Call for Proposals

Exhibiting Change: The 2022 SEMC Annual Meeting

October 23, 2022 - October 26, 2022

Northwest Arkansas

SEMC 2022 in Northwest Arkansas 
Exhibiting Change
October 24-26, 2022 (Onsite only!)
Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas, Hotel and Convention Center, Rogers, Arkansas

A great conference requires great sessions! SEMC relies on museum professionals and industry partners representing a variety of backgrounds, expertise, and experience to craft informative and relevant sessions for our annual conference. We encourage a wide range of proposals from individuals at any career level from any size or type of museum.


Take a look at 2022 Session Topic Suggestions 


Outstanding proposals originate from a variety of inspirations—your experiences, questions you want to discuss, a topic you heard elsewhere, current events, or institutional achievements. While you must be well-versed in your chosen topic, you do not need to be an expert to organize a session. Discuss your idea with colleagues and reach out to NEW peers and industry partners to develop a concise and clear plan. Avoid case studies and topics that focus on only one museum or story. The best sessions present varied perspectives delivered by content experts, relate concepts or themes that allow attendees to grow in their professional development, provide ideas that can be easily applied at their home organizations, or inspire change. The annual meeting is the perfect opportunity to introduce differing perspectives on the practical, theoretical, or philosophical frameworks our profession faces daily. Be innovative with your speaker choices and identify true content experts and museum leaders to include in your session proposal.

Chairing a session requires WORK. You are responsible for the presentation of a coherent and well-organized program. If your proposal is accepted, you will be expected to communicate with the SEMC program team and ensure your speakers’ registration and attendance, providing them with detailed information on the goals, format, and content of the session. It is suggested to bring participants together in advance to discuss details and coordinate the presentation.

Do not hesitate to contact the SEMC program team if you need assistance identifying speakers or clarifying ideas and themes. 


-Panel (1.25 hours)
A panel session is the most used format, but is not necessarily the most effective or engaging, particularly if there is no time reserved for thoughtful discussion. This is the least expressive and interactive format. Select NO MORE than three individuals to present varying views of one topic. A moderator is needed to oversee time limits and ensure the audience has an opportunity to ask questions.

 -Discussion/Roundtable (1.25 hours)
Participants are divided into small groups and given a problem to collectively solve, discuss, or debate.

 -Guest Speaker (1.25 hours)
Identify a true expert or in-demand speaker to lecture on a critical or timely topic, reserving time for comments, questions, and discussion.

 -Workshop (Double session length, 2.5 hours)
Identify a topic or practical skill that would benefit museum professionals and develop a hands-on mini-course. Workshops can be held offsite. Consider identifying a partnering institution in the host city (within walking distance) that can provide a workshop space. Workshops take two time slots. While they are very popular with attendees, we can only offer 2-3 per conference. SEMC does not charge administrative fees for workshops offered during the annual meeting; however, if there are fees connected with the workshop, they must be addressed in the program proposal (outline the fees and the cost per attendee, defining the minimum number of attendees needed to cover the costs). 

-Industry Partner Session (1.25 hours)
This session includes presentations by one or more Industry Partners in collaboration with one or more museum representatives and is objective, not sales, driven. All presenting Industry Partner participants must be SEMC Corporate Friend or Business Associate members at the time of the session proposal and annual meeting. 


  1. You must be a current SEMC member (individual, institutional, or corporate) to submit a session proposal at both the time of submission and during the conference. 
  2. All presenting Industry Partner participants must be SEMC Corporate Friend or Business Associate members at the time of the session proposal submission and subsequent annual meeting. 
  3. Vary your speaker line-up to include content EXPERTS with diverse backgrounds and experience. We strongly discourage having more than one individual from the same institution on a panel or proposing sessions that only review one program, exhibition, or story.  
  4. You can include up to 2 presenters to participate via Zoom; however, it will be your responsibility to coordinate the technology and streaming platform on the day of the session. Please be aware that including a Zoom participant requires extensive preparation and technical know-how that will need to be part of your pre-conference planning. 
  5. ALL potential speakers and presenters must be included in the session proposal. You do have the option to attach support materials to the submission; however, they cannot be a substitute for a completed application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 
  6. SEMC does not provide honorariums or travel reimbursement for session presenters or moderators. Presenters who ONLY attend their session do not have to pay the conference registration fee; however, they cannot attend other sessions or programs. It is your responsibility to relate this policy to potential speakers.
  7. If your session proposal is accepted, the SEMC program team will contact you for information necessary for room set-up, preparation of text for inclusion in the preliminary program, speaker information, and specific audio-visual needs. It is your responsibility to communicate effectively with the SEMC program team and meet all SEMC deadlines.
  8. SEMC does not offer reimbursement for supplies, copies, or computer equipment. All conference rooms will have a laptop, LCD projector, and screen.
  9. Industry Partners will be offered the opportunity to present a “Commercial Session” based on their sponsorship level; these sessions will be coordinated by SEMC leadership, not the Program Committee. If you are an Industry Partner interested in presenting a Commercial Session, please contact Zinnia Willits (


Session proposals will be reviewed and scored by members of the 2022 Program Committee using a point-based rubric that considers the following criteria:

  1. The proposal is complete and concise. 
  2. The session objectives are clearly defined and directly reflect the session description.
  3. The selected speakers include true content experts who represent diverse voices, museum sizes, and professional levels.
  4. The session topic is timely and/or relevant to more than one type of museum professional or discipline.
  5. The session topic provides useful information and content that can be easily adapted or implemented by a museum and/or institutional peers.
  6. The session topic and/or speaker selection reflects DEAI initiatives, goals, and principles.
  7. The session format selected is appropriate.