What did they say?

“If we consider museums as global embassies of culture, the International Council of Museums provides a high density of ambassadors and sources that never run out of inspiration due to their different kinds of collections.”
- Johannes Kyrle, Secretary General of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Austria


“Huge range of knowledge and expertise brought together in one place for a few days.”
- Michael Houlihan, Chief Executive of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand


“I think that the real asset of ICOM is debate; it is the possibility to exchange different opinions and to put them together in one place.”
- Carlos Roberto F. Brandão, Professor of Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil


“People are very engaged; they want to find out what’s going on and they want to be part of this decision-making process.”
- In-Kyung Chang, Director of Iron Museum, Republic of Korea

Calendar of Events

Conferences, Meetings, Events

Conferences, Meetings, Events

More ICOM Events

Home/Where we work/Events/General Conference

Every three years, ICOM’s General Conference gathers the international museum community around a theme chosen by the museum professionals.




More than 1,500 experts and museum professionals meet for a whole week to exchange and discuss museum concerns.
The General Conference is based on scientific discussions with ICOM’s International Committees; on administrative sessions during which the General Assembly and the Advisory Committee set up the guidelines of the organisation; and finally, on forums based on the international museum-related events.


In 2013, ICOM’s 23rd General Conference took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 10 to 17 August. The upcoming edition will be held in Milan, Italy, from 3 to 9 July, 2016.



How to make the most of your ICOM General Conference experience?

Plan your participation in advance

  •     A limited number of rooms near the conference venue at preferential rates are reserved for conference participants;
  •     Receive first-hand programme updates just as the other conference participants;
  •     Events tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Explore what Milan and Italy have to offer

  •     Choose an itinerary for the Excursion Day: museums and other cultural sites, walk tour around the city, etc.;
  •     Extend your stay in Italy by choosing among the pre- and post-conference tours;

Examine the conference programme to spot events of greatest interest for you

  •     Choose among the meetings and activities of ICOM’s 30 International Committees;
  •     “Jump” from one session to another to be sure of attending the one on the exact topic that interests you;
  •     Come to the keynote speeches every day to take a break from intense discussions in small groups, embrace visionary and provocative insights and begin another day of conference full of ideas.

Meet as many people as possible, out of the meeting rooms

  •     Register for networking sessions: thematic lunches, receptions by National Committees, etc.;
  •     Make new contacts everywhere: during coffee breaks, lunch breaks, even in queues…;
  •     Don’t visit the city alone, do it with fellow participants.