Below is a summary of the SMA Conference from museum Board Member and Secretary, Mrs. Renee Beverly.


The Small Museum Association conference was held February 18th to February 20th of this year. The location was College Park, Maryland at the Hotel of College Park. The theme was “You are Here: Mapping the Future.” The purpose here is to endure through generations.

This was my first time attending the conference and I really had a great time, met new connections, shared discussions, idea, and our pictures. The highlight was receiving a $100.00 donation to our membership! Each day was exciting and I looked forward to learning new information. Workshops were 30 minutes or 90 minutes each. Sunday’s opener was Inclusivity: Engaging New and Diverse Audiences which highlighted S.T.E.A.M.

Monday was very busy! The luncheon and guess speaker was great and I was able to attend the following workshops:

Collection Policies: A panel discussion about policies your small museum should have in place.

All Aboard! 10 Simple, Effective Steps for Building Board Relationships That Will Move Your Museum Forward!: This session talked about how to create fruitful relationships with your board members that will move the museum forward.

Place Based Cultural Story Telling: A digital story telling project.

Members are Donors, They Just Don’t Know It Yet: Museum members and donor membership databases.

Off The Grid, Challenges in Museum Leadership: Museum leadership is often tasked with making decisions that balance a variety of factors to determine the way forward.

The day ended with the Annual Banquet which was awesome and fun!

Tuesday was a less scheduled day of events. The morning started with the Plenary Address about preservation. I was able to attend Raise Your Exposure, Raise Your Revenue which talked about shifting the focus from your expenses/revenue to being exposure driven and closed the day attending Goals Before Tools, which focused on charting your social media course.

I am truly honored that I was selected to represent the JJW Board in attending the conference. The experience was refreshing, educational, and left me abundantly gifted with new knowledge to share with all. I hope I get to attend again and reconnect with the many new faces I met and learn more that help move our museum forward. Thanks you again for this wonderful experience.