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We had a blast at the Association of Midwest Museums Conference!

This year, the AMM conference was a little different for us than normal. Not only was it in our hometown of Chicago, but we also had the opportunity to be on the other side of the Exhibitor’s Booth. As sponsors of the conference, we were able to wander through the exhibitors hall, host a workshop at the International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS), and emcee the Flash Talks on Thursday. Overall, it was an amazing experience.

To kick off the conference, we hosted a workshop at the International Museum of Surgical Science. It was a blast to show people the hidden gem on Chicago’s lakefront, and of course, getting to indulge in a Chicago specialty (aka, pizza). We were able to have some great discussions, and listen to visiting museum professionals talk about what a mobile app could accomplish for their space. Best of all, we got to see everyone design and build their own app.

Workshop attendees explored the IMSS using the museum’s mobile app, and after taking tours based on their interests, were able to sit down and create their own app using our Content Management System. In less than half an hour, they created their own points of interest, an interactive map, tours, designed the overall style, and published it to their devices. Thanks to beacons placed throughout the museum, they were then able to use the app they had just created to take a tour and receive their very own push notifications.

We also took a trip to a few of Chicago’s coolest museums during the Southside Excursion to the Smart Museum of Art, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and the Hyde Park Art Center.

Let us just say, the Smart Museum knows how to DJ an event. Not only were the hot dogs and beer a great way to start the night, but the music made exploring the museum even more fun. Next stop was the Dusable Museum, a personal favorite of ours here in the office. They had a couple of tour guides waiting to walk the visitors through the museum and share their stories and incredible knowledge with us. We got the chance to meet and chat with a lot of cool people, and hang out in their beautiful outdoor space with plenty of craft beer. The Hyde Park Art center was the last stop, and tired though we were (it was way past our bedtime of 9pm), it was worth it to get an after hours experience.

Another highlight of this year’s AMM conference were the Flash Talks. Our Chief Curatorial Officer, Nancy Harmon, was a co-emcee of the event and we had a great turnout. Understandably so, as the speakers were all pretty spectacular. From the work they were doing in their community, and the impact they were making on the way we view people, places and art, it was truly an eye opening experience. The speakers were doing everything from creating floating museums on the Chicago River, to having dinner with homeless travelers on the Red

Line Train, and through it all, changing lives. We were so grateful to be a part of this incredible session, and happy that so many people were able to join.

And last but not least, the closing party! It’s always a great time at the Field Museum, and like many, it was our first time seeing the new dinosaur, Maximo the Titanosaur. And we can confirm that yes, he is quite impressive.

A major thank you to everyone who dedicated their time and resources to make this such a wonderful conference, and now, here’s to AMM 2019!

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