A Chat With Mickey Maley

Continuing with our coverage of the 2014 Visitor Experience Conference, we spoke with Mickey Maley, EMP Board Member and PVEC presenter, to get his take on the event. Mickey will next be presenting as part of a ten person panel on special event education planning at the Association of Science and Technology Centers annual conference on Sunday, October 19 in Raleigh, NC.

What drew you to PVEC?

PVEC presented me with an opportunity to stretch my professional skills.  I have been working within a new and impactful staff and volunteer training program, and I felt it had greater impacts for the field as everything we do in education at The Franklin Institute is visitor experience focused.  PVEC was the perfect opportunity.

How did your session go?

Attendees at Mickey's Power in Numbers session discussing volunteer training techniques Photo by Mickey Maley

Attendees at Mickey’s Power in Numbers session discussing volunteer training techniques
Photo by Mickey Maley

I felt my session went well for me.  It met my needs – opportunity to connect, dialogue with like-minded individuals, share successes and opportunities for growth. I was pleased to hear how many others enjoyed the experience as well. I do hope for those I did not get a chance to speak to got something from it as well, and could have feedback for me on how to improve.

What other sessions did you attend?

I attended Visitors Services On Your Toes with Gigi Naglak and Emma Max, Lessons Learned From Managing a Multi-Dimensional Front Line Staff with Krista Dahl Kusuma and Marco Castro, the Keynote with Jessica Sharpe, the Signature Session with Hillary Olson, and sat with the Potluck Roundtable facilitated by April O’Brien.

What would you say were the top three takeaways you got from this conference?

First, it is interesting the multitude of ways a visitor experience can be defined and ultimately achieved, and that it isn’t necessarily driven by the content of your institution.
Second, I came away with knowing a lot is being done to advance the visitor experience, and that by continuing cross institutional work we can push the field forward.
Lastly, my overall top takeaway from this experience is this conference has an amazing opportunity to grow.  There is nothing else that directly connects to only the visitor experience.  National conferences try to touch on it, but a full day’s worth of content does not exist anywhere else.  People are professionally starving for this type of opportunity.
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