Annual Meeting FAQ


The Western Museums Association's (WMA) Annual Meeting is as a premier venue for those who work in the museum industry to exchange ideas and best practices, network with colleagues, and learn from each other by attending valuable sessions. Attendees from across the Western US and beyond, come together over the course of four days and leave feeling inspired and energized about their profession and the future of the field.

Please review the FAQs below for more information.


Dates & Location  •  Rates & Registration

Scholarships & Volunteers  •  Programming

Saturday Networking Events  •  Exhibitors, Sponsors, & Advertisers


Online registration for WMA 2024 is NOW OPEN!

WMA members receive a discounte rate!

Click HERE to become a WMA Member




What are the dates and location of WMA's 2024 Annual Meeting?

The WMA's 2024 Annual Meeting will take place this September 25-28 in Tucson, ArizonaThe area now known as Tucson, traditionally home to the Tohono O'odham and Pascua Yaqi peoples, is situated in the Sonoran Desert and nestled between five mountain ranges south of Phoenix, Arizona. Known as "The Old Pueblo" or "America's biggest small town," a city oasis where the sun shines 350 days of the year, Tucson is a place where deep historical Arizonan roots meets a modern-day cultural gateway. Home to amazing entertainment, architecture, internationally recognized global cuisine, and world-class cultural institutions, Tucson reflects many aspects of Arizona, yet is a city like no other. Take a deeper look into Tucson using our Tucson City Guide and learn how to best prepare for your trip using our handy Attendee Guide.


What is the headquarters hotel & location for WMA's 2024 Annual Meeting?

The Annual Meeting sessions and activities will take place at the Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort with PreConference Tours and Evening Events hosted at Tucson area cultural institutions. WMA Annual Meetings are all about connecting with colleagues, sharing ideas, and having fun. We help facilitate these by contracting with a hotel for a discounted room block and centralizing meeting spaces - both of which require minimum financial thresholds to be met.

Staying in the headquarters hotel makes connecting with colleagues easier and helps us keep the Annual Meeting affordable to attendees. Online reservations will open in June and will be available through August 16, at a discounted rate of $199/night. Please visit our Hotel Reservations page to book your roomand for directions on how to get there.  



When will registration open?

Online registration for WMA's 2024 Annual Meeting is NOW OPEN! Please visit our Registration Information page to learn more and register.


Is there Early Bird Registration? When does it end?

Yes, every year WMA offers a limited-release special discounted rate for WMA, MAA, and MTA Members. The 2024 Early Bird Member registration rate goes through Friday, July 26, 2024.


What are registration options & rates for WMA 2024?

Full Meeting
Full Meeting (4-day) registration includes access to all sessions, networking activities, and some free events.
You may choose to purchase tickets for additional add-ons: Pre-Conference Tours and Workshops; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Evening Events; Affinitity Luncheons; and Receptions.
All add-ons are reserved for Annual Meeting attendees, and do require pre-registration. Add-ons and their costs can be found in the WMA 2024 Preliminary Program and the online registration process.
  • Member Early Bird Rate ..... $395
  • Member Regular Rate ..... $445
  • Non-Member Rate (Includes WMA membership) ..... $520
  • Student Rate ..... $250
Single Day
Single Day (1-day) registration includes access to all sessions, networking activities, and any free events happening only on that day.
You may choose to purchase tickets for additional add-ons (not limited to your single-day selection): Pre-Conference Tours and Workshops; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Evening Events; Affinitity Luncheons; and Receptions.
All add-ons are reserved for Annual Meeting attendees, and do require pre-registration.
  • General Rate ..... $230

Are there discounts available?

  • The 2024 Early Bird Member registration rate ends on Friday, July 26th. Not a WMA member? Join now!
  • Applications for 2024 Scholarships will open in April (deadline: May 31)
  • Volunteering is a great opportunity to receive a discount – in exchange for hours work, volunteers can attend an equal number of hours of non-ticketed Annual Meeting events and sessions. More information will be announced in early August
  • Please contact for Presenter Rate information


What is the cancellation / refund policy for WMA 2024?

Cancellations made in writing on or before August 30, 2024 will be refunded, minus a $100.00 processing fee. Cancellations after August 30, 2024, will not be refunded. No-shows will not be refunded. Please contact WMA for further information or if you have any questions.


How can I justify my attendance to WMA 2024?

WMA offers a Justification Toolkit - a free resource to help you demonstrate the rewards of the investment of your attendance to your supervisors or organization. By verbalizing the numbers of new skills you will learn, the networking opportunities that will be available, and the ultimate benefits attendees bring back to their organizations, you can strengthen your case for receiving support. Please view our Justification Toolkit here



Are scholarships available for WMA 2024?

The Wanda Chin Scholarship helps to make attendance at the Annual Meeting financially accessible to individuals who might otherwise not be able to attend. Funded through an annual silent auction and donations, the Wanda Chin Professional Development Program is a vital component of the WMA mission and allows WMA to create opportunities for its constituents to build skill-sets to better serve their communities. Applications for 2024 Scholarships are now closed.


Can I donate to support scholarships?

Yes! By donating to the Wanda Chin Scholarship Fund, you will help to subsidize participation in WMA's Annual Meeting for professionals who might not otherwise be able to attend. The Annual Meeting is an opportunity for everyone to network will colleagues, learn best practices, and gain new skillsets that can be applied within their own institutions and local communities.

There are two ways to donate and make an impact:

  1. Donate to the Wanda Chin Scholarship Fund by clicking here. Choose the amount you wish to donate and specify that your donation is for the 'Wanda Chin Scholarship' in the comments section
  2. Support the Wanda Chin Scholarship Program by bidding on items in the Annual Meeting's Silent Auction. Proceeds directly fund this program


Can I Volunteer at WMA 2024? What are the benefits?

Yes! WMA seeks enthusiastic volunteers to assist WMA staff with a variety of roles at the Annual Meeting. In exchange for hours work, volunteers can attend an equal number of hours of non-ticketed Annual Meeting events and sessions. Volunteers must work for time periods equal to a minimum of 4 hours; this can be broken up into two 2-hour shifts or one 4-hour shift. Volunteer opportunities will be announced this August.



What is the theme of WMA 2024?

With the theme of BALANCE, the Annual Meeting will explore ideas of stability at both an individual and institutional level. As museum professionals we are constantly challenged to renew and inspire our visitors but we often neglect opportunities to do this for ourselves. Can we succeed in our professional endeavors without recognizing that we too require renewal and moments of descansando? Alongside our usual program filled with learning, sharing, and connecting, we will also be taking advantage of our unique venue to create numerous opportunities for socializing, restoring, and rejuvenating. WMA invites museum professionals, leaders, and enthusiasts to come together in a community that envisions a more balanced and integrated future for individuals, museums, and the field as a whole.


What sessions, events, and networking opportunities will WMA 2024 feature?

With 42 sessions, 1 General Session and Keynote, 4 Evening Events, 3 PreConference Tours, and many new opportunities to share content with colleagues and make in-person connections, #WMA2024 will be a fun and creative gathering of museum folk. For more details on the Annual Meeting sessions, events, and networking opportunities. Please look through the 2024 Preliminary Program, or visit our WMA 2024 Sessions page and WMA 2024 Events & Tours Page.


Who is WMA's 2024 Keynote Speaker?

The WMA 2024 Keynote Speaker is Seema Rao - In her 20+ years in museums, Seema worked in digital, serving as the head of content for the Cleveland Museum of Art's Gallery One. Over her tenure, Seema led curatorial, education, interpretation. While she's fufilled many roles, her work has always focused on accessible connections to collections.
Professionally, Seema's advocated for museum workers and their voice. She authored the book, Self-Care for Museum Professionals. She also wrote for Museum 2.0 as well as published for the American Alliance of Museum's blog. Seema previously served on the editorial committee for Exhibitions Journal, on the board of Ohio Museums Association and as the vice president of Museum Computer Network.  


Who is speaking at WMA's various luncheons?

There will be one WMA Community Lunch as well as four Affinity Luncheons. The WMA Community Lunch, a celebration of the WMA community will feature guest speaker Mike Murawski, author of Museums as Agents of Change. Murawski will discuss how museums can be more human-centered.

The Affinity Luncheons include: Indigenous Luncheon, Stortellers and Supporters Luncheon, Registrar's Committee Western Region Luncheon, and the 

  • Indigenous Luncheon
    • Enjoy meeting your colleagues from tribal museums and supporters of Native American Concerns. All are welcome! The Luncheon will feature guest speaker Jennifer Juan, Assistant Director of COmmunity Engagement, Arizona State Museum. Sponsored by Barona Band of Mission Indians.
  • Stortellers and Supporters Luncheon
    • Especially for curators, development officers, educators, evaluators, exhibit designers, and all who make possible the engaging stories that museums tell, but open to all. The recipient of the Charles Redd Award for exhibit excellence will present on the winning exhibition. Sponsored by EDX Exhibits.
  • Registrar's Committee Western Region Luncheon
    • Open to RCWR members, collections professionals, and related vendors. Underwritten by Registrar's Committee Western Region. Sponsored by Collector Systems. 
  • Director & Leadership Team's Luncheon
    • This luncheon is open to Directors, Deputy Directors, CEOs, CFOs, Leadership Team members, and Trustees. The luncheon will feature guest speaker Jennifer Ortiz, Director of the Utah Historical Society

Will there be a virtual option for WMA 2024?

WMA 2024 is designed as an in-person gathering focused on connection and professional growth. With the understanding that hybrid events are effectively two separate events layered on top of each other with their own logistics, expenses, and staffing needs, there will not be a virtual component for WMA 2024. Our goal is to keep registration costs as low as possible. A virtual option would substantially increase rates and therefore reduce the number of people who could access professional development. However, you can get a glimpse of the happenings at #WMA2024 by following WMA on Instagram or Twitter. 



What is happening Sunday, September 28, 2024 in the Grand Ballroom Foyer? 

From 1:30pm to 4:00pm in the Ventana Grand Ballroom Ballroom, attendees are invited to network with new colleagues and connect with familiar faces while participating in a variety of fun activities including the Coffee Klatch, Inspiration Stations, Poster Session, and Roundtables.


What are Inspiration Stations?

Inspiration Stations are a showcase of ideas / solutions / innovations from around the museum field and provides you with a chance to talk directly with the folks making them happen. Federal agencies, museum associations, and individuals with great ideas will all be in the mix. This will be a casual way for attendees to encounter new ideas and talk to the people behind them.


What is the Poster Session?

The perennially popular Poster Session provides a unique opportunity for individuals to present their academic research, progressive ideas, or public programs through illustrated and informative posters, while engaging in public discourse with other attendees and networking in an informal setting.


What are Roundtables?

Roundtables are a breakout casual conversation on a specific topic, held between a group of participants with a host, or moderator. The roundtable format brings together different points of view while giving all audience members a chance to learn and interact with each other. 



Can I sponsor, exhibit, and advertise at WMA 2024? What's involved and what are the benefits?

Yes! At the Annual Meeting, when you partner with WMA, you will have great exposure to a wide range of museum professionals and support the professional development WMA provides to the museum field all year long. Being a WMA 2024 sponsor, exhibitor, or advertiser will allow you to:

  • Reach a concentrated group of museum professionals from a variety of sectors
  • Increase your visibility among a diverse group of cultural institutions in the Western Region
  • Position your business as a supporter and leader in the museum field
  • Build upon your existing relationships with decision-makers, while fostering new connections
  • Support a high-quality forum dedicated to sharing cutting edge and emerging ideas being accessible to all museum professionals

Please visit our Partnership Opportunities page to learn more.


We hope these general FAQs will help you prepare for the Annual Meeting and feel safe during your visit.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to WMA staff at

We look forward to seeing you in Tucson!