Thank you very much to the 116 of you who replied to the conference survey. Here are some key thoughts that came out of it. There was a pretty even split between having the annual conference in Washington DC every year and moving it around with a fair number of people suggesting that we have it in DC every other year. There wasn’t much consensus on the question of what to do with the Biotech and Northeast conferences. There does seem to be some support for shortening the annual conference somewhat. People think the conferences are a good value. People like the workshops but there were several calls for no overlapping workshops. People were wonderful enough to provide lots of suggestions. There were some definite themes. One is that people want practical talks with case studies that help them get their job done. People want fewer vendor talks particularly if those talks sound like sales pitches. This actually goes for the workshops as well. People prefer a useful workshop rather than a sales workshop. There were several suggestions for more free time and more fun. There were a couple of suggestions to have more breakout group discussions. Several people suggested broadening our topics beyond chemistry and pharma. We have been trying to do that but we need to go further. Overall the respondents liked our conferences and the group. Networking was a key feature of the conferences that was mentioned and appreciated.
I am hoping to incorporate some of these suggestions into the 2018 annual conference. We have instituted a two-year planning cycle for the annual conference location which should help us have more options available. In 2019 we should be able to shorten the annual conference some. It is never too late to send me your suggestions for the conferences (they are just less anonymous).
Thank you again to everyone who participated.