John and all,
thanks for providing this important feedback so swiftly. My two cents:
- In all, this looks like a really good attendance, as compared with earlier in-person conferences! Particularly as we could not predict whether an online conference would bring in more or less attendance.
- On discussants: Yes, please care for a flexible scheme in the future. This time, I found that attendants were active enough in most sessions to launch and keep going very good discussions, and usually we did not have enough time to discuss everything, or even put all questions.
- On Q&A and hand raise options: This leads to the technical settings that ASSA apparently had purchased from Zoom, the webinar package: The Q&A function messed up mostly with the hand-raise function. The Q&A alone does not work nicely, as you do not have the time to write down your entire question (and then have it read out by the chair). During the conference, chairs learned to switch on the hand raising option, which was an improvement.
- On the chat function: It was generally disabled for the attendants, which was particularly unfortunate, as usually you can contact individuals with this option, rather than boring everybody with your comments or questions addressed to on presenter only. Also, very important to keep the function active up to 10 minutes after the session ends. Occasionally, I was still writing things (in Q&A, but applies to chat as well), while the session was closed, and my question thus was off.
- On attendants lists: Contacting individuals in the session requires, in turn, that the function of seeing all attendants’ names will be bought as well by ASSA in the future. I consider this particularly important as it increases interaction.
In all, our feedback to ASSA should be to purchase/bargain some “webinar plus” package from zoom in the future.
I am writing all this as we cannot be sure what the future brings. I do expect that the future will bring some hybrid online-offline forms of conferences.
Was great seeing you all again.
Von: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> Im Auftrag von John Watkins
Gesendet: Montag, 11. Januar 2021 23:14
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: [AFEEMAIL] Feedback on AFEE Conference and Session Attendance Numbers
Please find attached two documents.
- Comments regarding my questions regarding the lack of discussants. The comments are anonymous. Most seemed fine with dropping the discussants but a number of people preferred them. Most of our sessions had 5-6 people so discussants would have left little time for questions. Several commented on the need to appeal to more, younger members. This, of course, is a major concern for myself and the board.
- The other document indicates the number of people in attendance at the different sessions, based on my queries to the chairs.
Thank you all for an excellent conference. Some have complimented me, but it is the dedicated membership who deserves the credit. Thank you for your hard work, your commitment to AFEE, and a willingness to share your ideas, even virtually. Thank you all. The Presidents letter will be forthcoming.
Hopefully, we can meet in person next year. Best wishes and stay healthy,
John P. Watkins
President, Association for Evolutionary Economics
Professor of Economics
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Cell: 1-801 550-5834