Post-Conference Survey Results from #UXRConf 2019

Alec Levin
Nov 29, 2019 · 5 min read
Vivianne Castillo speaking on-stage at Roy Thomson Hall at Strive: the UXR Conference
Vivianne Castillo speaking on-stage at Roy Thomson Hall at Strive: the UXR Conference
Vivianne Castillo speaking at #UXRConf 2019. Check out Vivianne’s talk “The Siren Call of Self-Neglect” here.

2019 was a big year for the UXR Collective, the team behind the #UXRConf. During our inaugural conference in 2018, we were surprised to host over 400 attendees, while this past year we were thrilled to welcome 1,000 attendees here in Toronto.

Going from 400 to 1,000, and from one day to two days of content was a significant challenge for our team. In general, we’re extremely proud of the effort we put forward. While there’s lots that went well, there are a number of areas we want to work on for next year too.

In the air of transparency, we’d love to take a moment to discuss with you the results from our post-conference survey to let you know how we did, and more importantly, what you can expect our team to improve upon for next year.

Goals for Our Attendees at #UXRConf

For #UXRConf 2019, our team had three major goals for our attendees:

  1. Fun — create a fun and safe environment for learning
  2. Content — help each attendee improve their research practice
  3. Network — help attendees make new research friends and colleagues

Let’s dig in to how we did in each area.

1. Fun

On the whole, we think we did a good job creating a fun and safe learning environment for our attendees. A couple of big factors here were the venues we chose to host our content and the installations and booths from our sponsors at Roy Thomson Hall.

Things that went well:

  • Generally speaking, the venues were great spaces to host our content
Roy Thomson Hall
  • Sponsor installations were a hit, especially the conversation starter activity run by our friends at Airbnb
  • Our Attendee Welcome Package contained a lot of useful information for attendees, especially those coming in from out of the city
  • Medium recaps of all our talks, as well as the visual recordings provided at Roy Thomson Hall, were appreciated by attendees

Areas for improvement:

  • More space to sit during lunch
  • Better access to wifi info
  • More clarity on what content was going on in each track
  • Attendees really want notebooks and swag items

2. Content

While we’re happy with the content we had this year, there is definitely room for improvement for next year.

We won’t lie, the team is going to have a challenging time with this one as there was such a significant amount of conflicting feedback on a lot of our content. While some attendees were excited by the more inspirationally-focused talks, others were eager for more practical insights. Some attendees identified with certain speakers’ personality, views and speaking style, while others didn’t feel that same connection, and vice versa. Connecting with content is super personal, so how best can we serve 1,000+ attendees?

Moving forward, attendees will see more clarity around what to expect from each talk and track of talks, so they can make the best decisions for themselves.

Things that went well:

  • A mix of inspirational and practical talks
  • The track system for the first day worked really well

All speakers were spot on and there were so many takeaways that my head spinned in a good way by the end of the day

All of the presenters in the leadership track were very relevant and inspiring. I took home multiple takeaways, shared and implemented them already

  • Diversity of speakers

Areas for improvement:

  • More talks that get into the weeds of the every day, like case studies
  • More workshops

3. Network

We’re pretty thrilled with how many new friends and connections were made at this years conference.

Our inaugural Conference Buddies program was a big hit, as the activity allowed those who participated to come to the conference already knowing at least one other person. Also, the Airbnb conversation starter challenge was a great, no-pressure way to get to know other folks at the conference.

Things that went well:

  • The Conference Buddies program
  • The Airbnb conversation starter activity
“Air BnB [sic] gelato activity encouraged people to interact in a way that wasn’t forced”

Areas for improvement:

  • Have socials in the evening time
  • Introduce more structured networking opportunities during the conference breaks

At the UXR Collective, our goal is to put on the world’s best research conference — an event by researchers, for researchers.

To do that, we feel it’s important to be open with our community about what’s gone well, and where we have opportunities to improve. That’s why we’re sharing the results from our post-conference survey. We really appreciate you taking the time to read this post, and if you have any other questions or feedback, please email us.

If you were at last year’s #UXRConf, thank you for coming and we hope we get the chance to learn with you again next year. We hope you’ll join us in June 2020 for our next conference. Tickets are on sale now, for more information please visit uxrconference.com

Hope to see you there!

Alec

The UXR Blog

A publication by the UXR Collective. The best place to grow your research skills.

Alec Levin

Written by

User Researcher consuming unreasonable amounts of caffeine. Go Raptors.

The UXR Blog

A publication by the UXR Collective. The best place to grow your research skills.

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