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2018 OMA Annual Conference - Evaluation results


We had 70 attendees and 32 evaluation responses, for a 46% response rate. The survey featured 14 questions and included feedback about the conference, basic demographics, and questions about future OMA events. 

Overall, respondents enjoyed the conference, networked with colleagues and learned something. Attendees highlighted the small size (“These intimate conferences are a gem!”), and welcoming, open and friendly atmosphere as key to their enjoyment of the conference.

In response to “which presentations were most relevant/interesting,” every presentation was chosen by at least one respondent. A few negative comments were mostly about technical issues such as sound quality.


Respondents were mostly female (69%) and White (81%). Males comprised 28% of respondents; 9% were Native American or Alaskan Native; and 3% each East Asian or Asian American and Middle Eastern or Arab American.

Work history

Almost half of all respondents were in their early career path (3% students, 44% working 1-5 years). Those mid-career (5-10 years) were 22%; 16% of respondents worked 10-20 years and 9% over 20 years.

Most respondents (77%) were attending their first OMA Conference; 10% were attending their second OMA conference; and 13% had attended more than 4.

Half of respondents (56%) worked full-time (paid) in museums, 9% worked part-time (paid), 9% were volunteers, and 9% worked for themselves (unpaid).

Conference experience

We asked questions based on our goals for the conference and the mission of OMA, which are to provide networking opportunities and offer professional development. When asked what aspects of the conference helped them with networking, most respondents mentioned personal, interactive activities such as the lunch (72%), icebreaker activities (63%) and no-host dinners and reception (59%). Respondents also appreciated resources for networking, such as list of attendees (34%), I have, I want easels (16%) and the resource table (13%).

When asked what aspect of the conference helped them with professional development/learning opportunities/practical resources, most respondents cited the sessions (84%) and keynote speaker (81%), and a third mentioned the resource table (31%).

Pre-conference activities

Most respondents (83%) did not attend any pre-conference tours, citing mostly time and scheduling restraints (79%). Those who did attend (17%) said it was mostly as an interest and learning experience. One person commented that perhaps we should charge a small fee for the pre-conference tours (“What if you had a small fee, but it was refundable or could be put towards a drink ticket at an evening event to encourage people show up?”).

No-host dinners and reception

Most respondents (70%) attended one of the no-host dinners or the reception, and most of those (57%) noted that it was a relaxed and casual way to continue networking with attendees.

Future OMA events

We asked respondents to give us feedback about the 2019 Annual Conference to be held in John Day, OR, as well as the 2019 Spring Workshop. Responses were varied for these questions, but many respondents mentioned having tours/sessions with local museums, including Kam Wah Chung, Fossil Beds and the Condon Visitor Center. Interest in the 2019 Conference was high, with 48% of respondents saying they will come to the conference, and 44% saying they hoped to or would try to. Only 7% said they would not, as John Day was too far to travel.

When asked about the 2018 Spring Workshop, several people mentioned having a collections-related workshop that was hands-on.


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Oregon Museums Association

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