Today marked the end of the AoIR conference for 2006. All in all, I think the experience has been well worth the $2500+ I’ve spent to get here. This is no thanks to grants… everything came out of my own pocket, which shows you how serious I’ve taken to my first major conference.
In trying to make this trip worthwhile, I’ve been documenting and sharing everything I could. As a result of my effort, Matthew Allen joked that I should be made “Press Officer” in the next AoIR conference, while Axel Bruns gave me a thumbs up for photoblogging. Most embarrassing though, was when Christy pointed out my blog posts in front of everyone at the reception (awe thanks!). She shares my thought that we need more attendees blogging about the conference, since this allows people who can’t make it to still be aware of what went on. Blogging also doubles up as a distributed way of marketing the association… one that’s easy, cheap and highly accessible.
Take a look at how Alex, Christy, Erikca and Rachel have also done in their bid to blog the conference. Incidentally, Rachel is a flickr fanatic (like me!) and has started an AoIR flickr group for our photos. For photos and blog posts, remember to tag them “AOIR2006” so that we can easily find them.
Switching gears, the AoIR committee invited attendees to share their thoughts at the closing reception. Some prominent points included:
1. Dealing with conference no-shows.
It happens at most conference, not just for AoIR’s. While tougher measures are possible (informing the delegate’s dept. chair), there was a reminder that its considered falsification of information if an academic puts a conference down on his/her CV without being present (I wonder if being via Skype is considered presence).
2. Keeping to 15min presentation time.
Attendees were irked that some presenters rushed through their Powerpoint slides even though they knew they had only 15mins. Thus, even though there were panel chairs to remind them of their time, it’s really the earnest of the presenter to do a good job. I think it’s a default demotivator, since it makes them look unprofessional.
3. Second chance for rejected submissions
“A second bite at the cherry” as someone said. AoIR committee responded by saying that submissions should really be vetted by the graduate student’s peers / advisors first, instead of putting the earnest on AoIR. This made perfect sense to me.
Stay tuned for more video interviews, including a vox populi of what fellow attendees thought of this conference, and what they expect from the next one in Vancouver.