Annual Meeting and Michigan History Conference

Michigan History Conference Is Going Virtual!

The 146th annual Michigan History Conference will not only include fascinating information about our state’s past and the stories of its peoples but also make history

The Friday & Saturday, October 2 & 3, 2020, annual meeting will be the first-ever 100 percent virtual history conference to be organized and hosted by the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM).

“We believe, that by taking full advantage of HSM’s state-of-the-art communications technology that was built into our newly renovated Meijer Center for Michigan History, we can create a powerful and meaningful conference experience even if we cannot safely gather together in the normal way this year,” said Larry J. Wagenaar, HSM’s executive director and CEO. “Our team did not like having to cancel two of our conferences this year and has been working to develop a virtual format that would match the rich experiences our conferences have become known for so we could avoid any future cancelations. During this health crisis, we have seen remote attendance for our online-only history lectures and workshops grow significantly as more people become comfortable using the technology.”

online-conf4Last year’s Michigan History Conference, which normally moves to a different physical location each year, attracted a record 350 attendees in Ludington. As the pandemic swept across the nation this spring, HSM canceled two of its 2020 history conferences due to stay-at-home orders: the Michigan in Perspective: The Local History Conference in metro Detroit in March (720 attendees in 2019) and the Upper Peninsula History Conference (250 attendees in 2019), which had been scheduled for June.

While some details remain to be worked out for the 2020 Virtual Michigan History Conference, many of the elements of what had originally been planned as an in-person Lansing-based event will be at the heart of the new online conference. In addition, virtual history-based tours and workshops will be offered, along with virtual breakout rooms where exhibitors can let attendees know about their history-focused organizations and activities. The annual State History Awards will also be presented as part of the 2020 Virtual Michigan History Conference.

online-conf2“While endeavoring to keep familiar elements for our many repeat conference-goers, we are excited to debut some new features based on the capabilities of digital technology,” Wagenaar said. “For example, post-session virtual chat rooms will allow for some of the social interaction of past conferences as people talk with each other about what they have learned.”

Information about session content, how to register and pricing for the conference will be available soon on this page. The full slate of programming will be shared with potential registrants in the form of a virtual booklet e-mailed to a wide distribution list.

Future Conferences

147th Annual Meeting and Michigan History Conference
September 24-26, 2021

148th Annual Meeting and Michigan History Conference
September 23-25, 2022

149th Annual Meeting and Michigan History Conference
September 22-24, 2023
Ypsilanti, MI – Eastern Michigan University


Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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