ASIS&T 2008: Conferences & Social Networking

Making the Most of Conferences Via Social Networking
Presenters: Crystal Fulton, Julie Hesberger, Kate Johnson (absent), Ophelia Morey, Ruth Vondracek

[Sessions at this time were only given an hour instead of 1.5 – 2. Seems like poor planning to me. Was OK to run over because there are no sessions again until 2pm, but still, you have maybe 15 minutes extra before people start to leave.]

Julie Hersberger, University of North Carolina Greensboro
-Started with a Facebook group for this years’ conference. Now going to chat with audience today and will report results next year. Of 41 members on group, 24 of us are here.
-Looking at how people network at conferences.

Ophelia Morey, University of Buffalo
-Review of aspects of conference attendance and use of technology. [Citations on past related research.]

Crystal Fulton, University College Dublin
-Do hotel bars represent a rich environment for making social connecitons? What cliques exist? Do any attendees feel excluded? How are social connections made at conferences? etc.
-Had posted questions on the Facebook group, some people answered some didn’t.
-Originally wanted to do interviews at conference, haven’t gotten to it. Going to do focus groups with session attendees today.
-Analysis – look at density, size, connectivity. What’s the best environment at the conference?

Ruth Vondracek, Oregon State University
-Doing real-time research — 10 questions. General experience of socializing at conferences. What are the most socially rich conf enviros? What activities are least for social contact? Has your experience changed over time, how so? Would you describe your method of socializing as strategic, serendipitous? Extrovert of introvert? Follow up on conference connections? Led to publishing or presentations? Committee memberships, SIG offices? Negative effects from socializing? Felt socially excluded? How valuable are connections made at conferences?

[Broke into focus groups and answered questions above. My group was smallest & got through answers the fastest. Then again we had 3 introverts, 1 extrovert and 2 50/50 situational. The other researchers went really long with their focus groups, I thought we were supposed to come back together and discuss a little bit of what we talked about, but then they at 11:40 they dismissed the session.]