We need your expertise!

The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) is requesting proposals for workshops to be held in conjunction with the 2020 annual conference. We seek workshop leaders from a broad range of fields to present half-day or full-day sessions that are lively, interactive and offer participants the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills in studying or enhancing the experiences of visitors in a wide range of institutions.
With the theme of “Navigating the Politics of Visitors Studies,” this year’s conference explores how we strike the balance between different needs and voices in our work.  The everyday negotiations we face influence how we approach projects and tasks, including planning, data collection, analysis, reporting, and implementation of recommendations.  This theme intends to stretch our thinking to talk about the importance of tradition and change; voices from audiences who both are and are not in our target markets; and what both new and tested best practices look like for the field of Visitor Studies.

What might you offer?

We encourage workshop proposals that explore different facets of building the capacity of professionals in the visitor studies field, specifically in relation to the VSA Professional Competencies and the 2020 theme.  Past participants to VSA conference workshops have enjoyed experiences that were participatory or focused on group dialogue. 

We are looking for proposals exploring:

  • Diversity and/or culturally-relevant research or evaluation

  • Creating and sustaining cross-institutional studies

  • Accessibility in/of research and evaluation

  • Grant writing

  • Evaluation tools and methods


Please consider offering half-day workshops, or structure full-day workshops into two half-day workshops, one with a “101” beginner focus and the other with an intermediate/advanced “301” focus. Splitting workshop topics into beginner and intermediate/advanced will widen your workshop’s appeal by allowing professionals to attend the entire day or choose the half that is most appropriate to their skill level and needs. 

Submissions are now closed.

Workshop leaders will receive:

  • 6-hour workshops – One complimentary conference registration. 

  • 3-hour workshops – 50% discount on one conference registration. 

  • If there are multiple workshop presenters, only one person receives a discount or you can choose to split the discount between two presenters.

Proposal Review Process:  

  • Reviewers will evaluate each proposal they receive according to the criteria listed below. 

  • Workshop Chairs may return or reject proposals without review if the proposals do not address all required information.

Proposal reviewers will use the following criteria to provide feedback on each proposal. A summary of strengths and weaknesses and, where appropriate, suggestions for improvements will be sent with your acceptance notification.

  • Clarity of ideas: The proposal is well-written, well-organized, and easy-to-understand.

  • Learning objectives: The proposal outlines useful learning objectives that are realistic within the workshop format.

  • VSA Professional Development Competencies: The proposal describes how the workshop will address one or more VSA Professional Development Competencies.

  • Relevance: The proposal touches on issues that are important to potential VSA conference attendees and will likely attract an audience.

  • Workshop design: The proposed workshop design/curriculum uses a variety of teaching and/or learning techniques that are engaging, educational, and fun.

  • Qualifications of workshop leader(s): The workshop leader(s) are well qualified to conduct their proposed workshop, demonstrated through their training, academic background, and/or professional experience.

  • Cultural sensitivity: The workshop acknowledges and addresses diverse audiences, and is useful for professionals from a wide range of institutions.

Notification Process:

  • Workshop proposals will receive an email notification with decision letters in early March 2020. The letters will include the date and time the workshop has been scheduled.


Questions?  If you have questions or require additional information, please e-mail the VSA Office at [email protected]