Monday, October 22, 2012

Kotesol 2012 Review

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the Kotesol conference this year.  Here are some thoughts:

1.Registration for me (a presenter) and my friend (registered on site) was easy and painless.  Signage was much clearer this year to prevent any confusion about where to go.

2.As a presenter, I was much happier than last year.  The Internet in my room worked.  I had a prime-time slot.  I had a room monitor.  I didn't have to figure out how to turn the projector on.  My room didn't get changed at the last minute.   

The only thing that I still find extremely distressing is the fact that presenters have to pay more than regular attenders for the "privilege" of presenting.  The only response I can get from Kotesol is that it's standard practice around Asia.  And, that I get some picked-over muffins and coffee without sugar or milk in the presenter's lounge!  But, as my friend said, "Isn't is just common sense that presenters should get in free or get a reduced rate?  That's so crazy.  You're doing them a favor!"  Yes, that about sums it up for me too. 

3. For the presentations I attended, it was again hit and miss as it always is.  I think a large part of the problem is the fact that presenters have to submit presentation titles/abstracts about 6 months before they actually do the presentation.  And, in those 6 months, the presentations often morph into something else that perhaps I'm not particularly interested in.  I wonder if giving presenters a little window to update their info, say 1 month before the event would be a good thing?

One thing I liked is that the presentations by publishers had "commercial" marked next to them in the schedule.  So, I avoided them and had much less annoyance overall! 

And one thing I loathed about the presentations?  People that insist on using all this tech stuff even though it's clear that they are totally incompetent at using it.  When presentations are only 50 minutes long, but the presenter wastes 15 or 20 minutes figuring out their stuff, it's annoying.  And the one worst example was a presentation on leadership (not naming names!) that had the 1:30 slot on Saturday.  This was after lunch, where there were no presentations.  So truly, there really was no excuse for not coming early to get everything set-up.  And this was one of the "featured" ones.

4. The venue was again fabulous, as usual.

5. I'm wondering why there isn't a reduced rate for those that attend only on Sunday?  I had a couple friends in this situation.  From what I can tell, Kotesol has a lot of money in the bank.  Or, they could just invite fewer of the featured speakers (like 2-3 famous people is enough!) and then reduce the fees for regular attendees/presenters. 

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