Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.
This report presents the results of an evaluation of the Government on the Net 01 Conference. It is based on participant comments gathered through more than 1,300 session-specific feedback report cards and some 160 post-conference telephone interviews; exhibitor comments collected through self-administered questionnaires; and, views of some 190 non-participants who are members of the target groups and who were joined by telephone.
- Overall, participants were satisfied with their experience.
- The 2001 conference was better than the 1999 conference from the point of view of the participants.
- Conference strengths include the workshops, the level of service offered and the quality of the communications.
- Conference weaknesses include the results derived from attendance, the cost and the lack of handouts.
- Topics of interest to participants and non-participants agree in part: new technology, e-government and Government On Line.
- General awareness of the conference is climbing.
- Word-of-mouth has supplanted the mailed flyer as the main information channel.
- Exhibitors were generally satisfied but their commitment is slipping because of cost considerations and of the lack of interest shown by attendees.
- Maintain the conference format and general philosophy.
- Keep listening to participants and improving the conference.
- Protect the conference assets (workshop, level of service, communications) with close attention to elements affecting the information and knowledge gained by participants (people learn in various ways and retention is increased by the use of multiple media).
- Make the conference more interactive: down-play traditional speaker sessions and add exchanges (electronic, small group and social).
- Maintain a segmentation at the conference between technology, policy and content; possibly add a design stream.
- Possibly add a Communications stream which would cover interactivity, marketing and the joint management of various communication mechanisms.
Building Conference Results
- Insist upon the distribution of handouts.
- Build an Internet-based archive of presentations and handouts; advertise it.
- Continue to build a list of potential participants with address and e-mail.
- Use the conference proceedings as a promotional tool.
- If the exhibition component is to be repeated, maintain the assets which include the exhibition layout space and the contacts with other exhibitors.
- Build the exhibition component into the content of the conference.
- Revise the cost structure.
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