At the end of the year, we become focused on so many things; 4th quarter sales, celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and co-workers, and what resolution or goal to attain in the New Year. Sometimes we gaze in the rear-view mirror of life and get a glimpse of the rare opportunities we missed. Today I was reminded not to focus on the one missed opportunity but to recount life’s extraordinary moments.
For MSA in 2023, we have gained financial stability that has led to growth and a solid plan for the future. As we assess the year, you’ll see that while we are a small organization, we are mighty! Thanks to our amazing staff, board of directors, and you for making all that we achieved possible.
This past year we continued to cultivate relationships with strategic partners like ANDMORE (formerly International Market Centers (IMC), the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), the Association of Cultural Enterprises (ACE), and for the second year, hosted our MSA FORWARD in conjunction with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). MSA FORWARD 2023 AGAIN exceeded our expectations and for the first time, we offered exhibitors an opportunity to reserve their booth space for Baltimore, MD 2024 on the last day of the conference in Denver!
Some of our 2023 accomplishments include:
*The Board of Directors presented a new strategic plan for 2023-2026, updating MSA’s mission and vision statements, setting timelines for key objectives and milestones, and outlining a process structure to ensure accountability among other important considerations.
*MSA FORWARD 2023 in Denver received rave reviews this year with a 15% increase in booth registrations and, an 8% increase in attendees from 2022, and booths are nearly sold out for Baltimore 2024! We are also proud to announce our first Title Sponsor for MSA FORWARD 2024 – Thank you EcoKids!
*Our MSA community is now more than 2,200 members strong!
*MSA’s website received a refresh and a new platform in November 2023. The project, nearly a year in the making, introduces a new design that provides a better user experience for visitors, a more secure content management system, and the opportunity to increase search engine optimization (SEO) for content.
*MSA finalized a partnership with FAIRE marketplace where MSA Vendors now have a designated online community at Faire.com making it easy for MSA buyers to search our vendor members. This has been very well-received by our membership.
*Museum Store Sunday, our signature annual advocacy day the Sunday following Thanksgiving, incorporated the help of the PR firm The Postcard Agency to drive pre-event messaging and social media engagement. Securing more than 300 pieces of coverage across TV, digital, print, and radio, the results produced another very successful year! With positive feedback and impressive statistics from museum stores across the country and abroad – we look forward to sharing those statistics and survey results in the New Year.
*The all-new ShopTalk platform launched in October, a place where our community discusses hot topics, and can find resources and solutions to current challenges in the nonprofit retail industry.
These are just some of the highlights of the past year that without your support would not have been possible.
It is with great appreciation that I thank you for your continued support and engagement in the many programs we provide to our community!
Patricia Sampson is the Director of the Bookstore Resource Center at The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Patricia is a dedicated and passionate member of MSA. She has previously served on the MSA chapter and national committees, on the regional board of the South Atlantic Chapter, and now serves a third term on the MSA Board of Directors.