South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

SWFed announces conference for 2018


We are delighted to announce that in 2018 our conference will be held at the University of Exeter on 4 & 5 July. The SWFed's annual conference is the networking event for multi-disciplinary practitioners working in the heritage the sector in the whole South West region. The two-day conference will have the theme "Confronting the Challenges: Visits & Collections"

Save the date: the conference will take place on 4 & 5 July 2018

Following feedback from previous events, the structure for the conference is slightly different this year. Day 1 will focus on challenges associated with visits and Day 2 will focus on challenges associated with collections. We are now accepting calls for papers (see below or download our call for papers by clicking here)

Further details, including information about about tickets and the agenda, will be made available over the coming months.

Annie Lucas, Meetings Secretary (conferences), SWFed, said: “We are particularly excited about the 2018 conference. If the heritage sector can keep working to make collections accessible, in the widest sense, everyone will be able to maximise their enjoyment and learning from collections. This conference will provide an opportunity to discuss and share ideas about managing collections and making them accessible for visitors. We look forward to reading the proposals for presentations.”

Anna Bryant, Chair, SWFed, said: “Every year I look forward to the SWFed Conference because I enjoy seeing people in the sector networking, forming new connections, learning, and sharing ideas. With a two day conference you get to have a wide range of conversations with different people. This year, we have chosen a wide-reaching theme that we think will encourage lots of conversation throughout the two days. It will suit people working in or with organisations of any size, from small museums, to national institutions."

Call for papers

The SWFed requests proposals for the third annual 2 day conference to be held again on the campus of the University of Exeter. This year’s conference theme is “Confronting the Challenges: Visits & Collections”

Presentations will explore and discuss issues relating to the contemporary challenges of both accessing collections both physically and intellectually, as well as managing collections within the heritage sector at the present time.

Each day will contain a combination of presentations and workshops that provide valuable CPD opportunities regarding the topic for that day.

All papers will be curated in order to provide an unmissable overarching conference for those able / wishing to attend both days in order to provide the maximum training value to as many delegates as possible.

Possible areas of inquiry include but are not limited to:

  • Access: for visitors / to collections / physical / intellectual
  • Collections management
  • Engaging audiences of any demographic
  • Digital Tech
  • Marketing
  • Interpretation
  • Conservation
  • Fundraising / Income generation
  • Compliance (GDPR is particularly topical for 2018)

Exact timings will be finalised but the draft programme indicates the following timings:

Presentations (except Keynote): 30 minutes

Workshops: 1 hour

Submission Requirements: Individual proposals/abstracts should be no more than 250 words. A clear explanation of the significance of the presentation is requested.

Participants must indicate their job title and/or subject specialism (professor, independent scholar, museums officer, manager, artist, entrepreneur, graduate student, or undergraduate student, member of the SW Emerging Museums Partnership) and provide a tentative title/focus of the workshop and/or individual presentation, along with contact information.

Proposals/Abstracts should be submitted by no later than 11:59 pm on December 10, 2017. Submit electronically to or by postal mail by at the following address:

Annie Lucas

SWFED Events Secretary ( Conference)

19a Henley Crescent

Mount Hawke