GSA Annual Meeting (Seattle - 2003)

Survey Summary

5,780 surveys were sent to meeting attendees via Web link and 1,057 were returned, resulting in an 18.3% response rate. The survey was live online for three weeks, from November 24 through December 15, 2003

Of the survey respondents:
   81% were members
   19% were nonmembers

We appreciate your participation and attendance at the GSA Annual Meeting, and we look forward to serving you in the years ahead.

2004 Denver, CO Nov. 7-10, 2004
2005 Salt Lake City, UT Oct. 16-19, 2005
2006 Philadelphia, PA Oct. 22-25, 2006
2007 Denver, CO Oct. 28-31, 2007
2008* Chicago, IL Oct. 26-30, 2008
*Joint meeting with the Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, and Crop Science Society of America

Meeting in General

Respondents gave very high overall ratings of meeting quality and their experience at the meeting, with 89% and 87% reporting "Very Satisfied" or "Somewhat Satisfied" respectively. 97% would attend another GSA meeting; 95% would recommend the GSA meeting to their colleagues.

Asked to rate various aspects of the scientific program, respondents gave "Very Satisfied" or "Somewhat Satisfied" ratings as follows:
Technical Program-oral sessions 83%
Technical Program-poster sessions 76%

The top three "auxiliary" scientific programs were:
Hot Topics 92%
Pardee Keynote Symposia 66%
Field Trips 58%

Respondents expressed strong interest in new professional development opportunities around communicating their science - to laypeople, media, funding sources, and sponsors -and also in the area of learning new software. GIS software was mentioned most often. These topics will be considered in future annual meeting planning.

Over 80% of respondents rated the quality and quantity of exhibits as "Very Satisfactory or Somewhat Satisfactory."

Other exhibit hall categories were ranked VS or SS as follows:
Exhibits Opening and Welcoming Party 72%
HQ Services/Bookstore 79%
Field Trips 58%
HQ Services/Other 72%
Graduate Student Information Forum 65%

Meeting Logistics

GSA staff service ranked very high at 91%
The registration process was second at 86%

Other logistical categories were rated VS or SS as follows:
Program Book 83%
Onsite Audio-Visual 80%
Speaker-Ready Room 79%
Scheduling technical sessions/events 68%*
Internet Access Center & Café 56%
Wireless internet access point 44%**
* Please review 2002 Survey FAQs
**The wireless internet access service provider experienced technical difficulties beyond GSA's control. Due to the frustrations experienced by GSA and the meeting attendees, GSA pulled the service ahead of schedule and did not pay for the service.

Professional Networking Opportunities

80% of respondents rated this category Very Satisfactory or Somewhat Satisfactory.

Meeting Cost & Location

Seattle was very well received as a meeting venue. The convention center was generally popular, but too spread out for some respondents.

Registration fees*
53% rated fees very or somewhat satisfactory
27% rated fees somewhat or very unsatisfactory

Hotel costs*
39% rated costs very or somewhat satisfactory 28% rated costs somewhat or very unsatisfactory

*For information about GSA registration fees, city costs, and scheduling procedures,
please review the 2002 Survey FAQs.


Reading through the survey verbatim comments, a number of common concerns, as well as kudos, emerged. GSA takes your comments very seriously, and the staff is already working on ways to improve the meeting experience for all attendees next year. For example:

  • Poster aisles will be wider in Denver
  • Signage and booth headers in registration will be improved
  • Exhibit space is already 70% sold for 2004, and the new larger hall in Denver promises to offer more diversity and interest
  • The Presidential Address with be held on Saturday evening from 7-9 p.m., allowing for a full day of oral and poster sessions on Sunday
  • GSA is continuously looking for ways to keep costs down and structure pricing to give attendees the maximum value possible.
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