Conference


Future OMA Conferences

September 20-22, 2017 - Lawton

September 19-21, 2018 - Edmond

September 18-20, 2019




For more information on hosting a future OMA conference, please send an inquiry email to Brenda Granger

Note: all conference communities must commit to raising at least $7,000 in local funding and/or in-kind services for the conference (not including hotel meeting rooms or other amenities given in exchange for sleeping room reservations).  In addition, it is expected the lodging location will provide two complimentary sleeping rooms for the duration for the OMA staff.

Join us for the 2017 Annual Conference in Lawton, Oklahoma
September 20-22, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn Lawton Fort Sill and Convention Center
Register for the conference here
Hosted by Museum of the Great Plains and Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau

All staff, volunteers and board members of the 526 Oklahoma museums are invited and encouraged to attend the OMA Annual Conference. This year proves to be an exceptional lineup! The conference will take place September 20-22, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn Lawton Fort Sill and Convention Center.  It is hosted by Museum of the Great Plains and Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau. Join us in Lawton as we are learn, discuss, network and have some plain fun this year. 

The conference offers interesting and 18 varied sessions which includes a museum education track, lively and relevant Museum Hack workshop, hands on gourd making workshop, in addition to continuing the awards celebration to Thursday night and concluding the conference by Friday at noon!  A few topics being presented at the conference includes Mobile Museums, Elevating Access, Museums and the Military, Economic Impact pf Cultural Organizations, Working Together, Fundraising, Beyond the Field Trip, Museums and Indigenous Communities, Visitor Engagement, Emerging Professionals, Advocacy, Sensory-Friendly Museum and so much more!

We are having a great keynote session this year by Museum Hack.  They are well known for rethinking the traditional museum experience, draw in and engage new audiences, and help re-imagine museums to ensure visitors connect with museum collections and with each other while having fun!  You will not want to miss this exciting keynote session.

Important Dates
Conference Earlybird Registration Closes August 4, 2017
Hotel Room Block Rate Expires August 21, 2017
Conference Regular Registration Closes August 25, 2017
No On-site Registration Accepted

Conference Registration is OPEN.  
Register for the conference here  (If you preregistered for the conference before December 31, 2016, you received a special conference link with the discounted conference rate. Please do not register with the link on this page.)

View the 2017 Preliminary Program here. Registration rates appear on page 11 of the Preliminary Program.

Mini Workshop and Keynote Session By MuseumHack




Three Conference Workshops
There are three workshops as part of the conference.  Register for one of them today,

Audience Engagement Mini Workshop with Museum Hack
September 20, 2017 12:30pm-4:30pm • Held at Lawton-Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center
Participants are responsible for transportation to/from this workshop.
Cost: $100 OMA members; $120 non-members. Space is very limited and will close when full.  Preregistration is required.  Register here

Are you looking to engage new audiences with your museum, collections and historical records? There’s one investment that can massively increase attendance while investing in your staff’s professional development: storytelling! When you tell great stories, you create a memorable experience and start a powerful viral loop as visitors share their experiences with friends and family. Museum Hack has helped many museums develop the confidence and skills to tell fascinating stories about their institutions, collections and historical records from a place of personal connection and passion.

The Audience Engagement Mini-Workshop will help spark innovative and creative thinking about how to attract and engage audiences of all ages, while investing in your staff and reconnect them to your collections, historical records and mission. Based on their weeklong training program, this 4-hour professional development mini-workshop offers a framework by which institutions can begin to incorporate the techniques into their spaces to bring in new audiences and re-engage with existing ones. Your staff will learn techniques for high-level audience engagement, including storytelling skills and activity design. They’ll uncover how Museum Hack approaches museums from a narrative perspective, with examples of their work at other institutions that dig for the non-traditional, and truly human, elements of spaces, objects and historical records in order to tell fascinating, passion-based stories and create stronger connections between audiences and institutions. Preregistration and fee required for mini-workshop. This mini-workshop is sponsored by Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board with funding support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Speaker: Museum Hack

Mining Your Collections for Facebook Gold Workshop
September 20, 2017 1:00pm-4:00pm • Held at Lawton-Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center
Participants are responsible for transportation to/from this workshop.
Cost: $25 OMA members; $45 non-members. Preregistration is required.  Register here

Don’t have a social media team at your institution? Learn how to harness the power of Facebook and strengthen your brand, even with limited time and resources. With more than 1 billion active users monthly, Facebook is a free platform that allows you to share information and interact with a large community.

This session will provide many tips and tools to implement at your museum, including how to use your museum collections to create Facebook posts. These proven techniques are simple enough for one staff member to undertake, in addition to their (many!) other job duties. Use your social media presence to engage your local community, grow your audience, and interact with other institutions.

Learn how to: Decide what/when to post; Use your museum and archival collections to create unique and relevant content; Tailor posts to your community, solicit interaction, and facilitate public involvement; Respond to inquiries, public comments, and negative feedback; Use Facebook Insights to retain, engage, and grow your audience; Get measurable results

The workshop will also include a brief tutorial for some of Facebook’s paid advertising options—sponsored content, boosting posts, targeting audiences, and more. The process is very simple and can be extremely useful for museums with small marketing budgets. Social media is here to stay, so don’t let your institution get left behind! Audience participation will be encouraged throughout the workshop, and all attendees will be provided with a handout of useful tips at its conclusion. Bring your laptop for a hands-on experience.
Speakers: Evelyn Moxley, Assistant Editor of Publications, Oklahoma Historical Society; Jennifer Frazee, Historical Interpreter, Murrell Home Historic Site, Oklahoma Historical Society

Gourd Stitching Workshop
September 22, 2017 8:00am-12:00pm • Held at Museum of the Great Plains, 601 NW Ferris Avenue, Lawton
Participants are responsible for transportation to/from this workshop.
Cost: $65 OMA members; $85 Non-members. Preregistration is required.  Register here

In this 4-hour class led by John Hernandez, gourd artist and Executive Director of the Museum of the Great Plains, students will learn how to transform an ordinary gourd into a unique expression of your own creativity. Techniques include stitching and weaving pine needles, demonstrations of applying ink dyes, and information about the use of tools. The class is suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. Registration includes gourds and supplies.
Speaker: John Hernandez, Executive Director, Museum of the Great Plains


2017 Conference Sponsors (to date)
Oklahoma Arts Council
Kirkpatrick Family Fund
Museum of the Great Plains
Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau
Lawton - Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn 
Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center
Elliott + Associates Architects
ITIN Museum Services
Jasmine Moran Children's Museum
Martin&Martin Design
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Oklahoma Historical Records Advisory Board
Oklahoma Museums Association Board of Directors
Route 66 Alliance
Sam Noble Museum
University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies
Vann & Associates | PR + Marketing

Want to be a conference sponsor?  View sponsorship information here


2017 Conference Exhibitors (to date)
Certified Folder Display Service, Inc.
Elliott + Associates Architects
Exhibit Concepts, Inc.
ITIN Museum Services 
Martin&Martin Design
ReLiveItAR
Southwest Solutions Group, Inc.
The Donning Company Publishers
University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies
University of Oklahoma Press
University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies
Vann & Associates

Download the OMA Conference exhibitor information packet here. Space is limited.

Conference Information

Awards Program

2017 Award Winners here

Continuing this year is an enhanced celebration to recognize award recipients which will be held the evening of Thursday, September 21 in Lawton, Oklahoma at the Lawton - Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn. This celebration is part of the OMA Annual Conference. The evening includes dinner with cash bar and an uplifting awards presentation. The awards celebration is included with full registration for the OMA Annual Conference and separate tickets for the celebration only are available for purchase for $45 each.  The awards celebration will begin at 6pm.

Purchase OMA awards celebration tickets for $45 each here


Conference Hotel

Conference sessions are located at the Lawton - Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn. Transportation is on your own to off site events. Conference attendees should book their lodging as soon as possible.

Lawton - Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn 
135 NW 2nd Street
Lawton, OK 76501

Phone 1.580.280.2100

When making a reservation, indicate you are with the Oklahoma Museums Association (OMA) conference to receive the following rate. Conference rate must be booked by calling the hotel directly at 1.580.280.2100 and asking for the OMA group discount. Deadline to book at conference rate is August 21, 2017.

Rate of $91.00 + tax for single or double. Rate includes complimentary Wi-Fi, outdoor pool with whirlpool, 24-hour fitness center, 24-hour business center, and a full-service restaurant and bar on the property. Rate does not include breakfast.

NOTICE:  The Lawton - Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn is the ONLY contracted hotel for the OMA conference.  If any conference participant is contacted by a business or organization claiming they are booking rooms for the OMA Expo, please know this is not true.  OMA Conference participants are asked to book their rooms directly with the Lawton - Fort Sill Hilton Garden Inn, contact information below.

Conference Scholarships

Conference Scholarship Deadline July 21, 2017 for speakers and participants.  OMA members can apply here

Conference Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received by August 25 are eligible for a refund unless otherwise noted. Cancellations received after the registration deadline are non-refundable.  All cancellations must be in writing.  Participant substitutions are accepted at any time.  OMA is not responsible for cancellations sent but not received.

OMA reserves the right to cancel a program at any time.  In the event of such a cancellation, participants will receive a full registration refund.  OMA is not responsible for any expenses, travel or otherwise, incurred as a result of participation in our cancellation of a program.

Consent to Use Photographic Images

Registration and attendance at or participation in OMA conference and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to OMA's use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image.