Making the Most of a Meeting

Washington, DC

This week Anne and I take off for AAM’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. where we will join Marieke Van Damme and Jessica Ferey in presenting a workshop called “What We Talk About When We Don’t Talk About Women.” That takes place Saturday morning at 8:45-10 a.m in room 152 of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. If you’re attending AAM, please join us for what promises to be a lively discussion about gender equity and the museum field.

In the meantime, we’ve written a lot here recently about career strategies, about mentors, posses and advisors. For those of you going to AAM, particularly if it’s your first time or you haven’t been in a while, it is a perfect opportunity to think about you, not just your organization or area of special interest. These meetings provide a window into the field. They act as giant reunions, gathering folks who went to graduate school together or had first jobs together. But don’t just stick to who you know. Nina Simon has written memorably about this here: Want to Meet People for Real Conversations and here: Hack Your Hellos: The Unofficial Way to Meet. And if you aren’t going to be in Washington, it’s still meeting season, and you will likely attend a local, state or regional meeting between now and the fall, so make the most of your time.

To add to Nina’s posts, here are Leadership Matters five top things to do at a meeting:

  • Download the program and plan your route through the meeting events. Identify speakers, writers or workshop leaders you want to meet. Plan to arrive early or stay a little late so you can talk to them. If you’ve already identified a possible mentor, ask if they are also attending, and whether you can meet.
  • Bring business cards, use your phone, whatever method works to contact people you’d like to speak to later.
  • Get out of the hotel/conference center. Visit museums. It’s what we do.
  • Don’t be shy, and be sure and do one thing that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Bonus: On the way home, identify one way, big or small, you will make change when you return to work.

See you in the Nation’s Capital tomorrow!

Joan Baldwin & Anne Ackerson

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