How do you measure the success of a conference?

Today as Wes twitted…was long…exciting…brain hurting…fun. The conference seems to be going pretty well…but then again those that aren’t enjoying it usually do not come up to you and say, “This conference sucks.” when they know you are helping to organize it.

I’ve prepared a survey for conference goers to fill out for tomorrow, our last day of the conference, and as I do I keep thinking about how do you truly measure the success of a conference?

Sure you can ask questions about sessions, the lay out, things you would change, but how do you truly know if a conference affects the classroom, makes teachers think, and actually changes teaching and learning?

As one person said to me today “What happens Monday when we all go back to our rooms?” I guess that’s the question…what happens Monday? Is a conference considered successful if on Monday the teacher walks back into their classroom the same as they walked out on Friday? Better yet how do you measure that?

As a presenter I guess you hope that something you said sticks with your audience…that they learn something new. As a teacher we hope for the same of our students. As a conference organizer, do you hope for something larger? Hoping that participants will walk away, return to school on Monday ready to engage students in Learning 2.0? But of course we all know that change does not happen that fast…or can it?

So I’m stuck struggling with this question. How do you define a successful conference?


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