1. What are the dates for NDS2019 in Washington, DC?

October 24-27, 2019

2. Who is the sponsoring museum/institution?

The event is being held in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Art Museums.

3. When will registration for NDS2019 be available?

We anticipate opening on-line reservations on 1 May 2019

4. Who can attend this Symposium?

NDS attendees are docents, guides and educators from cultural institutions around the world. As we want a broad range of participating institutions, below are the guidelines for attendance:

  • Up to four delegates per museum may register for the Symposium as “regular” docent delegates. One of these four may be a staff member.   
  • Presenters at the Symposium may attend in addition to the four delegates representing the museum.  
  • Past and present National Docent Symposium Council members are considered “Honorary” delegates and can attend in addition to the four “regular” delegates a museum designates. 

Should space become available, registration of additional delegates will commence in summer, 2019. Additional delegates are any delegates in addition to the four regular delegates, presenters or honorary delegates per museum. 

Registration Policy for Local Presenters (Washington metro area)

To allow maximum participation from docents outside the Washington metropolitan area, only three delegates will be accepted from any local museum, excluding presenters and NDSC members.  At least one local Breakout presenter must be registered for the full Symposium.  The co-presenters of the registered local presenter may register for the full Symposium but also have the option to attend the presentation only and no other events at the Symposium without charge.

Local presenters at the Showcase of Ideas are encouraged to register and enjoy the full symposium but also have the option to present at the Showcase of Ideas and attend no other events at the Symposium without charge.

5. What is the cost of the meeting?

Registration for the 2019 Symposium is $480 per person.   This registration fee covers all meals, transportation for events related to the symposium, admission fees at participating cultural institutions and AV costs for the symposium. Moreover, you will be provided with delegate handbooks, pens, and notebooks – everything you will need to enjoy the Symposium.  Pre-Symposium tours are optional and are not included in the Symposium registration fee.  

Transportation to Washington as well as hotel accommodations are not covered (though we have secured discounted hotel rooms for meeting attendees)

6. Where is the headquarters hotel?

The Mayflower Hotel is in downtown Washington, DC at 1127 Connecticut Ave., NW (202-347-3000). Information on reserving a room will be part of the registration process when registration is ‘opened’.

7. I’d like to begin planning my trip to Washington. Where may I get information?

Please see our section on PLANNING YOUR VISIT.

8. How does one get to the symposium hotel when traveling from out-of-town?

The Mayflower Hotel is two blocks from the Farragut North Metro stop on the system’s red line. 
The hotel is convenient to three major airports – Baltimore Washington (BWI) Airport (about 36 miles, $70 taxi fare), Dulles International (IAD) Airport (about 30 miles, $65 taxi fare), and Ronald Reagan National (DCA) Airport (about 5 miles, $18 taxi fare). BWI and Dulles offer shuttles into DC. Dulles and Reagan are Metro accessible.

There are regional bus companies (such as Vamoose, Megabus, Boltbus, Tripper Bus) that offer frequent trips into Washington, DC with a variety of pick up and drop off and points. Washington, DC is also served by the national bus companies such as Trailways and Greyhound.

Amtrak train service is available at DC’s Union Station which is on Metro’s red line.

App driven car services such as Uber and Lyft are popular short ride options.

9. I will be traveling with my spouse/significant other. Will he/she be able to attend any events?

Due to size of many of the venues, we do not anticipate being able to include any guests traveling with registered members in symposium activities, though this may change based on initial responses. We will notify registered delegates should this policy change.

10. How far is the meeting hotel from museums and other Washington activities?

The hotel is 1.5 miles from the Washington Monument (center of the National Mall) and 2.4 miles from the U.S. Capitol (east end of the Mall). There is good cab service from the hotel to local sights as well as Uber and Lyft service. The DC Circulator bus service also provides ready access to most areas of downtown Washington and the Mall (http://www.dccirculator.com/circulator-map-and-information-guide/)  Washington also has an excellent bus and subway system, easily accessible from the Mayflower Hotel (https://www.wmata.com/).

11. I have specific questions about the symposium. Is there someone with whom I may talk?

Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will attempt to contact you by email within 2-3 days.

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Keynote Speaker:
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