Pittsburgh Post-Mortem Released

So, Member X, tell us in your post-convention survey what you thought of this year’s convention in Pittsburgh?

“Hadn’t been to an AAN convention since DC (in 1998). TERRIFIC improvement in content and presentation. AAN is on the map!”

How about you, Member Y?

“Service at the hotel was awful. How about some food during the breaks? The convention never felt like it got started and Pittsburgh is an awful town to host the convention at.”

If one were inclined to forget, the annual post- convention evaluations always provide a reminder that there aren’t many things that AAN members agree on. Nevertheless, when viewed as a whole, the survey results give a pretty good picture of what happened at the convention and help planners meet needs and avoid pitfalls the following year.

For instance, this year’s survey clearly indicates that attendees enjoyed the Pirates-Red Sox baseball game on the convention’s opening night and the Hothouse party at its close; that speakers Jeffrey Gitomer, Kathryn Jeffers, Richard Florida and Ron Reason were particularly well-received; and that AANers were pleasantly surprised by the beauty and diversity of Pittsburgh (that is, everyone except Member Y, of course).

And while everyone agreed that as hosts, the City Paper staff were about as gracious as could be, most attendees felt that the hotel staff left something to be desired. Particularly the women serving drinks in the hotel bar. (And yes, we did warn the Hilton to splurge on bartenders since AAN members tend to frequent the lobby bar in large numbers; they must not have believed us.)

Another negative: Many people were surprised and disappointed when the trade show closed on Saturday, a day earlier than usual. We clearly didn’t provide enough warning. (In case you were wondering why it closed earlier: The room that the trade show was held in was reserved that day for another group; we won’t have the same problem in San Antonio.)

The most important finding: Sixty percent of the 92 attendees who responded said they were “very satisfied,” with the convention, rating it a 1 on a scale of 1-5; and 27 percent gave it a 2.

Click here for a PDF file of the numerical survey results, and for a Word document containing all of the text comments (unattributed), click here.