January 12, 2004



To:       ASAS/ADSA Boards


From:  Dave Anderson, 2003 Program Chair


RE:     Results of 2003 ADSA/ASAS Joint Meeting Survey


The survey was suggested by ASAS Board member, Ron Kensinger and the survey questions were prepared with assistance from Joe Ford.  Thanks to FASS staff (Keely Roy, Jeff Turner) for adapting the questions to an excellent web format that made the survey easy to use. The survey was emailed to 2,505 meeting attendees.   There were 687 responses to the survey (27% return).  Thanks again to FASS staff for summarizing the responses to the specific questions (Brenda Carlson, Paula Schultz, others) and to Joe Ford who helped me summarize the large number of individual comments.  The summary report has been reviewed by 2003 co-chair, Chuck Schwab as well as Larry Benyshek, Joe Ford, Paula, Brenda and Jerry Baker.  Their suggestions have been added.  The report is attached.


2003 ADSA-ASAS Joint Meeting Survey Results


The meeting survey was emailed to 2,505 meeting attendees.  Did not count emails that “bounced”.  687 meeting attendees responded to the survey; 27% return.






Phoenix as a location for meeting

290 Excellent – 42%

310 Acceptable – 45%

60 Marginal – 8%

24 Unacceptable – 3%


Adequacy of rooms for symposia and oral presentations


305 Excellent – 44%

288 Acceptable – 42%

68 Marginal – 10%

23 Unacceptable – 3%


Adequacy of area for poster presentations


464 Excellent – 68%

188 Acceptable – 27%

26 Marginal – 4%

6 Unacceptable – 1%


Adequacy of area for exhibits


472 Excellent – 69%

186 Acceptable – 27%

17 Marginal – 2%

9 Unacceptable – 1%



QUALITY OF PRESENTATIONS:                                                                                                                      

Symposia Presentations


349 Exceptional – 51%

330 Acceptable – 48%

5 Unacceptable – 1%


Oral Presentations

264 Exceptional – 38%

413 Acceptable – 60%

7 Unacceptable – 1%


Poster Presentations

282 Exceptional – 41%

389 Acceptable – 56%

13 Unacceptable – 2%




591 Continue this format in future meetings – 86%

62 Continue format but change time – 9%

31 Return to simultaneous scheduling – 5%




Did you prepare a personalized schedule?


334 yes – 48%

347 no – 51%


Do you feel it's necessary to mail the program prior to the meeting? (Society cost is about $15,000)


84 yes – 12%

572 no – 83%




Did you use the cyber cafe?


243 yes – 35%

433 no – 63%


What was your average wait in line?


441 less than five minutes – 64%

43 five to ten minutes – 6%

78 ten to fifteen minutes – 11%

57 fifteen to twenty minutes – 8%

31 twenty to thirty minutes – 5%

30 over thirty minutes – 5%


Were data ports beneficial?


265 yes – 76%

85 no – 24%




How should abstracts be provided to meeting attendees?


100 Hard copy only – 15%

37 CD only – 5%

547 Hard copy or CD – 80%




Recommendation for maximum symposium number


343 -- 30 or less – 50%

101 -- 25 or less – 15%

168 -- 20 or less – 24%

41 -- 15 or less – 6%

19 -- 10 or less – 3%

8 -- 5 or less – 1%






Phoenix as a location



Potential Solutions

1.  There were several positive comments about good location of hotels to convention center. These were offset by those who found the distance to be too great


2.  “Too hot!” was the most frequently stated concern with Phoenix in June.



3.  “Not many choices of things to do within walking distance of the hotels” 





4.“Not centrally located within the US”






2. Wait for July in St. Louis




3. When selecting a location, place greater consideration on evening activities for those attendees who do not participate in scheduled activities.



4. This was intentional in an effort to have the meeting in different parts of the US.

Adequacy of rooms for symposia and oral presentations



Potential Solutions

1. Room size too small for some topics

a. Transition cows

b.  Ruminant Nutrition/Production

c.  Dairy estrus/ovulation synchronization

d.  Laminitis in Dairy











2. Setup of rooms

a. Aisles next to wall

b. Slide projector stand

c. Screen

d. Water for speakers










3. Room too cold


4. Noise from volleyball tournament






5. Some slide backgrounds do not show up well with lights on in meeting room.




6. To prevent problems in switching computers between oral presentations, make it a “law” that all presentations need to be loaded on a common computer. 

1a. We knew going into planning that the space at Phoenix would be a little tight.

1b. Develop database at 2004 meeting of room occupancy, potentially through survey of session chairs.

1c. Make certain that Ruminant Nutrition and Transition Cows have adequate space during the 2004 meeting.

1d. Overlapping topics were minimized by staff assistance during the planning process in printing and viewing on a large wall, the titles of all papers from all simultaneous sections for each time slot.  Continue this practice and get as many eyes as possible reviewing the program lineup.





2a. Leave narrow aisle on sides of room as well as down center to accommodate movement in and out of room.

2b. Slide projector stand obstructs view and should be eliminated.  Can we save money by eliminating slide projector?  Have available if needed on emergency basis.

2c. Screen was difficult to see in some rooms.  Always get high enough so everyone can see bottom of screen.  Setup in front of room rather than corner if possible.

2d. Provide adequate water for speakers in all meeting rooms.





3. Adjust to more comfortable temperature


4. The teams should not have been practicing near the meeting rooms, but it took a while to get everyone to move out.  The conference center should have had better oversight and prevented this problem.



5. Provide web site download with acceptable backgrounds and slide formats to show up well in lighted rooms (Most people prefer lights on in meeting rooms to be able to take notes).


6. Change current procedures.



Adequacy of Space for Posters



Potential Solutions

1. “Sessions dedicated to posters without competing oral sessions were a good improvement.”


2. ”Aisles too narrow” (12-15 feet)











3.”More signs to assist in location of specific posters” was a concern of a few attendees.

1. Continue this format




2. Increased participation by attendees in the poster sessions dictates wider rows. (18-21 feet). This may cost more if additional space needs to be rented but the cost is unquestionably worth it for those who attend the poster session.  Sometimes it is as easy as informing the FASS staff of adequate space requirements for posters.  E.g. At Indianapolis, posters were crowded even though there was a large area of open space next to the poster area. 


3. Add this information at the entrance to the poster area.






Adequacy of area for exhibits

Background information

1.       Exhibits were displayed for the first 2 days of the meeting

2.       Cost of exhibit space

a.       Corner                        $1200

b.       Non-corner                 $1000

c.       Corporate member     $  800

3.       Total number of exhibits

2000     74

2001     97 (ADSA, AMSA, ASAS and PSA joint meeting)

2002     62

2003     63




Potential Solutions

1. Greater than 95% indicated excellent or acceptable.  The specific comments indicated areas of potential improvement. 


2. Exhibits were displayed only for the first 2 days of the meeting.  This shortened period was a request from some of the exhibitors.  Many attendees answering the survey would have liked the exhibits to remain up longer. 












3. There were several comments about the reduced number of exhibitors compared to previous years.




2a. Assuming that the exhibitors prefer this venue (This needs to be verified); we need to do a better job of communicating with the attendees when the displays will be closed.  There were several references in the program but this is not enough.  There also needs to be a large sign at the entrance to the exhibit area.   Communication is the key!!

2b.  Can better attendance at the exhibit area be encouraged by leaving the exhibits open 1 hour longer in the afternoon?  Plus encouraging exhibitors to provide refreshments (e.g. Alltech broke out a keg in the late afternoon – very popular!!).  This could also provide more opportunity to view posters.

3. Form an ad hoc committee to determine if exhibitor’s needs are being met. 

a. Is the shorter time for display what most exhibitors want?  Should we allow exhibitors to remain set up for the entire meeting if they chose to do so?

b. Is the charge for exhibit space priced correctly compared to other scientific meetings?

c. Some exhibitors were concerned about unexpected costs (e.g. Paying convention center for use of chairs at the exhibit).  Should there be more communication about what is and is not included in the rental price for an exhibit space?

d. Can setup and take down be made more convenient?

e. Committee should include both members and exhibitors.




Quality of Presentations



Potential Solutions

1. Many positive comments were listed, but there is less continuity in these than in comments listed in other sections of the questionnaire.



2. “Too many posters with small print created by having too much information on the poster.”




3. “Some session chairs failed to keep session on schedule; some of this was due to problems with changing laptop computers.”



4. “Posters not presented and too many presenters not present during the designated time.”






2. Remind poster presenters of the value of following a standard format and that with greater attendance at poster session comes greater need for quality.



3. Eliminate use of multiple computers during a session. Remind session chairs of their responsibility to control the scheduled presentations.



4. Remind poster presenters of their responsibilities.




New poster format



Potential Solutions

1. “An excellent innovation


2.”Prefer an alternate time” and a few suggested split poster sessions with 1 hr in the morning and 1 hr in the afternoon.





3.”Posters were removed too early” was a concern of a few attendees.

1. Continue this format


2. Mid-day and late afternoon or late afternoon with refreshments was suggested by a number of respondents. Split poster sessions are more difficult to schedule. FASS staff suggested dividing the day into three 3-hr blocks (8-11, 11-2 and 2-5) with posters from 11-1 and lunch from 1-2.


3. Remind poster presenters of their responsibilities.

“My Program”


Potential Solutions

1. There were substantial improvements over last year. 


2.Only half of the respondents used “My Program”, several indicated difficulty using “My Program”



3. Small percentage still would like abstract book mailed before meeting.


4.There were several specific comments on areas needing improvement in “My Program”


1. Continue improvements each year based on survey inputs.


2. Set up a hot line to call for those needing help.  Perhaps ask some graduate students in return for waived registration fee.

3. Allow them to check this option at registration but charge the full cost of handling and mailing.


4. Would recommend that the FASS staff work with the program committee to make further improvements and test out the changes before making available to the general membership. Suggested areas of change:

a. Print full abstract for each paper selected in “My Program”

b. Automatically eliminate multiple selection of the same paper.

c. Make the deletion/edit process more user friendly.  Allow multiple deletions.

d. Several reports of loss of a partially completed program

e. “Comments/notes/personal appointments” should be added on the appropriate day/time

f. Modify printout to eliminate unneeded information, borders, use smaller font, etc. to save paper.

g. Some computer systems had difficulty printing

h. Print map of convention facilities/rooms as part of “My Program”

i. Send email when “My Program” is available on-line



Cyber cafe



Potential Solutions

1. “Long lines






2. “Unable to get data ports to work”




3. Cyber café listed as highly desirable by many, but the format provided was not regarded as an asset of the meeting.

1. Provide more computers. Have separate areas for computers provided by FASS and data ports for individual computers. Place multiple signs near computers reminding users of the need to restrict their time to 10 minutes.


2. Provide laminated instructions that are affixed near data ports. Provide instructions to registrants before the meeting. Provide wireless access.


3. Solicit sponsorship of the Cyber Café from a local provider by providing free booth space and advertisement in exchange for providing computers, data ports, wireless access and overseeing maintenance of the equipment.




General meeting comments



Potential Solutions

1.  There were several comments about liking the meeting and appreciating the helpful on-site FASS staff. 


2.  “Meeting is too expensive” was the greatest complaint by a large margin.  This is a real concern and needs to be addressed by the Boards. 



















3. Placement center needs improvement!





4.“Need to reconsider social events”

a.  Picnic

b.  Accompanying person program

c.  Youth program

d.  Hospitality room

e. Golf outing

f. These are particularly important for international attendees


5. Require all speakers to load presentations on a single computer prior to the session.


6. Pre-meeting information on the following topics:

a. Tour opportunities, travel brochures

b. Transportation, airport to hotels, driving instructions to hotels

c. Day and hour of first and last event to allow flight schedule planning

d. Instructions to chairs standard policy for session computer use

e. Instructions to chairs standard policy for staying on schedule




1.Thanks to staff for good work




2a. Provide visible value for the cost wherever possible. (e.g. A large registration fee with inadequate refreshments was a big negative.  Provide plenty of chairs and tables in the lobby area so that attendees can easily find a place to sit down.)

2b. Provide locations where members like to vacation (eg. Denver) or are easily accessible by car to save travel expense (e.g. Indianapolis)

2c. Communicate to members that even university locations are now expensive.

2d. Look at ways of disseminating the scientific information less expensively to those not able to attend the meeting (e.g. Real time transmission of symposia via the


2e. Recommendations on economy lodging away from convention area for those on a tight budget.  (Some people stayed at Econo Lodge and drove to the meeting.  It worked very well for them)


3a. Get PSA involved in organizing the St. Louis meeting placement center.  They have the best procedure of the three societies.  Copy their procedures in subsequent years.


4a. Re-institute the Host Committee.  E.g. The host committee organized all these events at Indianapolis.

4b. These are not expensive but take organizational time





5a. Eliminates technical problems associated with switching computers between talks.


6a. Provide this information earlier

6b. Another job for the Host Committee