[Foss4g2009] Conference evaluations and feedback

Dave Patton davep at confluence.org
Sun Oct 12 15:03:52 EDT 2008

With the FOSS4G model that is now in place,
it seems clear that as soon as one year's
FOSS4G ends, the LOC for the next year's
conference wants to "know how it went".

In 2007, it was months before the conference
and workshop/lab evaluation results were
available, and the final financial report.

Perhaps we should try and plan for getting
evaluation results 'quickly' this year.

Some thoughts:
During the registration process, ask people
to opt in to doing a non-anonymous evaluation
post conference. "non-anonymous" because it would
be tied to their registration. Post conference,
have a 'short' timeframe(1 month) for people to
complete the online evaluation. Send them 3 email
reminders(e.g. 1 week after the conference, 1 week
to go, and 48 hours to go).
For people who don't opt in, provide a paper
evaluation form in their conference satchel.
Have them collected and entered into the same
online system within 1 month. This option should be
discouraged, because with the online opt-in
system, the questions don't have to be finalized
until the conference is over, so they can be
adapted to how the conference unfolds.
We could even decide to do "online only" for 2009,
but it does have some risks.
Some simple methods could be built into the opening
plenary, AGM, and closing plenary to get some form
of 'evaluations'. Could be things like "show of hands",
or something perhaps a bit more accurate such as
"exit this door for yes, that door for no" or using
colored bits of paper deposited into ballot boxes
with signs and matching colors, and using a digital
scale to weigh the ballot box contents.
Most of the monies will have been spent/committed
and collected/promised before the actual start of
the conference, so have the PCO prepare a preliminary
profit & loss statement "just before" the conference.
It can be given to the OSGeo board for their meeting
(as a 'heads up'), and can be given to the 2010
organizers so they have a sense of how things went.

Dave Patton
CIS Canadian Information Systems
Victoria, B.C.

Degree Confluence Project:
Canadian Coordinator
Technical Coordinator

OSGeo FOSS4G2007 conference:
Workshop Committee Chair
Conference Committee member

Personal website:
Maps, GPS, etc.

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