35th Annual Visitors Studies Association Conference

 Registration is closed for this event

35th Annual Visitor Studies Association Conference
Inclusive Practice: Broadening the Field by Welcoming New Perspectives
Virtual • July 11-13, 2023

As the Visitor Studies Association reflects on the pressing need for inclusivity, transparency, and service to communities, we must examine our focus on the academic notion of rigor that has often come at the expense of the breadth of insights and perspectives gained. It is essential to broaden the field of Visitor Studies, by recognizing those not regarded as “researchers” or “evaluators” within our organizations who can offer a valuable lens into our broader communities. Often, our institutions include staff who have frequent direct interactions with our visitors, and may even be seated within the communities we aim to serve. By collaborating with diverse stakeholders, we can elevate these unique viewpoints and benefit from new knowledge and perspectives. This year’s conference aims to welcome more voices to the table and work together to better understand and engage audiences.

At the 2023 virtual conference, new and returning attendees will need to confront exclusionary practices and discuss ways to broaden the field by examining evaluative insights from staff and volunteers not traditionally included in evaluation. By acknowledging and welcoming the experience, skill, and knowledge that all staff and individuals provide, we can gain rich and meaningful insights into our visitors and surrounding communities. In doing so, we can guide our organizations and leadership to best understand and benefit our broader communities, not just those we see as visitors. This requires us to examine our work and ask difficult questions such as:

  • How can we benefit from diverse perspectives, both in our organizations and communities at large?
  • Who can collect data, and what is considered good data?
  • What counts as evidence, and from whom?
  • How can we broaden the field to support more meaningful community engagement?

This year’s conference will require challenging conversations, elevating and welcoming new and emerging perspectives, as well as introspection on our roles in addressing these gaps in amplifying diverse voices. To accomplish this, VSA must acknowledge our own position in perpetuating exclusionary practices and embrace more ways of sharing power and authority in visitor studies, research, and evaluation. We must come together to identify areas of reform and consideration in order to elevate the perspectives and experiences of diverse groups, not limited to visitors.

July 11th, 2023 11:15 AM to July 13th, 2023 5:45 PM
Event Fee(s)
Regular Registration
Member $350.00
Non-Member $470.00
Student $50.00