I’m running a series of posts about a survey I did to see how conference attendees organize the information and materials they bring home with them. Please be sure to read the previous posts in the series:
- Post 1 (Survey Results Overview)
- Post 2 (Questions 1 & 2/Attendance & Note-taking)
- Post 3 (Questions 3 & 4/Vendors & Swag)
- Post 4 (Question 5/How Do You Organize Materials?)
In this post, I’ll share the responses to questions about purchasing conference notes/syllabi on CD and/or thumbdrive and recordings of sessions.
The majority of respondents (64 out of 85) said they do not purchase conference handouts on CD or thumbdrive when this option is available. Five respondents said they purchase electronic handouts in addition to picking up printed copies of these materials at the conference. Four said they purchase the materials in electronic form in lieu of printed copies. Twelve respondents said they sometimes purchase conference materials in electronic form.
There was a smattering of comments in response to this question. Several folks said they have never had the option of purchasing such materials before. A couple respondents said they wouldn’t pay for these, but would take advantage of them if they were offered for free. One respondent said that such materials are not useful because they become separated from papers and other material due to the difference in format.
On the question of purchasing recorded sessions after conferences, there was a similar breakdown of responses. Sixty-one respondents said they do not purchase these, three said they do and 21 said they sometimes do.
Among the comments for this question, a couple of folks said they never re-listen to the recordings or fear that they wouldn’t take the time to do so and therefore don’t purchase them.
Of those who do purchase session recordings, their reasons for doing so varied. One respondent does it for sessions they couldn’t attend. Another said recordings are a useful resource when you want to capture things that are hard to get down in one’s notes, like longer anecdotes. Still another respondent said she sometimes purchases sessions so she can play short segments in classes that she teaches (hopefully with the permission of the speaker/conference first).
I found this comment to be interesting: “I’m now frequently recording and taking quick photos of various slides so that I have immediate access to the information. It continues to disappoint me that many conference keynoters do not allow formal or informal recordings.”
I can see both sides. The speaker wants to protect their material and the listener wants to be able to retain it in the format most useful to them. For those who are auditory learners, I’m sure it’s frustrating not to have recordings to refer back to.
My next post will cover answers to Question 8 of the survey: What would help you make better use of your conference materials when you get home? Read on at the links below:
- Post 6 (Question 8/Attendee Suggestions, Part 1)
- Post 7 (Question 9/Attendee Suggestions, Part 2)
- Post 8 (Conclusion)