Here's another wrapping-up post to end this series (just two more to go after this one), and what I wanted to write about here is some suggestions that I would have to share back with the great people who are on the team that organized InstructureCon. Feedback is my mantra this year, after all! I know it is a monumental event, and it's trying to accomplish lots of goals all at once. Here are some ideas I would put on the table based coming from my own perspective, and maybe others have ideas they would want to share also.
1. Collect Twitter handles during registration. As I mentioned in a previous post, it would be really helpful to have a more representative Twitter list of InstructureCon attendees. By working hard on creating a list, I ended up with a couple hundred Twitter handles, but out of the huge number of people attending InstructureCon, I know that was only a tiny sample. It would be really helpful in my opinion if people could submit Twitter handles when they register, knowing that they might be included in an InstructureCon Twitter list. That way people could opt-in or out as they prefer; I'm guessing a lot of people would opt in. The Twitter handles could also be printed on the badges/booklets, so that when you are taking a picture of someone's badge name (as I saw many people doing), their Twitter handle would be right there too, assuming they opted in.
2. Allow for "remote participants" to register for the conference. Adam Williams and the other Community managers did such a great job of trying to promote the remote experience, and I think that would be even more powerful if you let people register as "remote participants" at no cost during the registration process. Maybe you could send them a page of stickers or something as their conference swag! That wouldn't cost a lot, and I am guessing it would build enormous good will along with providing a stronger foundation for helping people to have a good remote experience. There are all kinds of reasons why people cannot attend InstructureCon, and finding a way to share the goodness with that big group of people is really important IMO. My guess is that in the long run it would actually boost InstructureCon attendance if people felt involved remotely in the years that they are not able to attend. Is there any reason not to offer some kind of free "remote participant" registration option? Honestly, I cannot think of any reason not to do it, and there appear to be a lot of potential advantages!
3. Bigger fonts for names on badge/booklet. Yes, this is a small thing, but it was actually a big deal for me. As a very nearsighted person (even with my glasses, my vision is really poor), it would be great if the fonts on the badges could be as big as possible. The bigger, the better! And even for people who are not as nearsighted as me, having super-big fonts would allow people to be able to read names at a greater distance too. First name on one line, last name on another line: that would allow for the names to be bigger and easier to read at a distance. (On this year's badge, first and last names were printed on the same line, and the font size was not really big, just the same size more or less as the "Carnival Pass" phrase that also appeared on the badge.)
4. Breakfast/lunch/snack options nearer to the session venues. Keystone was really challenging that way, and I'm guessing that maybe it will be easier to come up with a variety of ways to do the food at the new venue for 2019. Again, just speaking for myself, I was glad that I brought some peanuts and such with home to carry with me since I found myself missing out on breakfast/lunch most of the time. The way we had catered breakfast and lunch for the UnConference was really nice; that was the only day where I ended up having both breakfast and lunch because the food was just right there.
5. Coping with overflow sessions. I always scrambled to get to sessions as early as possible (which meant I often ducked out of prior sessions early) because I had been warned in advance of the need to get to sessions early to secure a seat. I heard from people at the conference and I also saw at Twitter that there were sessions where people were turned away because there was no room, and in at least two of the sessions I attended, someone came in and had to tell people sitting on the floor that they were not allowed to sit on the floor because of fire regulations (which is totally understandable, of course, but standing up for a whole session is also no fun). I don't know what kinds of options the new venue will provide, but if there is a way to see when a session is overflowing and on the fly find a way to transmit the audio/video feed being collected somewhere that people could watch, that sure would be great. I don't know how feasible that is, but I felt really badly to think that people had come all that way and paid all that money but were not able to attend the sessions they were most interested in.
So, those are the main ideas that I had! Now that I think about it, I don't remember getting any kind of a survey or feedback form from Instructure. Was there some kind of effort like that to collect feedback? I might have missed it; the month of August was pretty hectic. Anyway, those are the ideas I would have shared, and if other people have ideas they want to add here in the comments, please chime in!
And in the spirit of feedback, here's one of my feedback cats. :-)