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CAA News Today

Your Feedback on the 2018 Annual Conference

posted by CAA — May 21, 2018

Attendees at the 2018 Annual Conference. Image: Rafael Cardenas

Artists and scholars are members of CAA because of the connections they form at our Annual Conference. But putting together an Annual Conference is no small task. The process to plan and execute the CAA Annual Conference takes the CAA staff and committees nearly a full year. You might have noticed that we opened the portal for session submissions for the 2019 Annual Conference in New York, February 13-16, just five days after we ended the LA meeting.

We received nearly 1,000 submissions for the 2019 Annual Conference – the highest number in CAA’s history. We had more than 4,200 attendees in Los Angeles. We hope to see more than 5,000 in New York.

As we set ourselves to planning CAA 2019, we take into consideration your ideas and comments. Working from feedback from the Annual Conference survey and from conversations in person we will make the NYC meeting even better.

Here is what you told us:

  • More than 73% were satisfied with the 2018 Annual Conference, so that means we will keep doing a lot of the things that we do. However, many of you hated the Los Angeles Convention Center and the distance from the hotels. This is not something we plan to do again.
  • There were a few problems with onsite registration and we are re-thinking how we perform this function. Even though we have a seasoned staff in this area, it is only something done once a year and we only do it for three days. That is not an excuse; it’s just that we have to get it perfect on the first day.
  • About two thirds of those who attended were art historians or curators. One third of you are practicing artists. 76% of you are associated with a college or university. That tracks closely to our overall membership. Designers have said that they want to participate and you will see that we will have more offerings for them in the years to come.
  • You like the phone app and the positive, welcoming feeling at the Annual Conference and the diversity of sessions. The 90-minute sessions seem to be popular. Many of you like the off-site events and enjoyed going The Getty, The Broad, The Huntington Library, and The Hammer Museum. We will continue to offer off-site events. The Book and Trade Hall remains popular. You liked hearing Catherine Opie and Helen Molesworth.
  • Some of you were frustrated that there were several sessions happening on the same topic at the same time. We hate when that happens as well, and we do everything we can to avoid it. The problem is that some panelists have no flexibility in their schedule and we are forced to offer the sessions at the times the panelists can be there. But trust us, we will continue to try to not schedule topics on the same topic at the same time.
  • Some felt that there was a broad diversity of topics while others felt that there were not enough sessions on their area of concentration. We want to hear more about this. Let us know how we can make this better. Remember – the members are the ones who control what is offered by submitting on a variety of topics.
  • Many of you want more professional development sessions. We hear you and we will be offering more in NYC. Stay tuned for a Professional Development Survey coming your way soon. We are also making it a goal to have childcare at the New York meeting!
  • Many didn’t like the fact that the Los Angeles Convention Center only had one coffee cart. It did not help that it was poorly staffed and closed mid-afternoon (Yikes!). The NYC Hilton will have many more options, and so will the immediate vicinity outside the Hilton hotel.
  • On one hand, many of you liked being in LA; others hated the city and felt it was too expensive and spread out.
  • While we can all use more chairs and places to sit, an overwhelming 83% of you believed that you had an opportunity to network with colleagues – one of the most important reasons we offer the Annual Conference.
  • 83% of you are considering coming to NYC and we look forward to seeing you!

Keep telling us what you think.  It’s how we put together a great Annual Conference.

Filed under: Annual Conference, Membership