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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2014 RR Cover v3

Museum Store Association Releases 2014 Industry Retail Report

Denver – October 20, 2014 – The Museum Store Association (MSA) has released the 2014 MSA Retail Industry Report: Financial, Operations, Salary, and Best Practices Information for the Nonprofit Retail Industry. The report provides benchmarks, offers insight and enables nonprofit retail professionals, vendors, service providers and institutions to make smart business decisions. MSA undertakes a […]


Jama Rice

Associations are People Too

Did you know there’s an association for associations? I attended the 2014 American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) annual meeting in Nashville in August. As senior managers of associations gathered from all over the world, the trends that are affecting professional societies and trade organizations were the topic of many conversations and sessions. While many […]


Kathryn Rush

Hi MSA Members! I need some help making the case for an exhibition store. Please share any sale numbers that you are able. I am specifically looking for support for selling the exhibition catalog within the exhibit. Casually managers have shared with me that their catalogs sales doubled when they were made available within the exhibit. Please send me any concrete facts that will help me make the case.

Kathryn Rush Harn Museum of Art
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
 Molly Brunell

Hi Everyone. My Museum increased our admission prices this month in all categories. There had not been a change in our prices in the last five years. The plan is for the admission prices to be higher during the busiest months of the year, with the off months having a slight increase in pricing from what we had previously. My question is for those of you who have experienced admission price increases, have they impacted your per cap? Our off season price has increased by $1 to $2 and our high season price increased by $3 to $4. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

Molly BrunellThe National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
Christine Gardner

I have been asked to meet with our CEO and Finance department to discuss how we might expand our branded offerings in the store and throughout the organization.  We have a very small store and I have to be very strategic about what gets shelf space.  Can those of you who sell branded/logo   merchandise in your stores, especially art museum stores, tell me what types of items sell best?  What items have not moved well for you?   I’ve been in position less than a year and  have not  yet  created any branded merchandise.

Christine GardnerArtis-Naples