Highlights From the 2013 American Museum Membership Conference

Big River was delighted to attend the 31st American Museum Membership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia to hear from leading membership managers across North America and beyond.

These membership professionals provided multiple perspectives on the intricacies of the museum environment, identified emerging industry trends and shared case studies.

Though there were numerous events taking place throughout the conference, below are highlights from the sessions we were able to attend (view full AMMC program here):

  • Membership and Millennials: Engaging Generation Y: This interactive session examined how museum membership programs can adapt and thrive in the third millennium. Panelists presented ideas about mobilizing the membership application and annual fundraising. Ben Whine from Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum kicked off the session outlining the Millennials and their unique perceptions. Though he addressed how this group might be perceived as a challenge for membership recruitment, he stressed that they are a market that should not be overlooked. Membership might not happen now, but they want to be engaged and participate today. Lori Grecco from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) revealed that her institution has incredible peer board participation and cool partnerships with local restaurants and night spots that help promote the Museum and membership. IMA hosts a very cool New Years Eve Party for their members. Lastly, Kerstine Beyer from the Walker Art Center, shared some very cool social media strategies being used to get the younger community engaged by supporting and attending events.
  • Designing Success in Annual Funds: Inspiring Members to Give Above and Beyond Their Dues: Yoonhyung Lee, Director of Digital Media Philanthropy from the Smithsonian Institution discussed leveraging Kickstarter programs to support annual funds.
  • In-House Membership Sales: Best Practice Round Table: Led by Cleveland’s own Celeste Cappotto, Director of Memberships & Operations at the Great Lakes Science Center, this round table addressed creative, smart ideas for engaging staff/associates to promote and sell memberships.
  • Multi-Channel Marketing Mania: Multi-channel marketing is all the rage—and museum membership programs are finding it challenging to select the right channels for greatest effect. Cari Maslow from Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh was one of the presenters on this panel who emphasized importance of execution of all channels working together and understanding the value of the audience for each.

The American Museum Membership Conference is a national resource network that sets the industry standard for professionals in the field of membership-based fundraising through trend analysis, training, shared communication, mentorship, and support. The annual conference took place at the Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta on Monday, April 22 through Thursday, April 25, 2013.

Big River provides solutions that are perfect for meeting the needs and demands of today’s membership professionals. We want to show you how our tools help increase memberships and raise more money online. Join us May 20 -22 at the The American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo in Baltimore (booth #1156) to learn more. Can’t make it to the show? Contact Big River for a free demo.