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Conference FAQ

The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Smithsonian Affiliates only. If you are interested in exhibitor opportunities at the Smithsonian Affiliations Resource Fair or Conference sponsorship, please contact Christina DiMeglio Lopez, dimeglioc@si.edu.
Where is the Affiliations conference held each year?
How are sessions and workshops for the Smithsonian Affiliations conference developed and planned?
What are some highlights of the annual conference?
Can I attend if I am not currently a staff member at an Affiliate organization?
What is included in registration cost?
Can I bring a guest to the after-conference activities?
How should I dress for the Conference?
What should I wear to Congressional Night at the National Museum of the American Indian?
This is my first time to the Affiliations Conference, is anything set up for first time attendees?
If I am unable to attend, will you refund my fees?
Are there any scholarships available?
Is a group discount available?
Who do I contact if I have questions about dates of the meeting, registration and hotel accommodations?
   
   
 

Where is the Affiliations Conference held each year?

Smithsonian Affiliations hosts the annual conference each year in Washington, D.C. Conference sessions are held at various locations on the Smithsonian campus. In addition, behind-the-scenes tours are offered of Smithsonian facilities and receptions are held at the Smithsonian or other venues on Capitol Hill.

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How are sessions and workshops for the Smithsonian Affiliations conference developed and planned?

When planning begins for the annual conference, Affiliations staff reviews all topic suggestions made by Affiliates through conversations with their National Outreach Managers and the previous years' conference evaluation forms. Affiliates with session ideas often volunteer to moderate and lead meetings at the conference, assisting in the planning and development of the content.

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What are some highlights of the annual conference?

Behind-the-scenes tours of the Smithsonian collections are always a highlight for conference participants. Previous tours have included an in-depth look at the Smithsonian's Office of Exhibits Central, an inside-look at conservation methods at the Museum Conservation Institute, the storage collections of the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Garber Restoration Facility of the National Air and Space Museum.

The Smithsonian Affiliations annual congressional reception is arguably THE highlight of the conference. Each year, a location either on Capitol Hill or in close proximity to the Capitol is selected for a reception in honor of Affiliates and their congressional representatives. All members of Congress representing Affiliate states and districts are extended an invitation from the Secretary of the Smithsonian to come and meet their Affiliate constituents. This year, we are collaborating with the Smithsonian Office of Government Relations on Congressional Night at the Smithsonian, this year at the National Museum of the American Indian. Congressional members and staff are invited to meet Affiliates, meet members of the museum's research staff, engage in educational activities, and visit the museum's exhibit halls. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with Congressional and museum staff and learn about their research and collections at many different stations.

Conference week at the Smithsonian offers Affiliates the opportunity to schedule meetings with Smithsonian museums to discuss artifact and object loans, programming opportunities and educational workshops. It is also a chance to meet Smithsonian staff and forge collegial relationships. Affiliates are encouraged to send a representative or representatives to the annual meeting each year.

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Can I attend if I am not currently a staff member at an Affiliate organization?

No. The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, or have an application in progress and would like to attend the Conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.

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What is included in registration cost?

The conference registration fee entitles you to full access to the conference, including the Smithsonian Resource Fair, the keynote, the general sessions, and behind-the-scenes tours (pre-registration for tours may be required). All registrants will also receive a conference program and registration materials on-site. Some meals and special events may not be included.

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Can I bring a guest to the after-conference activities?

Yes, however additional fees may apply.

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How should I dress for the Conference?

Conference attire is business casual. Since the session rooms will be air conditioned, you may want to bring a light cardigan or wrap.

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What should I wear to Congressional Night at the National Museum of the American Indian?

The Wednesday night reception is business attire.

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This is my first time to the Affiliations Conference, is anything set up for first time attendees?

If it's your first time attending the Conference or you are a new Affiliate colleague, the Orientation Trivia and Welcome Reception are for you. This is your opportunity to meet with fellow Affiliate members as well as Smithsonian staff who can provide insight to the benefits of your Affiliation. First timers, please let us know it's your first Affiliations Conference when we meet you!

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If I am unable to attend, will you refund my fees?

If you are unable to attend the conference, and are unable to transfer your registration to another person, you may request a refund of your conference registration fee. You need to send Natalie Wimberly a request via email.

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Are there any scholarships available?

Unfortunately not at this time.

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Is a group discount available?

Yes. The Group Registration Rate of $250 per person is available for four (4) or more participants from the same institution/organization, registering at the same time. This discount cannot be combined with any other discounted rate. Please download and complete the Registration Form and note in writing at the top. Attach the completed form to an email, and send it to the email address at the top of the form.

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Who do I contact if I have questions about dates of the meeting, registration and hotel accommodations?

The Affiliations staff can answer questions about content and logistics relating to the meeting. You can start with your National Outreach Manager and also contact the External Affairs Coordinator, Elizabeth Bugbee.

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The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Smithsonian Affiliates only. If you are interested in exhibitor opportunities at the Smithsonian Affiliations Resource Fair or Conference sponsorship, please contact Christina DiMeglio Lopez, dimeglioc@si.edu.
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