#AAMvirtual FAQ

#AAMvirtual FAQ

In this unprecedented time, many of us are experimenting with new ways to connect, stay engaged, and provide meaningful online experiences. In this spirit, we are excited to announce that our Annual Meeting is going virtual!

Kicking off on International Museums Day, May 18, and continuing June 1-4, the AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo (#AAMvirtual) will bring you networking opportunities, inspiring programming, and the MuseumExpo to a new virtual experience.

#AAMvirtual will include keynote speakers, over 30 breakout sessions, a virtual exhibit hall, and online networking events to connect with museum professionals from around the globe. Registrants will have access to transcribed recordings of the full program.

Please review the FAQ below for more information. We look forward to seeing you online!

AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo (#AAMvirtual) FAQ

When is #AAMvirtual taking place?

#AAMvirtual will be kicking off on International Museums Day, May 18, and continue June 1-4.

How do I log in to #AAMvirtual?

After you register, you’ll receive an email with information on logging in to the virtual conference, which will be sent from “AAM Virtual” at aamvirtual@commpartners.com with the subject line “AAM Virtual Login.” If you registered:

  • Before 3pm CT on May 14: You will receive your login information email on May 14.
  • Between May 14 at 3pm CT and May 15 at 4pm CT: You will receive your login information by 6pm on May 15
  • Between May 15 at 4pm CT and May 18 at 8am CT: You will receive your login instructions before the conference begins 9:45 am CT May 18.
  • If you register after 8am CT on Monday, May 18, you will receive your login instructions within 2 hours. If you have an issue logging in, please contact aamvirtual@commpartners.com.

Where can I find the programming and schedule for #AAMvirtual?

The schedule for #AAMvirtual is now available! The program includes over 30 sessions in addition to several keynote addresses, a virtual exhibit hall, and networking opportunities. Register for #AAMvirtual today!

Is there a reason you selected these dates?

Yes, just like with a convention center, we need to book space on the virtual platform. In addition to our June dates, we jumped on the opportunity to gather the field for an earlier kick-off event, and on a global celebratory date, International Museums Day on May 18.

How much is registration to the virtual conference?

Registration for the virtual conference is $235 for AAM members and $345 for non-members. These prices reflect a 50% discount on our lowest available early bird rates.

Why do you charge for your conference?

Like many museums, the American Alliance of Museums is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with our members and allies. We do that by:

  • offering programs to help museums and museum professionals implement standards and best practices.
  • advocating for the cause of museums by promoting a deeper understanding of museums’ critical educational, cultural, scientific, and economic contributions to society with policymakers, the press, and the public.
  • providing information, resources, and learning opportunities on topics vital to the future viability, relevance, and sustainability of museums.

A national conference of our size costs over $3 million over several years (in convention center fees, AV, software, events, food & beverage, transportation, staff, etc.), and up to $950 per attendee. The average amount paid by attendees directly is $358—only about a third of the real costs. We understand not everyone is able to afford the registration fee, and each year, we offer many free or deeply discounted registrations through scholarships and volunteer opportunities.

Unfortunately, like museums that have had to cancel major events this spring, the Alliance stands to lose significant revenue due to the cancellation of the annual meeting. Though we have transitioned to a virtual conference this year, with its own expenses, many of our expenses for the San Francisco convening had already been paid. And like many museums are experiencing, our various insurance policies are currently refusing to cover COVID-19 related losses.

We remain committed to providing learning and networking opportunities for the field, and we are excited to experiment with a new way to connect with you. Your registration fees offset our actual virtual meeting costs and support our year-round advocacy, as well as the development of thousands of free and low-cost tools, programs, and resources for museum professionals, such as our free COVID-19 resources. Thanks to the generosity of individuals and sponsors, we are pleased to offer a number of deeply discounted ($25) registrations to #AAMvirtual to those who are unable to afford the full registration at this time. We thank you for your participation in our Annual Meeting and look forward to seeing you virtually!

I work for a Museum Studies Program and I’d like for my students to be able to attend #AAMvirtual. What are our options?

We love partnerships with Museum Studies Programs! As we have done in the past for in-person Annual Meetings and Museums Advocacy Day, we can work with you directly for your program to cover all or most of the cost of your students’ participation. Please contact meetings@aam-us.org for more details.

Students (and all others) are also eligible for our $25 deeply discounted registrations; they can complete this form to be alerted when discounted spaces become available to #AAMvirtual.

I have recently been furloughed or laid off and am unable to afford conference registration, but would like to attend.

We will offer a number of deeply discounted ($25) registrations to #AAMvirtual to those who are unable to afford the full registration at this time, with priority given to individuals from underrepresented or marginalized communities. Please complete this form to be alerted when discounted spaces become available to #AAMvirtual. We are actively seeking funding and asking all those who are able to consider donating to support the participation of others.

Can I buy a one day pass?

The Virtual AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo only accommodates full registrations, and we are not currently offering one day passes.

If I register for #AAMvirtual, will I receive access to the session recordings?

Yes, registrants to #AAMvirtual will receive free access to the session recordings through the end of the year.

I won’t be able to attend live. Can I purchase access to the recordings of the virtual conference presenters after it has ended?

Yes, we will provide the opportunity to purchase recordings from the virtual conference sessions after the conference has ended.

Is the CEO Summit still taking place?

The CEO Summit has been postponed indefinitely. We are exploring options to hold an in-person CEO Summit later in 2020.

What’s the refund policy for #AAMvirtual?

No refunds will be offered for #AAMvirtual.

What steps are being taken to make #AAMvirtual accessible?

CART Captioning will be available on all session presentations for the virtual conference. All session recordings will be transcribed. We will also provide guidance to presenters on accessible virtual presentations. If you have additional accessibility needs, please contact accessibility@aam-us.org.

My question isn’t addressed here. Who can I contact for more information?
If you have questions not addressed here, please contact meetings@aam-us.org.

COVID-19 Cancellation FAQ

What options do I have for managing my 2020 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo registration?

You have a number of options for managing your 2020 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo registration. All registrations for the in-person conference will be automatically transferred to the virtual conference, with the balance of your registration applied to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, IL (May 9-12, 2021).

On April 24th, our registration provider emailed all 2020 Annual Meeting registrants with your alternative options for managing your registration. If you can not find or did not receive this email, please contact them directly at AAM@xpressreg.net. You will have until May 8th to select one of the following options:

  1. Transfer your registration to the virtual conference and either refund the balance to the original form of payment or donate the balance to support deeply discounted ($25) registrations for museum colleagues who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are otherwise unable to afford registration at this time.
  2. Transfer your full registration to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, IL
  3. Receive a full refund of your registration. All refunds will be issued to the original form of payment.
  4. Donate your full registration to support deeply discounted ($25) registrations for museum colleagues who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are otherwise unable to afford registration at this time.

How do I register for the AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo?

We are excited to have you join #AAMvirtual! Registration for the AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo is now open.

If you previously registered for the in-person conference, please review the next question below, How do I transfer my in-person registration to the virtual conference?

How do I transfer my in-person registration to the virtual conference?

We are excited to have you join #AAMvirtual! If you previously registered for the in-person conference, your registration will be automatically transferred to the virtual conference with the balance of your registration applied to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, IL. We look forward to seeing you online!

I cannot participate in the virtual conference. How do I transfer my full 2020 registration to the 2021 conference in Chicago?

If you registered for the in-person 2020 Annual Meeting and would like to transfer the full registration to #AAM2021 in Chicago, you are welcome to do so. On April 24th, our registration provider emailed all 2020 Annual Meeting registrants with your alternative options for managing your registration. If you can not find or did not receive this email, please contact them directly at AAM@xpressreg.net. Once our 2021 conference registration is launched, you will receive a promo code to use for your registration. Keep an eye out for an email with additional information regarding this process. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

How do I donate my registration?

We are grateful for your interest in donating your registration for the in-person meeting. These donations will support deeply discounted ($25) registrations for museum colleagues who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are otherwise unable to afford registration at this time. On April 24th, our registration provider emailed all 2020 Annual Meeting registrants with your alternative options for managing your registration. If you can not find or did not receive this email, please contact them directly at AAM@xpressreg.net.

How do I receive a refund for my 2020 AAM Annual Meeting registration?

On April 24th, our registration provider emailed all 2020 Annual Meeting registrants with your alternative options for managing your registration including requesting a full refund. If you can not find or did not receive this email, please contact them directly at AAM@xpressreg.net. Our vendor will begin to process refunds on May 8 and they will be issued within 60 days of that date; however, it may take additional time depending on your bank or credit card provider for refunds to reach your account. If you are able, we appreciate any support you can provide by donating your registration. These donations will support deeply discounted ($25) registrations for museum colleagues who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are otherwise unable to afford registration at this time.

My museum registered a group of staff members, and I would like to work with AAM to get access to #AAMvirtual for additional staff members based on what we’ve paid.

We’re more than happy to work with any groups or unique situations! Please contact meetings@aam-us.org with your email address, name, registration and/or member ID number (if known) and a short summary of your question for more information.

Will additional tickets I purchased (networking events, excursions, etc) automatically be refunded?

The full balance of your registration, including tickets, will be applied to #AAMvirtual with the remainder applied to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, IL. If you would like to manage your registration differently, on April 24th, our registration provider emailed all 2020 Annual Meeting registrants with your alternative options for managing your registration. If you can not find or did not receive this email, please contact them directly at AAM@xpressreg.net. Please review the first question at the top of this page for more information.

How can I make a donation to AAM independent of my conference registration?

Thank you for considering a donation to AAM. As global movements like #GivingTuesdayNow have shown, nonprofit organizations across the world are being deeply financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a 501(c)(3), AAM is no different.

By supporting the Alliance, you are helping to ensure we are able to continue championing museums through our work, including advocating for the field on Capitol Hill and creating free COVID-19 resources for the museum field.

We greatly appreciate you making a tax-deductible donation of any size on our website, here.

How do I help support deeply discounted registrations for #AAMvirtual?

AAM is currently seeking funding to offer a number of deeply discounted ($25) registrations to #AAMvirtual for students, our colleagues who have been furloughed or laid-off, and anyone who can’t afford full registration at this time. If you are able to help contribute, please visit our website. Thank you for your support!

What are the dates and location for the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo?

The 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo will take place on May 9-12, 2021 in Chicago, IL.

If I request a full refund, will I be charged the $75 fee?

No, we are waiving cancellation fees. However, cultural organizations are financially suffering from the impacts of COVID-19, and AAM is no different. If you’re able, we ask that you consider donating $75 to AAM to cover credit card processing and bank fees.

I requested a refund before you officially canceled, will you refund the $75 processing fee?

We will not refund processing fees prior to April 10, 2020. However, we will apply a $75 discount to your #AAMvirtual registration if you wish to join. You can request the $75 discount by emailing meetings@aam-us.org.

I am a scholarship recipient, how does the in-person conference cancellation affect my scholarship?

Congratulations on receiving a scholarship! We will be transferring all scholarships to #AAMvirtual. We look forward to seeing you online!

I am a social media journalist (SMJ), how does the in-person conference cancellation affect my status as an SMJ?

Thank you for being a social media journalist! We are transferring all SMJ registrations to #AAMvirtual. If you would prefer to act as an SMJ for the 2021 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, please contact content@aam-us.org.

I signed up to be a volunteer in San Franciso, how does the in-person conference affect my status as a volunteer?

Thank you for signing up to be a volunteer! Our conference would not be possible without you. While there will be no volunteer opportunities for #AAMvirtual, we will be offering everyone who previously signed up to be a volunteer a 25% discount on their virtual conference registration. You will receive a code to take advantage of this offer when registration opens for the virtual conference.

If you are able, we hope you will be able to join us as a volunteer for the 2021 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago. Keep an eye out for further communication about sign-ups in the fall. If you have any questions, feel free to email volunteers@aam-us.org.

How do I cancel my hotel reservation?

All hotel reservations in the AAM hotel block have been canceled. If you did not receive a cancellation email or have other questions regarding your hotel reservation, please contact Orchid Events at 1-866-748-9564 or help@orchid.events

Will you refund my airfare expenses?

AAM is not able to refund airline ticket costs. Please contact your airline directly regarding ticket cancellations.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered in this FAQ. Who do I contact?

We are happy to work with you on addressing specific needs, and ask that you be patient with us as our team is likely to be handling a large number of inquiries at this time. Please contact meetings@aam-us.org with your email address, name, registration and/or member ID number (if known) and a short summary of your question for more information.

FAQ for Exhibitors

As an exhibitor, can I participate in the virtual conference?

Yes! The MuseumExpo will become virtual along with the rest of our conference. By participating in the virtual exhibit hall, you can provide attendees with promotional literature, upload videos of your products and services, and enjoy live chatting opportunities with attendees.

How can I receive pricing for virtual exhibition space?

For additional information on pricing and available options for the virtual exhibit hall, please contact Shelon Atwater at satwater@aam-us.org.

How do I receive a refund for my 2020 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo booth?

As an exhibitor, you can transfer your booth payment to the AAM 2021 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, #AAMvirtual, or request a refund. To manage your booth, please complete this form by April 30. After April 30, your booth payment will be automatically transferred to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, IL.

When can I expect my booth refund?

Payments made by credit card will be refunded and appear on your credit card statement within approximately 45 days. Refunds for payments made by check or wire transfer will be issued within 45 days. Due to the potential impacts of COVID-19 on your bank or credit card company, you may witness delays on refunds becoming available in your account.

I requested a refund on my booth before April 10, should I resubmit using the form?
If you have not already received your refund, please complete this form by April 30. If you are unsure of the status of your booth, please email satwater@aam-us.org for a status update. After April 30, your booth payment will be automatically transferred to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, IL.

I registered additional booth staff and/or purchased event tickets. How do I receive a refund for my registration?

The full balance of your registration, including tickets, for the in-person conference will be refunded. For questions regarding refunds, please contact AAM@xpressreg.net. Our vendor will begin to process refunds on May 8 and they will be issued within 60 days of that date; however, it may take additional time depending on your bank or credit card provider for refunds to reach your account.

Will exhibitors be refunded for their lead retrieval purchases?

If lead retrieval services were purchased through the official vendor, Xpress Leads by Convention Data Services, you will be automatically refunded.

Who should I contact for refunds on items I ordered for my booth?

For questions pertaining to your orders for carpeting, tables, chairs, etc., please contact Nexxtshow Exposition Services at help@nexxtshow.com; 1.877.836.3131

When can I sign up for my 2021 booth?

If you are a current 2020 exhibitor, you can transfer your booth payment to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago, #AAMvirtual, or request a refund. New exhibit sales for 2021 will open up in June. Please contact Shelon Atwater at satwater@aam-us.org for additional information.

What are the dates and location for the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo?

The 2021 Annual Meeting & Museum Expo will take place on May 9-12, 2021 in Chicago, IL.

FAQ for Presenters

Will my session automatically be added to the AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo (#AAMvirtual)?

With the transition to a virtual conference, we are limited to the number of sessions that can be included. Given the current environment, AAM is working diligently to review sessions that address the needs and interests of the field. The selected session presenters will be notified by April 17.

Will I have to submit a new proposal for the AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo?

You may be asked to make some content adjustments to your presentation if your session is accepted for inclusion in #AAMvirtual, but you will not have to submit a new proposal. The selected session presenters will be notified by April 17.

Will I still be able to present my poster during #AAMvirtual?

With the transition to a virtual conference, we are limited to the number of posters that can be included. Given the current environment, AAM staff is working diligently to review posters that address the needs and interests of the field. AAM will provide the selected poster presenters with guidelines to generate and upload their poster graphic for viewing-only.

Am I required to present during #AAMvirtual?

If your session or poster is selected for inclusion in #AAMvirtual, you and your presenters can accept or decline participation within the email notification. Notifications will be sent by April 17 with a deadline to respond by April 28. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, if we don’t receive your response to participate, we will select an alternate session.

If I don’t receive an invitation to present during #AAMvirtual will my proposal be automatically accepted to the 2021 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago?

The National Program Committee and AAM staff will provide you with additional information regarding your accepted 2020 Annual Meeting sessions in the fall.

Will the length of sessions change for #AAMvirtual?

All #AAMvirtual sessions will be 1 hour in length.

Can I still present if the other presenters are unable to participate virtually?

Yes, but we strongly recommend that you coordinate the content (slides, notes, discussions, etc.) with the presenters in your session that are unable to participate.

Can I change my presentation for #AAMvirtual?

If you believe the currently accepted presentation would benefit from the inclusion of updated information as it relates to COVID-19, or if adjustments need to be made with regards to your presenters, we welcome your suggested updates for review. You can make minor edits to your accepted session as it currently stands but you will not be able to present entirely new content as it would require review from the National Program Committee. To create a new session or poster proposal, AAM’s call for proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Chicago will launch later this summer.

If my presenters and I chose to present virtually, will there be clear guidelines, instructions, or tutorials?

Yes. AAM is committed to ensuring a seamless transition from an in-person to a virtual conference. We will host live webinars that will be recorded and posted in the Presenter Harvester which will include a complete tutorial of the platform used to host the virtual conference. Staff will be available to assist and you will be able to choose from various options for how you would like to move forward with your presentation.

When will presenters receive details about deliverables for the virtual conference?

As AAM staff continues to finalize details of the virtual conference, we will generate a complete timeline and invitation to participate in a webinar to review finalized plans. We appreciate your patience as we continue to transition to the virtual conference, and will provide you with further information by April 17.

Will we still work in the Presenter Harvester for our presentation uploads?

You will continue to receive correspondence and tasks through the Presenter Harvester as you have for completing speaker agreements and bios, editing profiles, uploading photos and completing registration. You will continue to forward any edits to your content or speakers directly to tgilbert@aam-us.org. We will provide detailed instructions for your presentations soon.

This site’s content is reviewed daily and will be updated as appropriate.

Last reviewed and updated Friday, April 10