There were 204 responses to our annual post-show survey. The distribution was 72% full conferees, 13% expo-only and 15% exhibitors. The location of the symposium in Princeton was rated highest 4/5, with the conference venue rated 3.7/5 and the hotels 2.9/5. Once again a majority of attendees drove to the symposium venue (82%), with the rest using private shuttles, taxi services or other modes of transportation. Parking was less of an issue than last year as more attendees were aware of, and able to use, the overflow parking lot. The free shuttle bus from the Princeton Junction NJ Transit station was used by slightly more attendees than last year (6% vs. 5%) but was not a very popular option despite our efforts to promote the use of public transportation. Users of the shuttle were satisfied (83%) with the reliability of the service and waiting times.
73% of responders attended oral presentations. The technical program received praise for its quality and variety of topics. Last year, EAS introduced electronic posters for the first time in an effort to make the symposium “greener.” This innovation was enthusiastically sanctioned by the attendees with 97% rating the experience as good, pretty good or great. Many attendees commented that the 45-min poster sessions were too short, causing them to miss some posters they wanted to visit. Some offered suggestions such as making posters available on demand, all day or making them available online. The Program committee is reviewing the feedback carefully and evaluating options for this year.
The plenary and keynote lectures were attended by about 25% of responders. We were pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the breakfast lecture, which had to be moved to a larger room due to the excellent response (17%) it received. Attendees enjoyed the topics of the special lectures and found all the speakers engaging.
The exposition remains a key part of the symposium and was visited by 86% of attendees. There was much improvement from last year in the ease of finding exhibitor booths or tables. Many attendees and exhibitors expressed regrets that the expo is not in a single space and requested better signage. We continue to work with the management of the Crowne Plaza to optimize the use of the conference center meeting space for the various activities.
Thank you to all who took time to respond to the survey; please keep your suggestions coming by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media. We look forward to welcoming you again at EAS 2019 in November.