Single Question Results  

Results for Survey: ANREP/NACDEP Joint Conference, June 26-29, Burlington, VT

results statistics

What other comments would you like to share with the leaders of either association or with the conference planners?
(Short Answer)

  This organization will cease to exist if it doesn't modernize its theoretical perspective, it's topical choices, or membership benefits.  
  Increase food quality and quantity  
  I was at an overflow hotel. I emailed conf organizer prior to the conf to find out if there would be a shuttle with no response. The walk to my hotel was short but with cars wizzing by 70 mph, it was terribly unpleasant and unsafe. I finally asked the Sheraton for use of their shuttle and they came through. Conf organizers could have made this arrangement ahead of time and let us know. I won't attend another conference where this is not done.  
  We filled out a separate evaluation for it already, but I want to emphasize that the pre-conference study tour was fantastic. Also, I would like to mention that I appreciated the emphasis on "walking our talk" throughout the conference, with lots of local foods options and also hotel meals that were more vegetable-focused. Also, the trolley shuttle from the hotel to downtown was super helpful and a nice addition. Nice job!  
  the appetizers instead of a meal were not good.  
  Keep your costs down. No need to have conference in fancy locations. How can we better support local economy and businesses instead of big corporations?  
  no time between breakouts was a challenge given the complex sprawled nature of the facility. Web based agenda was irritating but workable  
  recommend a five or ten minute break between sessions- it is difficult for attendees to go form one side of hotel to other. Also it is disrupting to speaker sand listeners to have people entering 5-10 minutes after session start.  
  Good conference, well done. Liked the shuttle to downtown, very nice.  
  When combining conferences please make sure that there are sessions that apply to both parties. There were many more options for ANREP than community development professionals. .  
  There were. Way too many emails before the conference that had very little information in them. They should have workshop descriptions available.  
  Sched is impractical and totally a pain to use. An actual app based (not web based app) would have been appreciated.  
  The best thing was the Sheraton hotel and Burlington. Great hotel room/meeting rooms. I walked to/from the lake/downtown every night. I attended the Pre-conference tour which was fantastic!  
  Thanks for all your efforts--this was a huge undertaking and very apparent that a lot of work went into it. It was very well done.  
  Nice job providing a useful conference  
  Thanks for the shuttles! Keynotes were good, mobile tour was so nice, food culture and agritourism  
  very pricey registration for what i got and then to say no coffee to keep costs down seems a bit ridiculous. i know at $70/gallon not a great price, but what is it spread across attendees.  
  I know we need to use technology, but my cell screen is VERY small!  
  This is an expensive conference. I don't understand why you couldn't even serve coffee during the breaks.  
  Please consider a printed program.  
  I appreciated getting my 10,000 steps and 21 flights of exercise in between presentations on Monday; thanks! My calves are still aching:). I did not miss the mid morning/afternoon food breaks either.  
  If you truly want to be green do not serve beef  
  I had an allergic reaction to something served on Monday. It wasn't life threatening, but it was frustrating. My main allergy was peanuts, and I read the labels of what was put out to supposedly make sure I wasn't eating any. Conference caterers need to be more careful about this!  
  Have coffee available rather than sending everyone to the small Starbucks location  
  Coffee is worth the extra dollars during breaks! Breakfast was a joke- Some form of protein needs to be provided. The staff were not helpful-- they could not provide suggestions about running paths.", alternative transportation options (I.e., the church street shuttle)  
  Provide coffee  
  I could not find the online schedule (or the app link) from the main NACDEP web page.  
  I think everyone realized that it wasn't good to just have 1-2 tables of food for 400+ people. Also, the NACDEP website could be a little easier to follow/more interactive  
  Sheraton seemed a bit understaffed at times.  
  Print a meeting agenda! Room directions or a map of rooms would be appropriate.  
  Not enough time between sessions.  
  One meeting room was quite undersized for the large numbers that went to it for a Monday session. I know it's a pain, but getting people to choose sessions ahead of time would be helpful. That is, if you could get them to do it.  
  The internet at the hotel/conference center was super slow both in wifi and for my data plan through AT&T. Conference planners can't control this but it is an important detail to ask hotel how good their connection is when choosing a location.  
  Meals were poorly organized especially during dinner on Monday night, but overall everything was well done.  
  Please have an actual breakfast or protein component to the meal if possible. Fruit and carbs burn off quickly.  
  Spread out rooms were good and bad (exercise, getting to meet others on the way; but too far to jump between sessions without missing 5 min); food lines could have gone faster with additional serving stations.  
  This was the first conference I've ever been to where registration was simply passing out the name tag. I know you were trying to keep costs down but I really would have liked to have had a program of some sort.  
  fewer longer sessions.  
  good job  
  Receptions in hallway was rediculous. Standing up against the wall to let people by. Lines at food. There was a ballroom right behind us.  
  Consider more time for breaks if possible, this is very important for networking opportunities.  
  The caterers vastly underestimated how to serve 400+ people on buffet lines.  
  I was struck by demographics. At most of the sessions I attended, women far outnumbered men. For most activities I was involved with, the leadership was mainly female. Of jobs I have been tracking, 6 of the last 7 were filled by women. I am wondering if the job of Natural Resources Extension agent is becoming a female-dominated field and, if so, why that might be. Are women perceived as being more honest, caring and able to provide useful information than "mansplainers?" Are women being directed to Extension as a way to have them do something useful but reserve the generally more prestigious and higher paid academic faculty positions for men? Is there something else going on? I think it is too bad this survey does not ask for gender as numbers by gender, age and career stage would help would be interesting. I'm curious if my perceptions based on the limited number of sessions and interactions with groups would be borne out by data.  
  Would like to be able to read the abstracts of the presentations prior to the conference to make it easier to plan.  
  When planning the concurrent sessions, there needs to be a 5 minute break at the end of the first two. This gives time for the 1st presenter to sit down, a 2nd to stand up and get moving, and the audience to slip in and/or out if the topic has changed ( and get to one more suited to their interests). The sessions are not always related to each other and this would make it easier for both presenters and the audience.  
  More coffee service Larger meeting rooms Couldn't attend some sessions  
  I heard from other attendees that we all would consider a higher registration fee if breaks included coffee/tea.  
  I arrived at 5:30 and it took another two hours for my hotel room to be ready.  
  Poster specs were not consistent. Different dimensions sent week before conference--weren't exact anyway. Overall, most details were thought through and executed smoothly.  
  I feel like a lot of what I have shared has been negative, but I do want to take a moment to share the positives: - The Ignites were by far my favorite part of the conference! They were informative, but short and focused. I got more from that single hour than I did from any other part of the conference.; - The communications prior to and during the conference (via text/remind) were well organized and informative. They also served as a way to keep people involved throughout the conference.; - I enjoyed the addition of physically focused pieces within the conference; Kelly Nix did an awesome job with YOGA.; - ANREP requires scholarship recipients to volunteer during the conference. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA! NACDEP needs to incorporate this! I also LOVED their judging of posters!  
  Name tags needed to have STATE on them.  
  If you serve continental breakfast, you need to have snack breaks mid morning. Sugar wears off quickly!  
  keep costs down to appeal to more folks..Broadcast plenary sesssions to folks at home. Technology is there and we become inclusive not exclusive as the appearance suggests.  
  Hotel location and hotel assistance was very good.  
  If there was a way to ensure all rooms had a minimum size. I was in a room for less than 40 and it had more than 80 people in it. In another session, a room set for 120 looked empty with over 40 people there.  
  add travel time between sessions  
  Needed more time between concurrent sessions (5 minutes) to not be late to next session. Need some kind of afternoon break with coffee/tea/pop/snacks - would be willing to pay $10 extra on registration in order to have this! Schedule on app was good for me, but many I spoke to did not like the paper-less approach. Have paper available for those who want it or are not tech-savvy. LOcation was beautiful. Nice to combine two organizations togher.  
  No time allowed within concurrent sessions to move from one room to another; hotel registration very slow; meeting rooms often too cold or too hot; no protein at breakfast  
  Breakfast was not satisfactory. If breakfast is included, make it a real breakfast. Buffet is fine, but just fruit, yogurt, and pastry? Not okay. That is a continental breakfast; not worth the same weight. I had to buy food and keep it with me as snacks to make it to lunch. Additionally, coffee should be available at all times. Even if in a central location, you should provide coffee. It is ridiculous to have all day sessions and not provide coffee.  
  Not providing a simple conf. agenda was a bad idea. Not providing cofee during breaks was a much worse idea.  
  SOme longer in-depth sessions, please.  
  While I understand there were many speakers who needed to present in a small amount of time, there was no time left between sessions for getting to and from the meeting rooms. The layout of the Sheraton compounded that as the rooms were spread out and in different parts of the building.  
  The online conference app was not very useful. In fact, I saw many people printed out the schedule because the app was so tedious to navigate.  
  For the 1st ever - combined conference - it was a huge success. Well done planning team.  
  Too many emails right before/during conference - I quit reading them.  
  Loved the way poster sessions were handled and LOVED "Ignite"  
  Meeting rooms were hard to figure out and we needed more time to transfer between the spaces.  
  Thank you for organizing and facilitating a very good joint conference.  
  Please allow for enough time to trnsition between concurrent sessions! It was major disruption to the speakers!!  
  I thought the hotel could have been more accomodating. For example, I asked for a 1-hour check-out time extension and was told there would be a 20% charge. I have NEVER been told that before at any hotel. Every other hotel I stayed in has accomodated that request with no extra charge. Very unhappy with the hotel on this.  
  Less content of higher quality in presentations is sometimes better than lots of content that may be forgotten due to rushed or lack of time to present.  
  The meals and breaks were not sufficient. We all understand the need to keep costs down, but given the costs, participants expected (and needed) more in terms of breakfast and breaks. The search for a more substantial breakfast and for coffee and break food pulled participants from sessions.  
  Worst venue for a conference ever experienced! Waited 3 hours after 3:00 p.m. checkin for a room. Not exceptable! Map of venue should have been provided at registration. There were no breaks...terrible cost saving idea.  
  The overall conference was very good and I appreciate the effort of the organizing committee in putting together such a nice program of presentations. Most of my issues were with the venue and planners. In some cases, there was not enough food or the food was placed in such a manner that it was nearly impossible to access in a reasonable time. There was only one bar and one bartender before the awards ceremony so the line was so long that most people gave up. Although we were warned, the lack of coffee was certainly not appreciated by lots of folks (I don't drink coffee but heard my fair share of complaining). Some of the rooms at the venue were very hard to find, especially early in the conference until we got used to their locations.  
  Please provide coffee and break service  
  Conference content was fine, but needed better logistics interms of moving beteeen rooms, layout was difficult. Meal planning was poor to fair. the unendingly starchy breakfasts were not useful if you are starch restricted.  
  Appreciated the digital conference agendas and other info accessable via apps/websites on my phone. So much better than carrying around a program all week.  
  The food was awesome, but let's do coffee.  
  While I commend you on the idea of a paperless schedule, I still prefer a paper copy. Especially one with a map! Though the signage was good, it was still a bit difficult to initially find the meeting rooms.  
  The lack of rooms at the conference hotel was the pits- especially for someone almost 7 mo pregnant!  
  No snacks. Conference center was very spread-out and confusing.  
  participants should be able to get a printed copy of the agenda with sessions listed or tell them early enough that they can print (not the day before which was a Saturday). Receptions were horrible. Very narrow hallway with only one food line, spent the time in line.  
  coffee would be a great idea.  
  breakfast provide buffet with protein - eggs, bacon  
  Rooms were sometimes way too large for the attendance at a topic and at times way too small for the attendance at a topic. The small room issues I experienced were all related to community development topics.  
  Kudos for having online scheduling app instead of paper. But it took some getting used to.  
  I thought the emails were not formatted very well.  
  see above  
  It felt to me this hotel was not up to par. Not sure that is the association's fault. It seemed perhaps they were in financial trouble and trying to do this conference "on the cheap". Not enough staff at meals, all the taps at the bar were empty, the coffee bar wasn't always fully stocked. Not sure NACDEP can do anything about that, but worth noting?  
  I do not think cutting coffee was the best way to cut costs. The online agenda was difficult to manage and very frustrating.  
  Confernce facility proably too small for joint ANREP and NACDEP  
  I liked that I was able to experience and participate in the the culture and efforts of the host community (Burlington and Vermont) for sustainability, local foods, farm to table, etc.  
  I like that you did all you could do to keep registration costs down.  
  I liked the mobile application for the conference but I wasn't able to get back to information about sessions that I attended.  
  we need protein options for breakfast! meeting rooms were spread out too far for the time available to move between sessions  
  Very nicely done! Thank you for all of your hard work.  
  I do not mind moving between sessions but time and signs were needed in this venue.  
  maybe it was too big a conference for me.  
  honor the rates given on the website. Dorm rooms listed at one price and actual price was double that. Would have stayed in the hotel had I known this. Was an inconvienence and not walkable with a suitcase. Also good directions not provided to get to dorm for conference site. It was a nightmare getting there the first night at a 11pm arrival to the hotel time and then trying to find the "walkable " to dorm room. Not professional or ethical to not honor prices  
  Serve more cofffee.  
  Print agendas  
  Improve breakfast. Have more coffee available throughout the day!  
  The layout of the conference center was very confusing and food was not great  
  The Sheraton in VT did not seem prepared to host our group. The rooms were dirty and the shuttle was a big problem.  
  schedule of workshops on web ahead of time was very hard to open to see all workshops. should of had pdfs that were 1 page each to download and print easily  
  make sure the facility provides COFFEE  
  Must have a conference facility that can handle such a large group and is prepared beforehand for meals/breaks.  
  I really love that the association has the conference in nice locations. I realize that adds to the cost but it's worth it.  
  coffee all day  
  The room locations were an issue and trying to figure out were the conconcurrent sessions were being held was hard to do. Between the online schedule and room locations being scattered all around the center, navigating the conference was one of the most difficult that I have experienced.  
  rooms hard to find and spread out. way too cold.  
  The folks at the information desk did not always have the information I needed. For instance I wanted to know the topic of one of the plenary sessions and no one knew. I asked a lot of people.  
  Opening reception was in a space way too small for the audience  
  The website was hard to navigate and should be mobile compatible. Registration was confusing, especially when having to wait for the NACDEP membership to go through. It would be easier if I could register and do my membership at the same time. I would have liked paper copies of the schedule, at least the summary schedule. The registration desk should have summary schedules available. The app was great, but I still like having paper for the summary schedule. The woman at the Registration desk was not helpful and she was difficult to deal with. Maybe she was having a bad day, but she should still be cordial and attempt to be helpful. I was fine not having coffee and food at breaks if it keeps the registration fee down. Letting us know in advance was helpful so I could stock up on coffee during breakfast and lunch.  
  The conference planner was rude and downright terrible. There is a reason NAE4-HA does not use her anymore. We found it comical that she did such a poor job considering she was working with a group of professionals who help teach how to plan and facilitate successful meeting. Hearding people with a cowbell is not professional. We may be from land-grant universities, but there are other ways to handle croud logistics. There was not enough food at many of the meals, which turned into an experiment in food insecurity with people racing to get food in case it ran out.  
  coffe is cheap