Washington D.C. welcomes you to our next National Docent Symposium, October 24 to 27, 2019.

Join us as we Capitalize on Experience, coming together to share our collective expertise so that we all may grow and improve in our craft and offer our visitors our very best. At about 400 volunteers strong, representing art, history and science institutions this year’s event will brim with new discoveries. Outside the conference rooms, you’ll find much to discover as well. From its rich heritage, unmatched cultural, historical and political institutions to the beauty of its architecture, gardens and green spaces you’ll leave D.C. feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to capitalize on your own experiences.


Call for Workshop and Showcase of Ideas Presentations

Workshop Presentations (also known as breakout presentations)

The deadline for Workshop/Breakout submissions has passed. We’d like to thank those of you who have made submissions. If your presentation has been accepted, you will be notified by 15 November.

There is still time to submit to the Showcase of Ideas, the deadline for which is October 15th. (see below)

If you’ve made a submission and have questions about it, please email breakout@nds2019.org.


Showcase of Ideas Presentations

We also want to celebrate your museum's innovative ideas!  Showcase of Ideas is a perfect chance to let all Symposium attendees capitalize on your experience.  Each of up to 20 accepted proposals will be provided with a table at the Mayflower Hotel reception Thursday, October 24, 2019, where presenters will exhibit and share a program or idea that has successfully benefited their museum’s docents and visitors. Table presentations could include posters, brochures, interactive media or simply conversation.

Past Showcase of Ideas presentations have included: Tours and Technology for Teens,Developing a Docent Enews, and Tours for Visitors with Alzheimer’s.
What programs have you used that may benefit other museums? We look forward to hearing from you.

Click here to apply to join this group of innovative presenters.

Deadline to apply is extended to October 15, 2018.

Questions?  Email showcase@nds2019.org


Again, you’ll find applications for both Workshops and Showcase of Ideas above on the Presenter Information / Application tab.  

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What's New

Keynote Speaker:
NDS2019 has selected Augustus Casely-Hayford, the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art as the keynote speaker for our opening dinner on 24 October 2019.
[Read More]

Symposium Speakers:
We’re pleased to announce that Karleen Gardner, Director, Learning and Innovation at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), will be our Luncheon Speaker on 26 October.
[Read More]


Contact the DC Symposium: