Museums+Tech 2020 will be hosted virtually on 9 and 10 December 2020.

Please note: The call for proposals is now closed. Our international Programme Committee will review proposals over the following weeks and you should hear from us in mid to late October. If you have any questions please email us at

This year museums, galleries and other cultural organisations have faced challenges beyond what anyone could have imagined only a year ago. With the onset of COVID-19 and the world going into ‘lockdown’, institutions have been forced to make changes that have never been made before in peacetime. The world was then shaken by the death of George Floyd and the global response of the Black Lives Matter movement with greater calls for the decolonisation of cultural institutions. How museums respond to these crises will shape the future of our organisations. 

This year, cultural organisations have been presented with critical turning points where important decisions will need to be made. Our 2020 virtual conference is asking what role digital can play for museums in a crisis. How can museums and other cultural organisations respond to crisis, both in terms of their collections, programmes, and internally? Do they have what it takes to survive when their doors can no longer open to the public? 

What role can digital play in responding to crisis and how might it be used to respond to issues of colonisation, access and inclusion?   

The MCG’s Museums+Tech 2020 virtual conference seeks proposals for presentations addressing these issues. It’s time to celebrate good work, and share ideas for helping museums and other cultural institutions do better. We’re open to suggestions, but topics might include:

  • How can cultural organisations support their audiences in difficult times?
  • What can cultural organisations do when the physical buildings are not open?
  • How are operational decisions about staff and audiences being made, bearing in mind health and safety considerations?
  • How and what content can cultural organisations bring to people at home?
  • What is digital uniquely placed to do in situations of crisis?
  • Will the crises faced this year reframe digital in a cultural context? How has this situation altered the role and perception of digital in cultural organisations, both by audiences and senior management?
  • What might the future hold for the role of digital in cultural organisations, both during a crisis, and for ‘business as usual’?
  • What role does digital play in meeting operational and business objectives during times of change and crisis, or in helping the organisation shift to new ways of working?

The MCG’s annual conference attracts speakers and participants from some of the most innovative cultural organisations, agencies and university programmes in the world. We’re keen to hear from practitioners, researchers, funders, and those from related cultural heritage and technology sectors. All submitted papers will be reviewed by experts in the field.


The conference this year will be hosted remotely. The programme will include short presentations and lightning talks (which we may group into panels with a discussion component), posters, and themed breakout groups:

  • Short presentations (10 minutes + Q&A) are a great way to share the main learning points from a topic or project
  • Lightning talks (5 minutes + Q&A) are best for sharing useful ideas that others in the sector can try, or to present a provocation
  • Posters (poster shared in advance + 2-minute overview talk + Q&A) are a good way to share your work visually and can be helpful for getting feedback on work in progress
  • Themed breakout groups (5-minute introduction + 20 minutes discussion) will be a chance to interact with a small group of other participants with similar interests and learn from each other
    • We invite you to propose a topic for discussion in a breakout room; following review, we may ask the MCG community to vote on which topics they would like to be included in the conference
    • If your topic is selected, you will be asked to give a 5-minute introductory talk and chair the subsequent discussion

Our audiences love our mixture of old and new voices, and we have a great track record in presenting a diverse range of speakers. We can also provide some bursaries for speakers who would benefit from assistance with funds for travel, childcare etc. Please also read our Guidance for Speakers before submitting your proposal. Our events have a code of conduct designed to help everyone enjoy the event.

Submission details

Proposals will need to note preferred format and include: 

  • a title and brief abstract (200 words max)
  • a biography (150 words max) for the presenting author
  • a brief (one or two sentences) non-technical summary of what attendees will learn from the presentation
  • a brief (one or two sentences) explanation of how the paper relates to the conference themes

We will also ask whether the paper or project has been presented at any previous conferences, and we encourage potential speakers to share links to their videos, slides, blogs etc to help us get a sense of their presentation style.

Proposals deadline

The call for proposals is now closed. Our international Programme Committee will review proposals over the following weeks and you should hear from us in mid to late October. If you have any questions please email us at