AMS San Francisco 2011 Post-Conference Survey

We received 759 responses to the survey sent to attendees following the San Francisco Annual Meeting.

Demographics. Age: over 50% of respondents are 40 or younger. Gender: 48.5% female, 49.3% male. Residence: 85.8% of respondents are from the U.S., 5.4% from Canada, and 4.2% from the U.K. or Ireland. Prior meetings: 16.1% said it was their first meeting; for those who had been to earlier AMS meetings, 34.3% had been to ten or more; 27.9% had been to four to nine; and 21.5% had been to one, two, or three meetings. Employment: 51.8% of attendees are employed full-time at educational institutions; 29.3% are students; 6.6% are retired; 2.5% are fully employed but not by an educational institution. Registration: 92.4% registered for the meeting online.

Responses to the question about having nine simultaneous sessions were mixed, but more favorable than last year. Over 14% did not respond; 55% said “it was about right”; 13% said even more would be acceptable; and 18% preferred fewer.

About 31.5% of respondents were in favor of holding two-hour paper sessions with twenty-minute papers; 53% favored keeping the present schedule (three-hour sessions, thirty-minute papers), and 16% gave no response.

Respondents were negative regarding poster sessions; only 7% said they would be interested in submitting a poster session proposal. 29% did not answer the question.

Forty-two comments from those attending committees were received. Five requested better communication regarding the committee meeting; four requested a meeting time change from 7 a.m.

Sixty-three comments on study groups were received. Many were specific to sessions, and complimented organizers for good work (LGBTQ and Music and Philosophy received high praise). Eleven commented negatively regarding the quality of research presented. Eight commented negatively on the 8–11 p.m. time slot.

234 respondents had suggestions regarding holding “green” meetings. Many responded favorably to removing paper flyers and brochures from the conference tote bag, and making the bag and the program book optional. Several respondents pointed to the environmental impact of air travel. Some also cautioned against relying too much on electronic activities. Many respondents were not sufficiently aware of electronically-available handouts.

162 respondents commented on making the meeting more accessible for those with disabilities. Eighteen were concerned that balancing the efforts required to make accommodations for the disabled conflicted with “green” efforts. Few presenters spoke favorably regarding large-print handouts. A number of respondents observed that it was difficult to access the registration and exhibit area.

259 general comments were received. Eighty offered favorable reactions. Over thirty respondents expressed concern over the high costs involved with the meeting. Several pointed out the sound bleed problem at the hotel. Misconceptions were revealed, suggesting that better communication with attendees would be helpful: some were unaware of the wi-fi; some were unaware that free beverages were served in the exhibit hall.

The Committee on the Annual Meeting and the Board of Directors will take responses into consideration for future meetings. (Change may be slow, since meeting venues are now booked through 2015.) The Committee on Communications will also consider how to continue the conversation regarding the best ways to move forward with the Society’s Annual Meeting. It is clearly one of our most important activities, and we wish to make it as effective and valuable as possible for members. Thanks are due to those who helped by completing the survey.

See the survey questions

See the complete survey results (This is a lengthy file. For ease of navigation, open the "Bookmarks" panel in Adobe Acrobat.)

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