As visitor experience and engagement professionals, a vital part of our job is to make our guests feel welcomed and wanted. We ensure that our institutions are relevant and that each and every guest understands their value and importance to us. It is in this spirit of welcome and belonging that the 7th annual Visitor Experience Conference focuses on best practices, the sharing of ideas, and working together to build up a museum community that fosters a sense of inclusiveness, engages with new communities, and embraces all of those seeking a space in which they can learn and grow. Join us for VEX18 in San Antonio, Texas this October.

We welcome creative, innovative and forward-thinking proposals focused on the 2018 theme You Belong Here.

Please consider one of the following theme topics that may be relevant to initiatives that developed visitor experiences at your institution…

  • Engaging New Communities
  • Accessibility
  • Strategic and Master Planning
  • Building Redesign and Way Finding
  • Visitor Models
  • Inclusion Initiatives
  • Evaluation
  • Partnerships
  • Innovative Programming
  • Community Engagement
  • Membership

General session topic proposals are also welcome and can address one or more of the following:

  • Visitor Services 101
  • Internal and External Communication
  • Sustainability
  • Staffing and Hiring
  • Volunteer Services
  • Gift Shop Services
  • Budget Basics
  • Security
  • Other

Please follow these guidelines for submitting:

  • Proposals must be submitted by Monday, March 26, 2018. Only complete submissions will be reviewed
  • Panels are 60 minutes in length (this includes time for question and answers)
  • Panels should have some interactive/action element
  • While case studies are nice, please balance them with actionable and concrete ideas that attendees can use at their own institutions
  • If there is more than one presenter working on a proposal together, please establish a point of contact
  • Have an idea that does not align with this year’s theme?  Please send us an email at  We would be happy to discuss the idea and provide feedback on whether it is a good fit for this year’s conference

Suggestions for Presenters

Panels are 60 minutes in length and should include time for Q&A. Please keep in mind that it is important to remember who your audience is as you develop your session. Attendees are at various stages in their careers and come from a variety of industries in the cultural field. It is important to incorporate the following learning principles as you develop your proposal.

  • Build on the past knowledge and experiences of your participants.
  • Participants want to apply their learning to present situations so be sure to express clear real life applications
  • If this is a case study, show clear connection to situations visitor experience professionals face on a daily basis
  • Remember to make your attendees active participants in the learning process rather than passive listeners


Presenters will not be compensated for travel or time spent, but speakers will receive complimentary registration. Additionally, presenters will receive discounted pricing on the ala carte conference after-hours events and workshops.

Decision-Making Timeline:

Decisions regarding the selection of sessions and panelists will be e-mailed to all candidates by early April 2018.  Please email with any questions during the process.

Submit your session here: