One of the most highly anticipated national events for the museum industry is fast approaching. The American Alliance of Museum’s Museum Expo is set to kick off May 19, in Denver, Colorado. Exhibit Concepts is excited to be taking part in the annual exhibition. Museum professionals from across the country will gather to discuss the latest trends, best practices, and new technologies. AAM’S marquee event also offers an incredible opportunity to network, learn, and build relationships with peers, colleagues, vendors, and experts in the field.
This year, several members of the Exhibit Concepts team will be on the show floor, including Vice President of Exhibit Concepts Jerry Spangler and Account Executives Aaron Scarlata and Matt Short. (Account Executive Steven Lowry will not be in attendance this year.) We reached out to our team to discuss what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s show and what newcomers can expect as the industry converges in Colorado.
What are you looking forward to most at Museum Expo 2023?
- Jerry Spangler: Our colleagues! We have made so many meaningful relationships with museums, project partners, and collaborators. It’s always great seeing old friends and making new ones.
- Aaron Scarlata: The synergy of museum professionals gathering, sharing, and learning together. Since AAM’s Museum Expo is the industry’s national event, it’s an opportunity to network with professionals from institutions bringing new perspectives on trends, best practices, and new technology.
- Matt Short: I am most looking forward to seeing people I have known for decades, making new contacts, and building new relationships.
In what ways do you think attending AAM could benefit museums?
- Steven Lowry: The American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to network with professionals from around the world. Additionally, the event offers exposure to the latest trends in visitor experiences and new technologies.
- Jerry Spangler: Museum Expo is the best opportunity to discuss new approaches that not only reach visitors but enhance the overall visitor and member experience.
- Aaron Scarlata: Museum Expo provides an opportunity to network with curators, archivists, directors, operations managers, and exhibit designers from around the world. The conference and annual meeting builds professional leadership skills and connects people who otherwise may not meet. Lastly, Museum Expo supports the entire industry by presenting a platform for learning. Personally, Museum Expo showcases all the bells and whistles of the industry while allowing you to meet like-minded individuals who enjoy history, science, and art.
Matt Short: Museum Expo is the world’s largest gathering of museum professionals! It is the best opportunity that we have as individuals and as a company to meet the industry face-to-face.
How long have you attended AAM’s Museum Expo, and how have you seen it evolve?
- Steven Lowry: I have been going to Museum Expo events for 16 years. Over the last few decades, the number of firms that exhibit has grown exponentially.
- Jerry Spangler: I’ve been a member of AAM for 32 years and have attended at least 20 annual events. As with any industry, new technologies continually offer advances in reaching audiences. As a designer and builder, Exhibit Concepts is continually looking to stay ahead of this trend with each exhibit we produce.
- Matt Short: I have been involved with AAM for several decades and have attended more than a dozen annual conferences. During this time, the industry has become more diverse, with more voices being heard both in terms of museums and their partners.
What advice would you give to someone who is attending the expo for the first time?
- Steven Lowry: While I won’t be going this year, I suggest you plan to visit the exhibit hall every day. There is always a lot to see and an opportunity to learn. The more you are on the floor, the more you can grow.
- Jerry Spangler: Gather. Gather. Gather. Take it all in. Attend the sessions, and attend the evening events. Get on the show floor and talk to industry professionals. There’s always something new to learn.
- Aaron Scarlata: As museum professionals wearing many professional hats, there is a lesson to be learned for every role. I encourage attendees to explore the local amenities and museums. See what’s new and what works, and discuss what you would do. Meet as many people from different backgrounds as you can. Make a point to take one thing away from each day that you can use to improve your professional skills and your institution. Be decisive on your intentions and communication. It only takes one great conversation to lead to something meaningful.
- Matt Short: Make sure you talk to as many people as possible. Attend sessions on subjects you are unfamiliar with that can be applied to your career path. There is a lot you can learn.
What can you expect to see and learn from Exhibit Concepts at Museum Expo 2023?
- Jerry Spangler: Museum Expo has the best to offer in professional services for the museum industry, including our offerings at Exhibit Concepts. As a company, we always look to showcase new technologies and creative solutions on the show floor.
- Aaron Scarlata: Exhibit Concepts will invite you to discover us, the story of helping over a dozen institutions bring art, science, education, and history to life using exhibit spaces that foster human connection. From the iconic Airstream Heritage Center to the informative Edwards Aquifer Authority Education Outreach Center, you will learn what a successful partnership with Exhibit Concepts could mean, how we collaborate, and how we deliver on your mission and goals using exhibit experiences.
We hope that you enjoy this year’s Museum Expo. We’re excited to have the chance to network and hope you can learn something from our storytelling approach to design and fabrication. Visit us at booth #1316.
Exhibit Concepts is full of creative and passionate people and has dedicated more than 40 years to providing unique solutions and excellent customer experiences. We are an award-winning event marketing partner that designs and produces experiential environments, including domestic and international trade shows, museums, executive briefing centers, corporate interiors, vehicle marketing and tours, experiential and interactive engagements, creative and design services, and program management. We are passionate about providing custom experiences that create unique connections between our clients and their customers. Exhibit Concepts is one of the largest WBENC-certified organizations in the industry.