Call for proposals

MCN 2017: Looking Back, Thinking Forward, Taking Action

Museum Computer Network, New York, United States
Deadline: 30 April 2017

MCN 2016 - Hello and Welcome! Strategies for Social Inclusion

MCN 2016 - Hello and Welcome! Strategies for Social Inclusion

Every year, MCN explores topics of relevance to museum practitioners working with, or affected by, digital media and technology. In 2017, MCN will focus on how museums can use technology to innovate and emphasize transparency, individual action, and institutional bravery.MCN is interested in cases where a creating an open museum culture encourages bold action to confront challenges in our field, our communities, and our society, including issues of diversity and inclusion.

Submissions on any topic from people at all levels of the institution and all parts of the field are welcome, and especially encouraged are proposals with bold ideas that leverage technology to evolve museums, create institutional partnerships outside the sector, and champion a culture of transparency to inspire immediate action for a better future.


Submission Guidelines

Session Types

•Ignite Talk (5 minutes, Tuesday, November 6 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.

•Case Study (10 minutes, plus discussion)

Case studies are short-form presentations that demonstrate one specific project (complete or in-progress). Audiences should take away concrete ideas/models that can be applied to other institutions. Presenters have 10 minutes to give an overview of the project, before discussion with attendees.

•Presentation (20 minutes, plus discussion)

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.

•Professional Forum (60 minutes)

The Professional Forum allows you to build a full hour-long panel in a format of your and your collaborator’s choosing. Choose this option if you would like the maximum flexibility to choose your collaborators and formats.

•Pre-conference Workshop (3 hours)

Pre-Conference Workshops are half-day interactive sessions held the day before the conference that provide hands-on learning and key learning opportunities. This is MCN’s premier in-depth learning opportunity, and attendees pay an additional fee to attend these sessions. If accepted, your workshop must meet minimum enrollment requirements before being added to the program.

Proposals for workshops should include an outline of what the workshop will cover, with specific takeaways for participants as well as information about who will most benefit from attending the workshop. Workshops should not be focused on a single vendor tool.

A limited supply of easels, easel pads, sticky notes, and markers shall be provided in each room. Should your workshop require additional supplies, make sure to make that request in your workshop proposal application. MCN will do its best to accommodate reasonable requests.

•Other: Propose something else

We know that the MCN community is endlessly creative, so this is your opportunity to propose something we haven’t thought of. While most presentations will fit into 15-minute case study, 30-minute talk, or 60-minute multi-speaker panel formats, we encourage creative formats and are open to new ideas. Sessions submitted under the this category in the past included but are not limited to:

• “Unconferences”: more informal discussions usually focusing on a particular topic, sometimes over lunch. Last year we had an unconference on bloggers in the museum field.

• A series of grouped short ignite talks (the classic ignite format is five to seven minutes long with slides advancing automatically every 15 to 20 seconds), similar to the popular opening-night event.

• Round tables, though consider how this differs from simply a multi-speaker panel.

• Group or affinity discussions

Remember that many kinds of longer formats such as hackathons and prototyping can be proposed as a workshop, provided there is opportunity for interactivity and learning. In fact, a 60-minute time frame affords many opportunities for interactivity, workshopping, etc., with the audience. Think of ways to keep the audience involved!

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

Get in contact with us at 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 a proposal, be sure to familiarize yourself with our Presenter Guidelines and Policies. MCN strongly suggests/requires that presentations be accessible.


•This year MCN is limiting to three (3) the number of sessions in which an individual can participate as a presenter, co-presenter, or panelist.

•SIG members, check in with your SIG Chairs regarding the new SIG endorsed proposal/session process.


Proposal Selection Criteria

When reviewing the workshop proposal submissions, the Committee will complete our evaluation 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.

Lastly, proposals with the following characteristics will be favored:

•Those that highlight collaborations.

•Diverse presenters in various roles and seniority levels.

•Variety of institution types.

Want feedback on your ideas before submitting? Join the conversation on Twitter with the #MCN2017 hashtag.

Need more information? Have questions? Email us at:



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