Consider Hosting a Symposium

Hosting a Symposium, Montreal 2017 NDS

A personal account by Grace Powell, Managing Co-Chair

As a docent/guide, you make a difference to so many visitors by sharing your love and knowledge of your museum's collections. Why not consider sharing and providing a stimulating experience for your American and Canadian docents/guides by holding one of the biennial Symposia in your city? Let me share with you our experience in Montreal.

We all guide – but what came as a surprise was the immense pool of talent and expertise among our guides in so many different areas, all needed for a successful biennial National Docent Symposium. Personally, I can say that the organizational talent and specific task expertise of the co-chairs, plus their hard work & focus on the goal of achieving a successful Symposium ensured the success of the 2017 NDS in Montreal. According to the survey taken, the objective of delivering three days in which the delegates leave feeling their time was well spent in learning and sharing best guiding practices, was met.

The National Docent Symposium Council was there to support us and the co-chairs from previous Symposia were a vital source of information in all aspects.

Close relationships were formed within the Museum and our Guide Association as we worked together on multiple levels. Off-site workshops were organized at our museum with our Education department. The first night hosted at our museum engaged multiple departments and their contacts. The desire to share our museum, city and learning opportunities was enthusiastically supported by the Board of Trustees as well as our director Natalie Bondil and the guides and the executive of our Volunteer Guide Association.

Working closely with other museums within our community enhanced the relationship between our and other Montreal museums. The wider Montreal community became involved through our fundraising activities.

From my perspective, the time, energy and effort to host the symposium has brought only positive results in every aspect imaginable. Was it hard work and time consuming? Definitely yes. But the rewards have far outweighed that aspect – and the warm glow and positive acknowledgement has continued and leads me to say – do it! The challenge and the rewards make it all worthwhile.

Contact Madelyn Mayberry, National Docent Symposium Council VP, to find out more about the possibility of hosting a symposium. info@nationaldocents.org

Montreal Chairs

Co Chairs: Patricia Wenzel-Ades, Louise Gauthier, Diane Massicotte and Managing Co Chair: Grace Powell