Conference FAQs

The 2021 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference will be entirely virtual.

Affiliate and Smithsonian colleagues are invited to submit session proposals.

In addition to submitted proposals, Affiliations staff reviews all topic suggestions made by Affiliates through conversations with their National Outreach Managers and the previous years’ conference evaluation forms to make sure a robust and informative conference is developed.

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

The conference registration fee entitles you to full access to the conference, including the Smithsonian Resource Fair, the keynote, the general sessions, and any special events (pre-registration for special events may be required).

If a registrant is unable to attend for any reason, they may substitute someone else to attend in their place. Cancellation requests received before October  11, 2021, will receive a full refund. No refunds will be granted after October 11. All requests must be made in writing via email to

Smithsonian Affiliations is able to offer a limited number of scholarships to help support Affiliates’ attendance at the 2021 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference. Scholarships are available for Individual and Institutional registration types. Please fill out this form to apply.

We welcome all participants to attend the Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Conference! Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided for conference. If you have questions about the accessibility of the virtual sessions or need to request additional accommodations, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee at Two weeks advance notice is appreciated for requesting additional accommodations.

Have more questions? The Smithsonian Affiliations staff is happy to answer your questions, hear your concerns, and brainstorm with you about the National Conference. Contact us!

Conference audience at the opening session