Ben Fast (@benfaster),
Programs & Member Services Coordinator, BC Museums Association
MCN is all about the people. Don’t get me wrong, the learning experiences available from the remarkably diverse sessions and the fun times visiting local museums and galleries are great, but it all comes down to who you meet.
From Day 1 it was easy to tell that MCN was centred on the people. Whether they knew you or only sort of knew you (“hey, I know you from Twitter”), MCN attendees were friendly and welcoming.
As a first timer from north of the border, sitting down with or taking an elevator with people from the Guggenheim, Smithsonian, or Getty (who each have staff larger than most BC towns) provided great opportunities to talk museums and learn about new trends from the people at the cutting edge. They are the gods of the Twittersphere, those names you see on blogs and that you think must be so much smarter and more capable than you. Or who at least have bigger budgets.
Being an MCN Scholar gave me the opportunity to meet these people who seemed so distant from my experience and professional context. It was the people themselves, however, whose genuine interest and friendliness revealed more commonalities and shared passions than I ever believed possible. And they sing just out of tune at karaoke, who knew?!
The 2017 MCN Scholar group was no different, 14 other museum professionals whose passion and innovation astounded me but whose friendliness helped create what I’m sure will become long-lasting professional connections.
As an MCN Scholar, I also had the chance to meet with many MCN Board members whose encouragement and interest made us Scholars feel like an important part of the conference. Thank you for supporting us in our presentations—it was great to see some of you in the crowd—and for supporting this meaningful scholarship.
At MCN we met our idols, we made our friends, and we were inspired. And yes: we will be back!