05 September, 2005


Conference rating system

I've developed a simple rating system for conferences. Thinking it would be nice to know about what the experience of a particular conference is likely to be like based on previous meetings, I intend to keep a record for other conference-goers. Hopefully, others will do the same.
Feel free to send me your ratings.


A quick overview of the system before I give you the ratings for the last two conferences I attended.
There are five items in each rating, each given a score between zero and five, inclusive.

  1. Food. Possibly the most important. Includes coffee, tea and snacks. Does not include meals bought in restaurants.

  2. Bed. The bed itself and, to a lesser degree, the bedroom. I realise that this will change when conferences move venues, but it at least gives an indication of the kind of accommodation that the conference organisers are likely to provide.

  3. Entertainment. Was there anything fun to do after each day? Bonus points for organised trips.

  4. Location. Middle of nowhere? Middle of Las Vegas?

  5. Other. How good was the free bag? Also less important items, such as quality of papers, organisation, etc.
The mean of these ratings is the overall score.
And now for the first two ratings.

MIUA 2005, University of Bristol

Too close to town for a bus, too far to be easy to run to during a boring session. The room was basic, but had a great view (see photos).

Entertainment (1)

ICAPR 05, University of Bath

Bath is a lovely city, and very pleasing on the eye. Which is probably why they put the University out of view. They make use of concrete with a wood pattern pressed into it, which is more depressing than plain old concrete, somehow. I did like the Uni, but most of it wasn't particularly pretty.
Quite a way from town, but very easy to get there by bus. Nice room, but a horrible squeaky bed. I tried turning over very slowly in the night to stop the squeaking, but all it did was cause the bed to give out a long painful scream.
Coaches were organised to take us to the Roman baths, which was fun. Great free bag, but my pen didn't work.

Entertainment (3)

OK; but it seems a bit unfair to comment on the state of the bedroom you rented if you didn't use the conference hotel?!
Ah well, if you didn't stay in the accommodation provided by the conference, just make it up. Or ask other attendees.
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