YAPC::NA 2010 Survey : Final Week
For the last few weeks the YAPC::NA surveys have been running. In that time we've had received a total of 94 Conference Surveys submissions and 431 Talk & Tutorial Evaluations. While that is certainly a great response, we'd like more. Out of 298 attendees, that's only 31% of possible responses, while last year we managed 45%. So, if you haven't responded so far, please think about doing so. A mail has gone out to all those attendees who haven't responded yet, containing their personal keycode login, so please check your spam filters if you haven't received it. If can't find a copy of the email, and you definitely attended YAPC::NA in Columbus, please contact me directly (barbie [at] cpan.org).
If you're wondering why you should submit a response, here are just a few reasons. Firstly it gives both the current and forthcoming hosts some pointers as to what went right and what can be improved. While organisers might be aware of some of the things that might not have gone as planned, they don't always know what they got just right. Also the little things might get missed, which can really cloud an attendee's perception of the event. Whether your experience was good or bad or somewhere inbetween, it's worth completing the survey to ensure future organisers can take note of the good things and improve on the not so good things.
Secondly, the surveys are a great opportunity for future organisers to use for attracting sponsors. Particularly with the core demographics, sponsors need to know that the people attending are the people they are trying to reach. A conference, no matter how big or small, has a dedicated audience. Sponsors have very different reasons for helping to fund any event, so the more reasons we can give them that a YAPC is their target audience the better. Back in 2006 when Birmingham.pm hosted YAPC::Europe, we were asked by several prospective sponsors for these kind of observations, and alas we had nothing concrete to persuade them. Thankfully, several still signed, but a few big names declined. It would have been nice to have had a history of responses, as we do now, to show them YAPCs are their target audience.
Thirdly, future attendees have found the surveys useful to show to their managers, to prove that attending the event is a worthwhile training exercise. We're hoping to encourage more and more new attendees to YAPCs, both from a perspective of passing on the knowledge to a newer and often younger audience, but also to encourage those that are currently on the edges of the community to become more active, and feel included.
Over the years YAPCs have changed, and a large portion of the attendees each year are new to the event and the community. These surveys can help to understand why they came to the event, how we can encourage them to be more involved with the community, and refine the ways we can promote the event to a new audience.
So if you've been thinking why you should complete the survey, hopefully some of the thoughts above might encourage you to respond.
The surveys will close on Friday 23rd July, and I hope to collate the results next week. The results of the Conference Survey will be published on the YAPC Conference Surveys website, while the talk evaluations are sent to the respective speakers. The final feedback boxes of the main conference survey, are sent privately to the hosts of the current year and the next year. I shall post here when the results are finally online.
To those who have already responded, thank you very much. It really is appreciated.