Museum Geeks Unite - at least for a weekend!

Some of the 100 OMA conference attendees about to embark a chilly pre-conference ferry ride to historic South Bass Island & Gibraltar Islands in Lake Erie, including a trip to Ohio State's famous Stone Laboratory.

There's just one statewide gathering in Ohio each year that welcomes professionals from every kind of museum in the Buckeye State: it's the annual conference of the Ohio Museums Association (OMA). Last month, 100 representatives from Ohio museums gathered in Sandusky, Ohio for OMA's annual get-together, to exchange ideas, to network, and to be inspired by our friends' successes. OMA's membership includes professional staffers and dedicated volunteers from art, history, and science museums, nature centers, historic homes, arboretums, aquariums, zoos, and other cultural institutions.

Our 2013 conference gave us an opportunity to bring our best ideas for museums to the table - to share and reflect on our top ideas for exhibit design, education programs, membership growth and value, fundraising, marketing, and management.

It always impresses me what an amazing group of people make up Ohio's museum community. You'd be hard-pressed to find a museum professional who doesn't love what they do for a living, and it really shows in the quality of their work and their passion for it. Museum staff positions are as diverse as our museums: we're curators, teachers, project managers, accountants, marketers, hospitality specialists, event planners, graphic designers, retail managers, and dozens more specialties.

The people who keep Ohio's museums moving forward are of every age and every background. What we all have in common is a love for museums that for many of us, started as kids with a visit, often a school field trip or family vacation, to a museum that inspired us and introduced us to a larger world. Know someone in your family who's proud to call themselves a museum geek? Let them know they're not alone!

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