The 2015 MSA Annual Conference & Expo brings museum store buyers and vendors together in Hartford for three days of learning, shopping and fun!

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MSA vendors are the trusted business partners of hundreds of museum store buyers across the globe.

The 2015 MSA Retail Conference & Expo is designed to help nonprofit retail professionals succeed at the balancing act they perform every day with four days of dynamic learning sessions and opportunities to connect with select MSA vendors who offer products matched with the museum store industry. Learning sessions are presented by the leading thinkers in nonprofit retailing who share the knowledge you need to run your store, meet the needs of management, make the most out of challenges, be a leader and through retailing contribute to your institution’s brand and extend the experience of your visitors.


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  • Connect

    Network with more than 300 colleagues during receptions, member luncheon and awards, and more receptions.

  • Learn

    More than 20 educational sessions will cover inventory best practices, marketing, financial management, merchandise planning and more.
    Fantastic opening and closing keynotes will inspire your work as a nonprofit retail professional.
    A guided excursion to Hartford’s historic and fantastic museums will give you new ideas.

  • Do Business

    Connect with more than 200 vendors with merchandise aligned with the museum industry.
    Shop for three days and connect with MSA vendors. The best business relationships are born at the MSA Conference & Expo.
    The product development marketplace highlights products developed by museum stores.


The Museum Store Association Individual Membership gives you access to the knowledge, resources and community you need to create a thriving, revenue-producing store that supports the greater mission of your institution—and the greater mission of YOU! Through MSA, nonprofit retail professionals connect with a select group of vendors who support the association and whose products support your buying and branding strategies.

  • Online and in-person learning sessions throughout the year.
  • MSA Certificate Program for your continued career growth.
  • Connections with MSA vendors who supply high quality, distinctive products for the museum store space.
  • Your membership is yours—it goes wherever you go.
  • Online networking with ShopTalk, MSA’s online community.
  • Members save on popular MSA publications and the Industry Retail Report.
  • Discounts on books, events, learning sessions and at member museum stores.
  • Museum Store magazine, Weekly News Brief and quarterly member newsletter.

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Board Appoints 2nd Vice President

The Board of Directors of the Museum Store Association (MSA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Steiner, Retail Operations Manager at The Barnes Foundation, as Second Vice President for the 2015/16 term. The second vice president serves a three-year term, serving as board president in the final term. “Julie’s appointment as incoming second […]



Why I Invest

I invest time writing customer service and sales training programs. Why? Because the payoff is that my customers will be well serviced. I invest time in developing products that reflect the Kennedy Center. Why? Because those are the proprietary products that support our mission and can produce additional margins. I invest time in writing a […]


  Jane M. Riley

Our museum is a regional history museum in the Historic Downtown area of Manassas, VA. Naturally, Civil War is a big part of what people come to see. However, we see our visitation waning each year. We are hoping to do some upgrades in the gallery to make it more kid-friendly and use some technology. But as of now, it is rather “old school.” We also have a long hallway that we do rotating exhibits about three times a year. I host book talks once or twice a month to get people in the door and that has proved to be successful. We are on Facebook, through the City (we are owned by the City of Manassas.) We send out monthly postcards of our events. I’m looking for any other ideas to help increase our visitation.

Jane M. RileyManassas Museum Store
Rick Grossman

I come from traditional retail—you either discount over “Black Friday” weekend or dust cobwebs. When there are so many stores discounting, you can always hit the non-discounting store any other day. You’re always stuck between the risk of losing sales or losing margin. Last year with average monthly sales of about $9k, we did almost $3.4k on the three day weekend alone. My experience from traditional retail says to have a good sale to compete and increase total sales and total profit (margin). But if I get no additional customers and the regular shoppers aren’t incented to buy more, I’ve just reduced the profit on the regular sales. In the Museum Store world, do you bring in additional customers with a well-advertised sale? Do customers spend more money when there is a sale?

Rick GrossmanMuseum of History & Industry
Pamela Hannah

The San Antonio Children’s Museum is charting a new future which includes a new name, direction and a transformed facility! With these changes, we have an opportunity to set new goals and vision for our museum store and are now looking to craft a museum store mission statement that aligns with our new direction. Would anyone have some advice to offer on creating a museum store mission statement and/or share your museum store mission statement as an example? Thank you for sharing your knowledge and insight!

Pamela HannahSan Antonio Children’s Museum
Jennifer Barnella

Phoenix Art Museum will be hosting an exhibition this coming Spring featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester. This particular codex is essentially a collection of Leonardo’s notes and observations on water, astronomy and geology. This is the first time an item from the hand of Leonardo will be shown in Arizona. Needless to say, this is very big and exciting for us! I would love to speak with anyone who has hosted a Leonardo exhibition in the past, especially if it included a codex notebook. If you are willing to share, I would love to know what you sold, what did well, what didn’t, etc. I also welcome any product suggestions from others as we are just beginning to put our merchandise plan together and I’m desperately trying to wrap by brain around all the different directions we can go with this. Thanks to everyone, as always, and long live Shoptalk!

Jennifer BarnellaPhoenix Art Museum