2015 Annual Meeting Survey Results
Last November, the AAR joined with SBL to host their 2015 Annual Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia. In attendance were 10,041 AAR and SBL members and exhibitors, a 1.7% increase from the 2014 San Diego Annual Meeting.
A total of 1,341 AAR, SBL, and Additional Meetings sessions occurred during the five-day time period from Thursday, November 19, to Tuesday, November 24. AAR hosted 512 sessions.
Responses to the post-Annual Meeting survey reflect generally positive experiences by the members in attendance. Survey results are posted online (PDF). 92 percent of survey respondents thought the 2015 Annual Meeting was a satisfactory or very satisfactory experience. Satisfaction with sessions was high: 85 percent of survey respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality. The opportunity to network with other colleagues also received high marks: 90 percent reported satisfaction. Respondents rated the Atlanta Annual Meeting location favorably, giving positive feedback about its hotel facilities (81 percent) and meeting room space (79 percent).
The Annual Meeting attracted attendees from around the world: 69 nationalities were represented. Canadians made up the largest international group with 407 attendees, followed by the United Kingdom (323), Germany (185), Israel (79), Australia (78), Norway (65), the Netherlands (51), South Africa (42), and Switzerland (37). California was the best-represented state in 2015 with 804 attendees, followed by New York (483), Massachusetts (476), Texas (465), home state Georgia (450), Illinois (416), North Carolina (371), Pennsylvania (343), and Virginia (318).
Satisfaction with the registration and housing process was high: 95 percent of respondents rated the process positively. The peak hotel night was Saturday, November 21, with almost 4700 hotel rooms in use. Overall more than 18,000 room nights were occupied during the meeting.
The most common complaint was about the split-level exhibit hall. This was an unfortunate circumstance of having to re-negotiate AAR’s 2012 Atlanta contracts to work for a joint meeting of AAR and SBL in 2015. Although we looked at using the space in the Georgia World Congress Center, about .75 miles away from the conference hotels, we were unable to secure enough meeting space there to make it worthwhile to locate the Exhibit Hall that far away. Thus we were stuck with the non-ideal space in the Hyatt. This will never be an issue going forward, as we have contracted convention centers with large, walkable hotel blocks in San Antonio, Boston, Denver, and San Diego for the next six years, and if we choose to meet in Atlanta again in the future, it will be at the Georgia World Congress Center.
The Annual Meeting Satisfaction Survey is sent via e-mail to all Annual Meeting attendees at the conclusion of each meeting and is offered online at the AAR website. The number of responses this year was 1,137, which represents about 23 percent of those AAR and dual members who were sent the survey. Respondents did not answer each question, so the values were measured from the number of respondents who did. The survey is voluntary and open to all attendees. The Executive Office staff would like to thank everyone who participated in the post-Annual Meeting survey. It continues to be valuable to the Annual Meeting process, for it provides the AAR’s Program Committee, Board of Directors, and Executive Office staff with an important measure of member satisfaction. We value this opportunity to hear your comments and suggestions on how we can continue to meet your needs and to offer an excellent meeting.