Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to Make a Great Thing Better

This will be my third AAM Annual Meeting—I've worked my way westward, like empire, from Boston to Chicago to Denver. Each time it's felt like cheating: I go to a great city, stay at a great hotel and spend four paid workdays listening to experts talk about the most interesting topics in the museum world, going to museums, partying at lavish evening events and being surrounded by the type of people who go on vacation from their jobs at museums and then head to more museums as soon as they get to their destinations. My kind of people.

I've had a ball every time, but I've been thinking of a few ways to take it even further. This year, I will push myself. Be it hereby enacted that I shall:

1) Pick a few session topics beyond my usual suspects.

2) Go to an evening event at a new type of museum (not much mountaineering in Washington, D.C., for example).

3) Talk to more people I've never seen before in my life. On the shuttle bus. Waiting for the elevator. Sitting next to me at a session (well, not during the session). Trying to grab used drink tickets out of the trashcan when the bartender isn't looking.

I also plan to do my usual experience-expanders: get there a day early and sightsee, walk in a few directions other than hotel-to-convention-center and back, attend a lot of sessions and events while keeping in mind that some downtime is a good thing.

Maybe I'll see you there. Distract the bartender for me, and I'll split the drink tickets with you.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The American Association of Museums (AAM) neither condones nor countenances the criminal recycling of drink tickets by its staff. Reprisals will be swift and uncompromising. See Employee Handbook, Sec. 3.23, "Dim View of Dumpster-Diving."

1 comment:

saracovla said...

Leah, you sound like my kinda partner in crime. If I'm fortunate enough to make it to next year's AAM Annual Mtg., I'm going to look out for you! While I'm stuck here at home, a thousand miles away, I'll enjoy the conference vicariously through the blog.