Mapping Event Participation. Social Network Analysis of May 09 & November 09 Conference

I’ve been following the growth of social network analysis tools for almost a decade. I feel there is great potential to use these tools to map participation in events and show growth of networks over a period of years. Read more.

In 2010 one of my volunteers looked at participation in 2008 and 2009 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences, which I hosted in Chicago from 1994 to May 2015. She created a set of maps and posted them on a blog article, which I’m re-posting below:

I have created another set of maps for the social network analysis of Tutor/Mentor Connection Leadership and Networking Conferences organized in May 09 and November 09. These conferences are conducted every year for the improvement of quality and availability of tutor/mentor programs in the high poverty areas of Chicago. The SNA maps for May 09 and Nov 09 conferences will show the growth in the network of Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) with participation of new organizations every year, geographical distribution of conference attendees, and strength of the relationship between T/MC and other organizations. These maps will also provide insight regarding the number of tutor/mentor programs, schools, universities, media, speakers, non-speakers and donors attending these conferences in May09 and Nov 09. (Click on the maps for enlarged view)

May 09 Conference

The above map shows the organizations that attended the May 09 T/MC conference. This conference drew 85 organizations and 130 attendees from Chicago and other regions. The organizations that are closer to T/MC on the basis of zip code are in a darker shade of red, but as we move further away from T/MC the shades become lighter and lighter. The donor is highlighted in yellow in the map. Karina Ayala-Bermejo, Executive Director, Sun Times Judge Marovitz, Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program, was the donor for May 09 conference.. Again, the thickness of the connecting links between T/MC and other organizations is directly related to the number of conferences the organization has attended. The organization that has attended maximum number of conferences since May 08 to May 09 has the thickest connection link to T/MC.

Nov 09 Conference

Similarly, this map shows the organizations that attended the Nov 09 T/MC conference. This conference drew 90 organizations and 150 attendees from Chicago and other regions. T/MC received funds from the same donor (Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program) in Nov 09 conference also and the donor is highlighted in yellow in the map. As the thickness of the links is directly proportional to the conference attended, the organization that has attended maximum number of conferences from May 08 to Nov 09 has the thickest connection link to T/MC.

Speakers May 09

Speakers Nov 09

In the above two maps we have shown the number of speakers and non-speakers that participated in May 09 and Nov 09 conference. The speakers are shown in dark blue and non-speakers are in light blue. In May 09 conferences there were about 60 speakers from different regional and local organizations, where as in Nov 09 conference there were approximately 35 speakers.

Programs May 09

Programs Nov 09

The above two maps represents a nice distribution of organizations that attended the May 09 and Nov 09 conferences based on different programs. The map has been color-coded to represent tutor/mentor programs, programs supporting tutor/mentor programs, donors, schools, universities, literacy and media.

The above map shows a combination of May 09 and Nov 09 conference. In this map the organizations are divided into three categories: 1) attended May 09 conference 2) attended Nov 09 conference and 3) attended both May 09 & Nov 09 conference.

Interactive map

SNA map

Finally I have used an interactive map of Tutor/Mentor Chicago Program Locator and a SNA map to show the number of tutor/mentor programs present in different poverty regions of Chicago based on the 2000 Census data for % living in poverty in Chicago, IL. The interactive map shows the number of tutor/mentor programs present within different areas of Chicago based on their zip codes, and those areas are color-coded based on the percentage of poverty in that area.

The SNA map shows the conference attendees from different tutor/mentor programs for the May09 and Nov 09 conference. The tutor/mentor programs are color-coded on the basis of the poverty in that zip code. The map shows that attendees in the May09 and Nov 09 are from wide spectrum of poverty regions. These conferences help participants from high poverty zip codes to learn from each other, and build relationships that help them constantly improve their own programs. As people from different zip codes come to these conferences, they can borrow ideas from these conferences and implement it in their own respective zip codes.

Read more articles from this intern’s blog

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Millions of dollars are being spent by event organizers to host conferences and informal gatherings focused on various issues, including social justice, poverty and inequality, education, youth development, youth tutoring and/or mentoring, etc.

I don’t know that any of these organizers have been mapping participation in their events, with a goal of understanding who is attending, and who is not attending, but should be, and with a goal of building repeat participation from year to year, while also growing the participation, along with actions that help bring solution to the issues for which the event was organized in the first place.

Do you?

Post links to web sites where SNA and GIS mapping is being used to show participation. Read more about my own goals for network mapping. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN.

Originally published at on March 12, 2016.