Posts tagged Ideas

More PASS Speaker Thoughts

I’ve been kicking around several ideas in the program committee and a couple of them have to do with what information PASS releases, specifically information about the speakers.  The general question I’ve been trying to come up with ideas about, and the subject of this blog post  is:

Should PASS Release Speaker Evaluation Scores to the public

As with all things, there are goods and bad’s to releasing this data.  And there are even more possible ways to release the data.

Personally, I’d like to release aggregate scores for every session at every summit.  I’m not sure that is a practical option though.  I’m hoping some people out in the community might tell me that I’m thinking this through too much and no one cares, after all many of our speakers use which is totally open.

Is it really that scarry??

The Good

Everyone who purchased the Summit DVD’s would know when looking at their session lists which to focus on first

Every speaker would know exactly how they compared to others, I think this would be especially helpful to speakers who are just starting their craft.

New conference attendee’s would know which speakers have better ratings and could plan their itineraries appropriately.

The Bad

Every speaker may not appreciate their scores being published (especially lower rated speakers)

Privacy: See above

The options

We could simply require that if you want to speak at the Summit, we will release the results.  We could put some language in the terms that are agreed to by the speakers, actually I think we could do this without changing the current terms but, I do not think this is the right thing to do, it just doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

We could include an opt-in on the speaker terms, which would allow disclosure.  While this would be the easiest option to implement with the least amount of backlash, I don’t think it really accomplishes much, mainly because without the complete picture of the scores you wouldn’t know how the speakers ranked or if you were a speaker it would make it tough to know for sure where your session stood.

We could release the complete score list to every speaker, this would solve the speakers knowing where they rate in the crowd.  Unfortunately It wouldn’t help those in the community know which speakers were the best.

As with all things PASS I’m open to suggestions, and maybe I’m missing something, let me know

Growing the pool of speakers

Following up to Andy’s series about growing the pool of speakers, I thought I would detail an idea we’ve been kicking around for this years summit.

First some history

In 2009 PASS accepted 585 community abstracts submitted for a total of 113 community sessions slots that were available (including 10 pre/post conference sessions) of those 80 were regular sessions, and 23 were spotlight sessions.  We had 30 speakers give 2 sessions including the 10 pre/post conference sessions.  We normally ask that speakers accepted for a pre/post conference session also present a spotlight session, so that every attendee of the conference gets access to these high caliber speakers.  This left us with 20 regular speakers presenting 2 sessions in 2009.

The big idea

In order to give more speakers a chance to present at the annual summit, were proposing limiting all community speakers to 1 primary session per summit.  There would obviously have to be exceptions for panel sessions and co presenters since we wouldn’t want to discourage those types of sessions.  The benefits as I see them are that we’d open up 20 more slots, give or take from year to year, to new speakers thus allowing others in the community an opportunity to present.  The downsides (or risks) as I see them:  We stand to potentially loose coverage if we receive no abstracts on a particular subject that would be a currently chosen speakers second session.  Cost, that is 20 extra comped admissions to the summit.  Pass would need to decide if the value of these extra comped admissions are worth the expense.  What I mean to say is if we spend money on those extra comps, that money couldn’t be used on some other priority. 

I’d also like to mention that in my years on the program committee, no discussion of comps has ever occurred while deciding to choose one speaker over another.  This however is different since it would be a policy.

So, what say you? keep the current limit of 2 per speaker, restrict it to one, make the limit 15?

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