The Call for Proposals is open April 26 – June 9, 2023.  

Call for Proposals

CAM is already hard at work planning for the 2024 conference, set to take place from March 10–14 in Long Beach. We look forward to highlighting best practices and innovative ideas from California's museum community at CAM 2024, and the call for proposals is open from April 26 – June 9, 2023. Looking for some guidance on what to propose? We are open to a wide range of topics, but in the CAM 2023 post-conference survey, attendees shared that they'd like to see more sessions with content centered in: DEAI, exhibition work, decolonization, Native voices, registration and collections, and small museums.

CAM's Program Committee will be seeking submissions for case studies, panel sessions, discussions, workshops, creative stations, and local tours on these topics and more. Let your work and ideas shine!

Proposals will be accepted from April 26, 2023 – June 9, 2023.

Join us for Office Hours: May 31, June 2, & June 5 

Looking to learn more about how to build a successful conference proposal? Drop in during our upcoming office hours on May 31, June 2, and June 5 from 12:00–1:00PM and chat with CAM Program Committee members about your proposal ideas. Get invaluable advice directly from the people who review, score, and select the sessions for CAM's annual conference. Zoom registration links for each office hours are below; you are welcome to attend as many as you like. Each session will have different members of CAM's Program Committee available to speak with.

Wednesday, May 31 12:00–1:00PM

Friday, June 2 12:00–1:00PM

Monday, June 5 12:00–1:00PM

CAM Program Committee Goal

The Program Committee’s overall goal is to produce interesting, useful, thought-provoking, relevant and interactive programs that: 

  •  explore internal trends or external factors that affect the future of California museums
  •  discuss “best practices” in museums and strategies for achieving excellence
  •  model strategies for other museums to learn from these experiences. 

The sessions at the CAM conference should provide information or experiences that assist employees and volunteers in California museums to better perform their duties, organize engaging educational experiences, stay engaged in their profession, protect their collections, obtain necessary resources, and/or serve their communities. The most successful sessions and workshops at CAM conferences feature:

  • deep dives into issues or trends
  • real and scalable solutions
  • multiple case studies that are candid, relevant to museums of varying sizes, and honest about lessons learned
  • compelling, organized, and knowledgeable presenters
  • active engagement and involvement of program participants (not just “talking heads”).

Proposers are encouraged to represent the diversity of the museum field in their proposals. This diversity includes the geographical region, size, discipline, and age of the institutions represented on the panel as well as the race/ethnicity, ages, and genders of the presenters. Curious about how the proposals are scored? View the Proposal Scoring Criteria.

Available Program Formats

Individual or Institutional Case Study (20–30 minutes): An individual or institutional case study is a 20- to 30-minute spotlight of a program or activity and is typically presented by a single individual who led the activity. Case studies offer opportunities for presenters to give specific details while keeping the content concise and interesting.

Panel Session (60–75 minutes):  Traditionally, panel sessions have a moderator or a facilitator plus a maximum of three other speakers, often with contrasting perspectives, institutions, or experiences. The moderator or facilitator introduces the topic and helps create discussion or introduces the various presenters and their perspectives. The moderator may also serve as one of the presenters. The session concludes with a general question and answer period or other type of interactive experience.

Roundtable Discussions (1 hour): Roundtable Discussions are highly participatory programs in a small group setting that focus on sharing ideas on a specific topic, trend, or case study. They feature only one facilitator who introduces the topic and leads the discussion. The number of participants typically vary from 5 to 20 or more, depending on the schedule and topic. Roundtable discussion proposals may be selected as topics for dialogue dinners/lunches (see below) and/or as conference sessions.

Dialogue Dinner or Lunch (1.5–2 hours): Dialogue dinners/lunches are highly participatory events in small group settings that focus on discussion and sharing ideas on a specific topic, trend, or case study. Dialogue dinner/lunch facilitators lead the discussion among a group of 8-10 individuals who sign up in advance to participate in a selected topic. Please note that the program could include Dialogue Dinners OR Lunches. This decision will be finalized once the program and conference events are set. Use the proposal form for Discussions if you wish to propose a Dialogue Lunch/Dinner.

Pre-Conference Workshop (1/2 day or full day): A workshop is a hands-on, participatory learning experience. Pre-conference workshops are offered as half- or full-day experiences on the first day of the conference, and are most often hosted by museums in the area. They usually require a separate fee to attend, set by the workshop organizer. CAM will help arrange a host site with the local museums. The proposer/organizer needs to make arrangements with the host site and CAM staff for set-up, participant lunch, and/or other necessary logistics. CAM contacts those submitting workshop proposals to gather additional questions, such as anticipated length of time, cost, etc.

Submit your Proposals

If you want to see it, propose it! Proposers are encouraged to submit multiple proposals on a variety of topics that are relevant to their field of work. Our submission forms are handled through Wufoo, and we encourage using a Proposal Prep Form to collect all of your information in one place to make your submission process easier. The prep forms contain all of the fields the Wufoo form has, with space for you/your group to work on your responses before your final submission. View all the Proposal Prep Form types.

Submit a Panel Session, Case Study, or Discussion Proposal

Submit a Workshop Proposal


Contact Rochelle Hoffman at [email protected] with questions or if you need assistance with your proposal. CAM’s Program Committee members are located throughout the state and are an excellent resource for proposal assistance.