August 26, 2009
A Prelude to Assessing Our Annual Meetings: Results of LLB's Polls on the 2009 AALL Annual Meeting and Its Festivities
Here's the results of LLB's informal 5-star rating poll of the 2009 AALL Annual Meeting. Thanks to the 175 respondents who answered one or more of the questions. The findings show that the keynote speech was well-received. The average score for the Keynote was 3.9 out of 5 stars with 126 responses. Business meetings can in last place, scoring an average 2.9 out of 5 stars with 117 responses. Educational sessions and workshops, and vendor exhibits and new product sessions were ranked 3.4 stars (172 responses) and 3.3 stars (117 responses) respectively. The "annual meeting generally" rating was 4 out of 6 stars (171 responses). OK, I screwed up on setting the 5-star parameter for that question.
Perhaps the average rating for the "annual meeting generally" category includes a "happy to get out of the library" factor because the two highest ratings overall came in responses to LLB's 2009 AALL Annual Meeting festivities poll. Do note that the West Party fared as bad as the business meetings rating. Their 2.9 star ratings tied for second to last place overall. Perhaps the business meetings dragged on too long while the Scrooges at Thomson West bah-humbuged their party. Note also that the AALL Closing Banquet came in last place overall and had the lowest number of responses. Here's the festivities poll ranking:
Unsanctioned Gatherings of Friends and Colleagues in Chinatown Bars, During Hotel Happy Hours, etc.: average 4.5 out of 5 stars (92 responses)
Lexis-Nexis Party at the Library of Congress: 4.2 out of 5 stars (109 responses)
West Party at the Renaissance Hotel: 2.9 out of 5 stars (90 responses)
AALL Closing Banquet: 2.7 out of 5 stars (51 responses)
Thanks to the 123 respondents who answered one of more of the questions about the quality of the 2009 AALL Annual Meeting festivities.
A Prelude to Assessing Annual Meetings. Sure, these polls are utterly unscientific but if I was a member of AALL's Annual Meeting Review Special Committee, I would look at eliminating the closing banquet and finding ways and means to make AALL business meetings more interesting and productive, and, BTW, aren't those SIS group breakfasts just a wee bit early?
There's probably no way around the inevitable scheduling conflicts that occur for educational sessions and workshops without stretching the daily schedule into the evening because that would cause an uproar with attending members. It would interfer with the most popular activity at the Annual Meeting -- unsanctioned gatherings of friends and colleagues at local bars, during hotel happy hours, and the like.
The Annual Meeting Review Special Committee will be contacting AALL members in the next few months to solicit input and gather ideas regarding various aspects of the Annual Meeting. Got ideas? The Special Committee's charge is reprinted below the pie charts for LLB's 5-star rating of the D.C. meeting. Thanks again to everyone who contributed. [JH]
The Charge of the Annual Meeting Review Special Committee
Researching trends in conference attendance for associations generally Taking a comprehensive look at the structure of the Annual Meeting and AALL's need for a larger than usual number of meeting rooms to accommodate the numerous committees and small meetings. Address member's complaints about the number of conflicting meetings and solutions to ease these conflicts.
Taking a comprehensive look at the work of the Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Committee to determine the availability of volunteers, their level of satisfaction as committee members, and ways to improve the committee process.
Assessing educational programming by looking at program attendance and evaluations. Determine from evaluations if rejected programming topics might actually have been of interest. Evaluate the Annual Meeting Program Committee's single term appointment and if it is effective in the program selection process.
Assessing attendance at social events to determine AALL's effectiveness in marketing and generating interest for these events. Evaluate the future of some of these events in response to the decline in sponsorship dollars. Assess member's willingness to pay individually for events that were free in the past.
Analyzing the impact of the Meeting's location, including hotel and travel costs. Determine how members choose to attend and if it is influenced by interest in the variety of cities offered or if there would be more benefit to reducing the meeting locations to just a few select cities, using a rotation schedule.
Suggesting ways to improve the Annual Meeting by determining what features of the Meeting are most popular and appreciated, in an effort to provide value for members. The Special Committee will prepare a preliminary report for the Spring 2010 Executive Board meeting, and a final report, with any suggested changes to the structure of the Annual Meeting, for the Summer 2010 Executive Board meeting.
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