose something outside of the box. While most presentations will fit into one of the formats above, we encourage innovative ideas.

Sessions submitted under the “Other” category in the past included but are not limited to:

  • Drop-in skillshare and DIY sessions to learn new skills for designing digital experiences (“DIY Digital Playground”)
  • Peer-advising sessions to collectively problem-solves workplace dilemmas and common issues in our field (“#MCNergy”)
  • Lounges to consult on projects and get a new perspective on collections (“UX Lounge” and “Slow looking room”)

All we ask is that you don’t just submit a proposal for a longer version of a typical session. Marketing pitches for commercial products or services are not allowed.

Submission Requirements

  • Description:  Other session proposals should describe the overall structure of the session, the topic you intend to cover, as well as the types of activities or methodologies you will use to teach and/or involve participants.
  • Session outcomes: In a few words, describe for the attendees the key outcomes for attending this session: “After attending this session, participants will be able to…”

You can also contact us at program@mcn.edu before submitting a proposal. We’d be happy to talk through your idea, considering space requirements, special equipment, participant capacity, and other details to help you put everything together.

Presenter Guidelines

Before you submit a proposal for any session type, please familiarize yourself with our Presenters Guidelines. This includes information about confirming your presentation, requesting program changes, registering for the conference, and more.

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Proposal Selection Criteria

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

  • Session purpose, intended objectives and learning ­outcomes are clearly stated.
  • The session has potential to be a significant contribution to MCN and the museum sector.
  • Organizer’s commitment to stimulate discussion at the conference is evident.
  • Overall relevance to what’s currently being talked about in the sector.
  • Relevance to the conference theme, although proposals not specifically anchored in the theme will be equally reviewed.

Proposals with the following characteristics will be favored:

  • Those invested in cross-collaborations.
  • Variety of presenters in various roles and seniority levels.
  • Diversity of voices and perspectives.
  • Presenters from traditionally underrepresented groups and/or minority or marginalized 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.
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