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

Sunday Networking Events  •  Exhibitors, Sponsors, & Advertisers

WMA 2023 COVID-19 Health & Safety Precautions


Registration for WMA 2023 HERE!

Online registration closes Friday, September 29!

Registration will be available on-site during the Annual Meeting.

Click here to become a WMA Member!




What are the dates and location of WMA's 2023 Annual Meeting?

The WMA's 2023 Annual Meeting will take place this October 5-8 in Pasadena, California. Known as the “Crown of the Valley,” a city oasis where the sun shines brightly 300 days of the year, Pasadena is a place where deep historical Californian roots meet a modern-day cultural getaway. Home to amazing entertainment, architecture, global cuisine, and world-class cultural institutions, Pasadena reflects many aspects of California, and yet, is a city like no other. Take a deeper look into Pasadena using our Pasadena 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 2023 Annual Meeting?

The Annual Meeting sessions and activities will take place at the Hilton Pasadena with PreConference Tours and Evening Events hosted at Pasadena 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 are open and will be available through August 25, at a discounted rate of $199/night. Please visit our Hotel Reservations page to book your room and for directions on how to get there. 



When will registration open? Close?

Registration for WMA's 2023 Annual Meeting is now open! Please visit our Registration Information page to learn more and register.

The deadline to register online is Friday, September 29, 2023. However, registration will be available on-site at the Annual Meeting registration desk.


Is there Early Bird Registration? When does it end?

Yes, every year WMA offers a limited-release special discounted rate for WMA Members. The 2023 Early Bird Member registration rate ended on Friday, July 28th.


What are registration options & rates for WMA 2023?

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; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Evening Events; Affinitity Luncheons; and Receptions.
Add-ons and their costs can be found in the 2023 Preliminary Program and the online registration process.
  • Member Early Bird Rate ..... $380 (now closed)
  • Member Regular Rate ..... $435
  • Non-Member Rate (Includes WMA membership) ..... $510
  • 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; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 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 will be made available in the Final Program and during the online registration process.
  • General Rate ..... $230

Are there discounts available?

  • Please contact for Presenter Rate information.
  • 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.
  • The 2023 Early Bird Member registration rate ended on Friday, July 28th.
  • Applications for 2023 Scholarships are now closed.


How do I register?

You will need to register using our simple online registration platform. Please follow the steps listed below.

  1. Head to the Registration Site
    1. Create an account by providing your first and last name, a username, and password.
    2. If you already have an account, click the "log in" button in the upper-right corner, and then provide your log in information
  2. Attendee Information Page
    1. Here, you'll begin the registration process. First, select your "Registration Type" (your registration fee will appear on the next page). If you've been provided with a discount registration code, enter the code here. Don't know your discount code? Please Contact WMA staff.
    2. Please continue to fill out the form by inputting your basic information, organization, dietary restrictions, accessibility accommodations, Twitter handle, pronouns, etc.
    3. When done, click "Go to Next Step"
  3. Add Ons Page
    1. Please select your "Registration Type Fee" to add the cost of your registration to your cart.
    2. Continue to select any WMA 2023 events you wish to attend—some events are ticketed, while others are free with a requested RSVP required
    3. To view more information on each event, please reference the 2023 Preliminary Program.
    4. Once you've added all event tickets to your registration, click "Go to Next Step"
  4. Cancellation Policy Page
    1. Please provide your E-signature stating that you have read and understand our Cancelation Policy.
  5. Confirm Your Selection Page
    1. Please review and confirm your selection: registration type, attendee information, and events.
  6. Checkout Page
    1. To make a payment, we accept payments by credit card, e-check and manual check.
    2. Please select the appropriate payment method. The 'Manual Check' payment option can be found to the far right of the 'E-Check' button (small and greyed out).
    3. If there is a problem submitting an online payment, or if you have any questions, please call WMA's Executive Director Jason B. Jones at 707-433-4701.
  7. If you select the 'Manual Check' payment option, you will be brought to the “Dashboard” page and will need to click “Complete My Application Now” button in the “Registration” box to complete the process.
  8. Once your payment has been confirmed, you will be emailed a receipt.

To add additional WMA2023 events to your existing registration:

  1. When you log back in, you'll be taken to your Registration Dashboard page. Here, you'll find your registration progress, balance paid or due, and other information.
  2. Scroll down to view the "Registration" callout box, and click "Add Ons"
  3. Determine what event(s) you would like to add on and select those events.
  4. Follow the same steps as above to confirm your selection, and then make the online or manual payment.

To update your personal information in your existing registration form:

  1. When you log back in, you'll be taken to your Registration Dashboard page. Here, you'll find your registration progress, balance paid or due, and other information.
  2. Scroll down to view the "Registration" callout box, and click "Attendee Information" if you'd like to make any changes here.

To remove events from your existing registration form:

  1. If you would like remove events, please contact WMA staff by phone 707-433-4701 or by email


What is the cancellation / refund policy for WMA 2023?

Cancellations made in writing on or before September 6, 2023 will be refunded, minus a $100.00 processing fee. Cancellations after September 6, 2023, 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 2023?

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 2023?

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 2023 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 2023? What are the benefits?

Yes! WMA is currently seeking 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 summer.



What is the theme of WMA 2023?

With the theme of CONNECT, WMA 2023 will be an opportunity for attendees to participate in a unique slate of educational programming, CONNECT with colleagues, and explore ideas that will help define the future of museums and the diverse communities they serve. Six session tracks, exciting programs, and informal discussions will provide a fruitful environment for various perspectives to be shared and multifaceted learning opportunities for all cultural institution professionals, regardless of specialty.


What sessions, events, and networking opportunities will WMA 2023 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, #WMA2023 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 2023 Preliminary Program, or visit our WMA 2023 Sessions page and WMA 2023 Events & Tours page.


Who is WMA's 2023 Keynote Speaker?

The WMA 2023 Opening General Session & Keynote will be Sandra Jackson-Dumont – Director and CEO, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Curator, author, educator, administrator, and public advocate for reimagining the role of art museums in society, Sandra Jackson-Dumont has served as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art since January 2020. Tasked with leading the museum through its opening and beyond, Jackson-Dumont oversees all curatorial, educational, public, and operational affairs for the fast-developing institution.

Known for her ability to blur the lines—whether between academia and popular culture or traditional and non-traditional museum audiences—Jackson-Dumont has also held positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Seattle Art Museum. Throughout her career, she has collaborated extensively with living artists, communities, creatives, and historical materials. Her work catalyzes the presence of increasingly dynamic and diverse audiences in cultural spaces while exploring issues of relevance.

Sandra Jackson-Dumont was elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021 and has received many honors. She currently serves on the boards of LA Tourism, NeuroArts Blueprint Advisory Board, Seattle’s Friends of the Waterfront Project, and New York’s Friends of the High Line.


How can I best prepare for the Annual Meeting and it's activities?

Whether this year is your first time at WMA's Annual Meeting, or you're a WMA regular, there can be a lot to think about when preparing for a multi-day networking conference. To ease your mind and to help you smoothly navigate through the 2023 Annual Meeting while maximizing your professional development, we have put together a simple Attendee Guide for your use. In this Guide, we share some things to consider as you prepare for sunshine-filled Pasadena and make your way through the 4-days at WMA 2023.


Will there be a virtual option for WMA 2023?

WMA 2023 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 2023. 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 #WMA2023 by following WMA on Instagram or Twitter. 



What is happening Sunday, October 8, 2023 in the International Ballroom?

From 2:00pm to 4:00pm in the Hilton Pasadena's International Ballroom, attendees are invited to network and learn with new colleagues and connect with familiar faces while participating in a variety of fun activities including the Coffee Klatch, Inspiration Stations, Poster Session, Roundtables, and Activity Stations.


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.


What are Activity Stations?

Activity Stations are where attendees participate in a low-cost 30-minute activity. The purpose is to connect with colleagues and to share and receive information or ideas. This year, there will be two Activity Stations:

  • Kumeyaaay Constellation Bookmarks and Community Mural
  • Reflect and Restore: Supporting Wellness Programming at Your Museum



Can I sponsor, exhibit, and advertise at WMA 2023? What's involved and what are the benefits?

Yes! While the Exhibit Hall is sold out, plenty of sponsorship and advertising opportunities remain. 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 2023 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.


Ongoing Labor Discussions

WMA supports the ongoing labor discussions between hotels in Los Angeles and Unite Here Local 11, which began over the summer, and believes the process will come to a positive conclusion. When WMA originally selected the Hilton Pasadena in 2019 to host this year’s Annual Meeting, there was no indication of a potential labor dispute across the region. Based on the latest information available to us, the hotel remains staffed by union labor and we do not anticipate any disruptions to WMA’s Annual Meeting. Should that situation change, we will notify attendees promptly.


WMA 2023 COVID-19 Health & Safety Precautions

What are the current COVID-19 protocols for WMA 2023?

WMA understands the importance of safety and comfort in attending live networking events and we want to be transparent in our commitment to providing a safe experience for all attendees. We are following current Los Angeles County and CDC COVID-19 protocols.
Out of respect and kindness towards your fellow attendees, and with the new boosters being a much closer match to currently circulating variants than prior vaccines, WMA strongly recommends that attendees be vaccinated and boosted before attending the Annual Meeting.
If you are not feeling well and have any symptoms of COVID-19 please stay home or in your hotel room. Do not attend the Annual Meeting until you have tested negative for COVID-19. Masking during the conference is a matter of personal preference.
For more information on public safety, please visit the Los Angeles County Public Health page.
Should state or local guidance change, we will notify attendees ASAP. If you have any questions, please contact WMA at


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 Pasadena!