Help! I need your feedback on your San Diego Annual Meeting experience

As you may know, I’m currently a bit obsessed with getting feedback about the Annual Meeting, given both the work of our Annual Meeting Force Task and the fact that I’ll be (gulp) sort of responsible for next year’s meeting in … [drum roll] … beautiful New Orleans! So, please tell me about your experience in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. For example:

Plenary speaker: I hope Jon Voss rocked your world, as he did mine. What are the characteristics you like (and don’t like) in plenary speakers? New and different or “traditional” topics? Historians? Journalists? Techno-types? Young or old? (Wait: Ignore that last one.)

Program/education sessions: Did you find the topics and issues you most want to learn about represented on the program? Was anything missing? Do you love or hate lightning sessions? The 2013 Program Committee is eager to innovate. Give them some ideas.

Leadership orientation: Several members of Council worked hard (and even surveyed leaders of sections/roundtables/committees) to make this event as useful as possible. Did they succeed? More ideas to make it even better?

And, last but certainly not least, the Annual Meeting Task Force: you probably noticed the TF’s table just west of the SAA registration desk. The good news is that their roll of butcher paper got really full of great comments from y’all. (The bad news is that it may have been enough to kill a tree.) But they can never hear enough from the membership. Make your comments right here, or on the TF’s own site.

What else? Tell me and everybody else who is listening in exactly what you think. Thanks!!

3 responses to “Help! I need your feedback on your San Diego Annual Meeting experience

  1. Sweaty Archivist

    Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town! I’d go every year. Please avoid places that are so hot (sorry NOLA and Austin, you’d be great in November) that you’re basically trapped inside or likely to perish from heat exhaustion. When was the last time SAA went to the Pacific NW?

  2. Ouch! By my wimpy California standards, anywhere east of the Rockies is too hot (not to mention humid) in the summer. :) Do Washington DC, Boston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia count as being not so hot (temperature-wise, that is!)? Just trying to calibrate and figure out which parts of the country you consider eligible.

    As for the Pacific Northwest, we met in Seattle in1990, so it has definitely been a while. That meeting drew 1100 attendees, which was very good for SAA way back then. On the other hand, NAGARA met there recently and didn’t even meet their hotel room block. Ouch.

    SAA staff currently are researching both Portland and Seattle as possible sites for 2015. In view of widespread member interest in tweaking our meeting model (all meetings/lodging in a single hotel), this could be a combination of convention center + two hotels (in two price ranges). A very different sort of negotiation from the conference planning perspective, and we don’t yet know whether feasible. Stay tuned.

    Question for y’all: how big a draw would Portland or Seattle be for our members?

  3. Sweaty Archivist

    In response to this “Do Washington DC, Boston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia count as being not so hot (temperature-wise, that is!)?”

    On the scale from likely-to-die-of-heat-stroke to wish-you-could-stay-outside

    I’d say:
    Washington, DC >> unpredictable, but usually survivable (plus great SAA attendance, so worth the risk)
    Boston >> always survivable, often desirable
    Indianapolis >> never been there, but internet says more clement than DC
    Philadelphia >> always survivable

    I put these in contrast to Austin, where it really was dangerous heat if you needed to walk somewhere during the day, and NOLA, where it’s grossly unpleasant to walk around during the day, but anything that isn’t too far is at least not life-threatening.

    Does Providence, RI have a venue large enough for SAA? It’s crazy at night with Waterfire, but it’s also awesome at night with Waterfire.

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