Many thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to our post-show survey. We were anxious to know how the new location worked for EAS attendees and exhibitors. We are now ready to share some of the most relevant feedback we received.
There were 136 responses (corresponding to an 8% response rate), of which 64% were full conferees, 19% expo-only registrants and 17% exhibitors. A majority of responders enjoyed the Crowne Plaza Conference Center. Positives included the location of the hotel in Princeton, close proximity of the technical sessions, short courses and exposition, and the clean and modern facility. The layout of the expo in 4 separate rooms was seen less favorably. While we are limited in what we can do since the hotel does not have a room large enough to hold all of the booths and tables, we are looking at other options to offer a less fragmented expo in 2018. Many of you indicated that they found it difficult to find a particular exhibitor. We will use a more intuitive numbering system next year. The location of the posters on the “bridge” to the hotel was very polarizing: you either loved it or hated it. A majority of responders, however, seemed to like the natural light and convenient viewing that the bridge offered. A full 90% of responders visited the exposition while 70% attended oral or poster sessions. The feedback on the quality of the program was generally positive with some responders regretting the low attendance at some sessions and standing room at others. Our program chairs do their best to guess how popular each topic will be when assigning meeting rooms but this is not easy.
A large majority – 85% of attendees – arrived by car and parking close to the venue was at a premium. We had arranged for an overflow parking close by and tried to let everyone know through email communications, social media messaging and on-site signage. Despite our efforts, about 40% of responders had not heard about the overflow and many found it difficult to get there. We had hoped that more attendees would use public transportation and arrive by train. A shuttle was doing runs between the hotel and the Princeton Junction train station and it was used by 5% of attendees. As regular attendees become familiar with the new venue, we hope to see an improvement in the parking situation and increase use of the train.