• Announcements

    • Kelly

      New Team members Needed--Moderator, Project Team, and Declass Team: Voting   12/10/13

      See:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164659-new-declass-team-member-needed-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164657-new-moderator-member-needed-qa-co-mod-and-world-watch-mod-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164656-new-project-team-member-needed-resources-and-education-director-voting/  
    • Kelly

      AVENues Holiday Special Edition is now live   08/17/17

      The new edition of AVENues is done!   See:        
    • Lady Girl

      Ace Community Census   11/06/17

      It’s time for the 2017 Ace Community Census!   see:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/162675-announcing-the-2017-ace-community-census/  
    • Heart

      Help fund AVEN's servers!   11/06/17

      AVEN is doing its annual fundraiser to raise donations for server costs! See http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/163251-aven-server-fundraiser/ for more details.  
Ballore

Post your feedback on the International Asexuality Conference!

Recommended Posts

Ballore

Hello everyone!

To start, I'd like to thank everyone who attended the conference and/or helped out in any way. I personally had a wonderful time hosting the conference, and I know many, if not all, who attended were as positively impacted.

In saying that, however, I would love your feedback on how things went, so that we can host an even better conference next year!

Let us know what went well, what didn't go so well, and what we can do to improve next year!


I will make sure to take all replies into consideration to make sure our next conference is even more spectacular than Saturday's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

One thing that could be improved is to have a better system for watching the registration desk. It seemed like there were a couple of people who had to miss parts of the conference sessions because they had to take turns watching the registration desk whenever someone decided to show up at the conference hours later. A few options to fix that would be to close registration about an hour into the conference, get a group of volunteers who will not attend the conference to watch the registration desk, or have sheets of paper (with maps and other instructions) laid out on the table telling people that they are free to come into any of the sessions at the conference.

The next international conference will most likely be held at WorldPride 2017 in Madrid, Spain, so it's going to be a bit different and perhaps more difficult. However, it should set a precedent in the midst of all of these international asexual conferences that have been mainly in English.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mayve

From a planning committee stand point...

1) Have things planned out farther in advance. I know we had a lot of last minute things which made things stressful.

2) Be more familiar with the conference facility so we can arrange for technology.

That's all I can think of for the time being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ballore

One thing that could be improved is to have a better system for watching the registration desk. It seemed like there were a couple of people who had to miss parts of the conference sessions because they had to take turns watching the registration desk whenever someone decided to show up at the conference hours later.

Unfortunately, we will always have the issue of people missing sessions because they had to attend to the registration desk. It would be helpful, however, to plan ahead as to who will be doing that.

The next international conference will most likely be held at WorldPride 2017 in Madrid, Spain, so it's going to be a bit different and perhaps more difficult. However, it should set a precedent in the midst of all of these international asexual conferences that have been mainly in English.

At the moment, we're receiving feedback to plan for next year's Toronto conference, so the WorldPride 2017 conference isn't really being looked at yet. I imagine we will have better tools developed to start looking at that conference two years from now.

From a planning committee stand point...

1) Have things planned out farther in advance. I know we had a lot of last minute things which made things stressful.

2) Be more familiar with the conference facility so we can arrange for technology.

That's all I can think of for the time being.

As to your first point, I will be local to Toronto next year, and will be heading the planning committee so that I can ensure things are prepared far further in advance.

For your second point, the issue wasn't familiarity with the conference facility, but rather, that security wasn't notified ahead of time (so we weren't able to get the building unlocked), and there was a miscommunication with our Ryerson Student Union contact, where no representative arrived to setup the technological aspects. Again, this will be fixed for next year.

Thanks for the replies, both of you; I look forward to more feedback soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

One thing that could be improved is to have a better system for watching the registration desk. It seemed like there were a couple of people who had to miss parts of the conference sessions because they had to take turns watching the registration desk whenever someone decided to show up at the conference hours later.

Unfortunately, we will always have the issue of people missing sessions because they had to attend to the registration desk. It would be helpful, however, to plan ahead as to who will be doing that.

Why would we always have that issue? Do none of the options I provided seem workable to you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ballore

One thing that could be improved is to have a better system for watching the registration desk. It seemed like there were a couple of people who had to miss parts of the conference sessions because they had to take turns watching the registration desk whenever someone decided to show up at the conference hours later.

Unfortunately, we will always have the issue of people missing sessions because they had to attend to the registration desk. It would be helpful, however, to plan ahead as to who will be doing that.

Why would we always have that issue? Do none of the options I provided seem workable to you?

We will always need someone at the registration desk, not necessarily for registration, but as a go-to if anyone needs help with anything. It's important to always have one centralized location active.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

One thing that could be improved is to have a better system for watching the registration desk. It seemed like there were a couple of people who had to miss parts of the conference sessions because they had to take turns watching the registration desk whenever someone decided to show up at the conference hours later.

Unfortunately, we will always have the issue of people missing sessions because they had to attend to the registration desk. It would be helpful, however, to plan ahead as to who will be doing that.

Why would we always have that issue? Do none of the options I provided seem workable to you?

We will always need someone at the registration desk, not necessarily for registration, but as a go-to if anyone needs help with anything. It's important to always have one centralized location active.

The other option I presented was to have people who would not plan to attend the conference work at the registration desk so no one would have to miss any parts of the session to do that. This could be people who are familiar with asexuality as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Daz

Congratulations on a wonderfully successful conference! I think everyone involved did a fantastic job. I will plan to volunteer next year, this time I was very new (recently discovered and had been to one meeting) and anxious to understand myself better before jumping in with both feet. But the conference helped me a lot.

A suggestion I have, is if we could have one time slot when we divided into segments based on our more specific identies just to have open discussion on issues that relate to specific traits. Such as hetero asexuals, aromantic asexuals, homoromantic asexuals, that kind of thing. Some people would fall into more than one category and would choose which they most wanted to talk about. Like a room could be for romantics and then within the room divided into a few circles such as hetero-romantic. homo-romantic, singles, people in relationships, etc.

The reason I suggest this is because as a homo romantic guy, I have some specific questions of experience that only other homo romanics might relate with, such as regarding dating in the gay scene, how do we fit in to the gay scene, dating tips, etc. Those questions would be quite different from someone who is hetero, or to someone who has no desire whatsoever to date or have a romantic relationship. And people with other qualities would have questions that I would not even think of.

I wish I had asked DJ about cuddling, because I really crave connection with guys through physical contact but I have not idea how to negotiate that. He had mentioned that he has conversations about touch and that cuddling makes him happy too, but with who? With other asexuals, with friends, with sexual people, or on a dating scene? I've tried that approach on dating websites (just looking to cuddle) and mostly get scoffed at. People don't want to meet-up to cuddle. But I'd love to, I just don't know where/how to to find others who would like that too? Being sensual with others makes me feel somehow more complete, and I get quite lonely without it.

Sorry, got off topic.

In short, I thought the conference was fantastic. There will always be glitches, one should not expect things to go perfectly but to deal with issues well when they come up. The main thing is for the conference to achieve it's goals. I am quite sure this conference did and everyone involved should be very pleased with their efforts.

I'd suggest when planning for next year to draft a list of goals that the conference wants to achieve as a starting point. Perhaps that is already how it starts-out, I don't know. I hope I can be helpful next time though. A thread here would be a good space, separate from feedback - query members what they would want achieved in attending such a conference and find the most common member goals to be priorities.

Cheers!

Darren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ballore

A suggestion I have, is if we could have one time slot when we divided into segments based on our more specific identies just to have open discussion on issues that relate to specific traits. Such as hetero asexuals, aromantic asexuals, homoromantic asexuals, that kind of thing. Some people would fall into more than one category and would choose which they most wanted to talk about. Like a room could be for romantics and then within the room divided into a few circles such as hetero-romantic. homo-romantic, singles, people in relationships, etc.

This is certainly a possibility, though we have to worry about spreading our audience too thin.

I'd suggest when planning for next year to draft a list of goals that the conference wants to achieve as a starting point. Perhaps that is already how it starts-out, I don't know. I hope I can be helpful next time though. A thread here would be a good space, separate from feedback - query members what they would want achieved in attending such a conference and find the most common member goals to be priorities.

This is an excellent idea! I'm sure we will do something along those lines as we begin planning for next year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kelly

I have nothing but praise. Several people did put a lot of time planning and preparing (michaeld, CJ, amy, and many others :cake: ), and on the ground, there were people staying up late to assemble nametags and materials, etc. The day of the conference, there were several people who arrived early and set everything up. Dealing with pertinent university personnel was done and by the time that the presentations got started, everything was working. It really did go amazingly well (I actually always thought that it would :) ).

Brian was there at the beginning of the day and ran the show very well all the way to the end of the rather long but amazing day :cake: .

If all of our conferences go so well, then we will be making a good impression on attendees. The conference was quite a success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trava u doma

I thought you were a great host, Brian ^_^

From my perspective, I'd say it would be good if people speaking during the conference had a bit more time to organize how they want to conduct their session. I'm not sure how it was with other ones, but I joined the languages one very late (days before the conference in fact) and I felt I could have made more with it had I had the chance to prepare for longer and discuss it with others (there was some of my fault there, as well, as I decided very late to actually attend).

As for the other sessions, I liked pretty much every speaker... The sessions were interesting and informative, and the breaks were in just the right time, so a big plus in general. For all the organizational trouble I have read about now, I have to say I haven't actually noticed anything while at the conference. Everything seemed very well organized.

I liked the gender non-specific toilets :lol:

Joanna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ballore

I have nothing but praise. Several people did put a lot of time planning and preparing (michaeld, CJ, amy, and many others :cake: ), and on the ground, there were people staying up late to assemble nametags and materials, etc. The day of the conference, there were several people who arrived early and set everything up. Dealing with pertinent university personnel was done and by the time that the presentations got started, everything was working. It really did go amazingly well (I actually always thought that it would :) ).

Brian was there at the beginning of the day and ran the show very well all the way to the end of the rather long but amazing day :cake: .

If all of our conferences go so well, then we will be making a good impression on attendees. The conference was quite a success.

Thanks Kelly! It's great to hear that you enjoyed the conference so much!

I thought you were a great host, Brian ^_^

From my perspective, I'd say it would be good if people speaking during the conference had a bit more time to organize how they want to conduct their session. I'm not sure how it was with other ones, but I joined the languages one very late (days before the conference in fact) and I felt I could have made more with it had I had the chance to prepare for longer and discuss it with others (there was some of my fault there, as well, as I decided very late to actually attend).

As for the other sessions, I liked pretty much every speaker... The sessions were interesting and informative, and the breaks were in just the right time, so a big plus in general. For all the organizational trouble I have read about now, I have to say I haven't actually noticed anything while at the conference. Everything seemed very well organized.

I liked the gender non-specific toilets :lol:

Joanna

We will certainly be looking at gathering facilitators for sessions well in advance next year, though from what I've heard, everyone seemed to do a great job regardless of any time shortages!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

I thought you were a great host, Brian ^_^

From my perspective, I'd say it would be good if people speaking during the conference had a bit more time to organize how they want to conduct their session. I'm not sure how it was with other ones, but I joined the languages one very late (days before the conference in fact) and I felt I could have made more with it had I had the chance to prepare for longer and discuss it with others (there was some of my fault there, as well, as I decided very late to actually attend).

As for the other sessions, I liked pretty much every speaker... The sessions were interesting and informative, and the breaks were in just the right time, so a big plus in general. For all the organizational trouble I have read about now, I have to say I haven't actually noticed anything while at the conference. Everything seemed very well organized.

I liked the gender non-specific toilets :lol:

Joanna

We will certainly be looking at gathering facilitators for sessions well in advance next year, though from what I've heard, everyone seemed to do a great job regardless of any time shortages!

Trava u doma, are you referring to any of the facilitators of the sessions or the main-room speakers and panelists? The languages panel you were on was a main-room session which had a different style to the other sessions that were more like workshops. Not all of the facilitators of the sessions that weren't in the main room were speakers and many of them didn't have much planned for the sessions since a lot of them were group-discussion oriented.

I found the group discussion workshops worked really well, even without much preparation because who facilitated the workshops didn't matter as much as who attended those workshops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sebastian Grace

Thanks for starting this thread, Brian!

One suggestion I have is to set deadlines for logistical reasons. If we want to put out a call for panel topics and sessions that people would like to see, we need a deadline for it so we can get speakers, facilitators, and moderators as soon as possible.

Another idea is to set a registration deadline so that we can ensure we have enough materials for everyone and that we don't have capacity issues. This point might need some work, as we had quite a few people sign up last-minute and we do want to encourage attendance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ballore

Thanks for starting this thread, Brian!

One suggestion I have is to set deadlines for logistical reasons. If we want to put out a call for panel topics and sessions that people would like to see, we need a deadline for it so we can get speakers, facilitators, and moderators as soon as possible.

Another idea is to set a registration deadline so that we can ensure we have enough materials for everyone and that we don't have capacity issues. This point might need some work, as we had quite a few people sign up last-minute and we do want to encourage attendance.

Thanks for the feedback, Sebastian! We'll certainly have to ensure deadlines are set next year

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tristifere

If I can just butt in as someone who didn't attend, but who really enjoys watching the recordings of the panels:

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who recording and helped organise the recording of these panels. I was very disappointed I couldn't attend the conference, so this way I can still watch what was being discussed. Next time will be Madrid 2017 or will it be held sooner? In any case, I make sure I can attend next time!

Second, I have some questions about the Leadership panel. It's really strange to me that all the panelists were American. Are there no non-American leaders in our community? I feel that becauseof the all-American panel, the entire conversation was very Americentric and almost entirely only applicable to what's happening in the US. They have done some really amazing work, but when discussing it, I felt it was difficult to see the bigger, international picture. I would have asked these questions if I were there, but I'm just going to post them here as food for thought and hopefully something that will be addressed in future leadership panels (or online discussions):

The (online) ace community is an international one. So if you've booked some amazing progress on a national level (with the Trevor project, for instance), how does that translate to the larger ace community? How can you provide handles for aces in other countries to book the same/similar successes? How can you provide online resources that are not only American-specific, but are useful to the community at large? And lastly, is it at all possible to set up a support network between community leaders that crosses borders? Because what these panelists (and many others) have done is pioneering. In a sense, they've got invaluable experience on how to handle certain issues, or how to get things done - expertise which activists in other countries could use and learn from for their own national projects.

In short: I really missed the international perspective in the Leadership panel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

Thanks for starting this thread, Brian!

One suggestion I have is to set deadlines for logistical reasons. If we want to put out a call for panel topics and sessions that people would like to see, we need a deadline for it so we can get speakers, facilitators, and moderators as soon as possible.

Another idea is to set a registration deadline so that we can ensure we have enough materials for everyone and that we don't have capacity issues. This point might need some work, as we had quite a few people sign up last-minute and we do want to encourage attendance.

Thanks for the feedback, Sebastian! We'll certainly have to ensure deadlines are set next year

I actually suggested something similar earlier about closing registration an hour into the conference (this could be altered to be before an hour before the conference begins or around a similar time) which could balance having a deadline and encouraging attendance.

One thing that could be improved is to have a better system for watching the registration desk. It seemed like there were a couple of people who had to miss parts of the conference sessions because they had to take turns watching the registration desk whenever someone decided to show up at the conference hours later. A few options to fix that would be to close registration about an hour into the conference, get a group of volunteers who will not attend the conference to watch the registration desk, or have sheets of paper (with maps and other instructions) laid out on the table telling people that they are free to come into any of the sessions at the conference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chewy

In short: I really missed the international perspective in the Leadership panel.

The Leadership Q&A session is just one part of it. Anyone you see in the videos presenting are emerging leaders in Asexuality in my perspective.

Anyone that is part of the AVEN Project Team, is also emerging leaders in Asexuality in my perspective.

Michaeld is one of the leaders and he is from UK. You won't see him much in the videos because he was too busy zipping in and out of conference rooms :).

Brian, our MC, is from Canada, did an awesome job in the conference. (You look very young, too, Brian ;))

As Sarah said, we are a very young movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

The (online) ace community is an international one. So if you've booked some amazing progress on a national level (with the Trevor project, for instance), how does that translate to the larger ace community? How can you provide handles for aces in other countries to book the same/similar successes? How can you provide online resources that are not only American-specific, but are useful to the community at large? And lastly, is it at all possible to set up a support network between community leaders that crosses borders? Because what these panelists (and many others) have done is pioneering. In a sense, they've got invaluable experience on how to handle certain issues, or how to get things done - expertise which activists in other countries could use and learn from for their own national projects.

In short: I really missed the international perspective in the Leadership panel.

What you just asked are very good questions and considering that the next WorldPride event will be in Madrid, Spain, I think the next international asexuality conference is going to have a heavy focus on bringing answers to your questions. For now, though, we have the various alternate language AVENs and the AVEN members fluent in other languages who are bringing this information to the non-English speaking world. We also had the Languages panel at the conference where Ithaca, Johanna (absolutamente on AVEN and AVENes), and Joanna (Trava u doma) were the panelists and none of them are native English speakers.

Since Chewy mentioned the Project Team - two of the members do not speak English as a first language and are from countries where English is not the primary language.

Brian, our MC, is from Canada, did an awesome job in the conference. (You look very young, too, Brian ;))

As Sarah said, we are a very young movement.

That may be because they are that young. You'd be surprised by how many under-18s (or how many people who are 18 or only a few years older) there were at the conference. So Sarah's right in more ways than one about us being a very young movement.

Edit: That was something that a conference-attendee mentioned to David Jay after the conference ended. Despite the asexual movement being made up of many teenagers and young people, there were a variety of people from many different age groups who attended the conference and an expressed interest in discussing older asexual issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trava u doma

Trava u doma, are you referring to any of the facilitators of the sessions or the main-room speakers and panelists? The languages panel you were on was a main-room session which had a different style to the other sessions that were more like workshops. Not all of the facilitators of the sessions that weren't in the main room were speakers and many of them didn't have much planned for the sessions since a lot of them were group-discussion oriented.

Well, haven't you just answered your own question there? I did say I was talking about my own experience, not commenting on anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
virtua

Trava u doma, are you referring to any of the facilitators of the sessions or the main-room speakers and panelists? The languages panel you were on was a main-room session which had a different style to the other sessions that were more like workshops. Not all of the facilitators of the sessions that weren't in the main room were speakers and many of them didn't have much planned for the sessions since a lot of them were group-discussion oriented.

Well, haven't you just answered your own question there? I did say I was talking about my own experience, not commenting on anyone else.

Sorry if I misinterpreted. When you said

From my perspective, I'd say it would be good if people speaking during the conference had a bit more time to organize how they want to conduct their session. I'm not sure how it was with other ones, but I joined the languages one very late (days before the conference in fact) and I felt I could have made more with it had I had the chance to prepare for longer and discuss it with others (there was some of my fault there, as well, as I decided very late to actually attend).

I thought you were referring to the facilitators of all the sessions because you said "it would be a good idea if people speaking during the conference." I was asking if you thought it would be a good idea for the main room panelists to have more time to prepare or for everyone who facilitated a session at all to have more time to prepare their sessions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tristifere

In short: I really missed the international perspective in the Leadership panel.

The Leadership Q&A session is just one part of it. Anyone you see in the videos presenting are emerging leaders in Asexuality in my perspective.

Anyone that is part of the AVEN Project Team, is also emerging leaders in Asexuality in my perspective.

Michaeld is one of the leaders and he is from UK. You won't see him much in the videos because he was too busy zipping in and out of conference rooms :).

Brian, our MC, is from Canada, did an awesome job in the conference. (You look very young, too, Brian ;))

As Sarah said, we are a very young movement.

Chewy, you're misunderstanding my original comment. I wasn't referring to the conference as a whole, I was talking about this specific panel. It was named as a leadership panel, and as it was an international conference I do think it's odd that the panel was an all-American affair, especially with regards to the topics that were brought up (and especially considering that all three panelists could have easily brought in an international angle, as all have done work that crossed borders.... the more I think about that, the weirder it is to me).

(also, what being a young movement has to do with a leadership panel being American is beyond my comprehension)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chewy

Chewy, you're misunderstanding my original comment. I wasn't referring to the conference as a whole, I was talking about this specific panel. It was named as a leadership panel, and as it was an international conference I do think it's odd that the panel was an all-American affair, especially with regards to the topics that were brought up (and especially considering that all three panelists could have easily brought in an international angle, as all have done work that crossed borders.... the more I think about that, the weirder it is to me).

(also, what being a young movement has to do with a leadership panel being American is beyond my comprehension)

I apologize for the misunderstanding. Perhaps some of the leaders did not travel to the conference. Being a young movement also means there are less of them or less accessible at this time. As Sarah mentioned, nobody is getting paid to do this right now. People had to fly themselves there we couldn't pay for their travel. I don't know how much work the panelists have done crossed borders as there are many social issues they are tackling within the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tristifere

Chewy, you're misunderstanding my original comment. I wasn't referring to the conference as a whole, I was talking about this specific panel. It was named as a leadership panel, and as it was an international conference I do think it's odd that the panel was an all-American affair, especially with regards to the topics that were brought up (and especially considering that all three panelists could have easily brought in an international angle, as all have done work that crossed borders.... the more I think about that, the weirder it is to me).

(also, what being a young movement has to do with a leadership panel being American is beyond my comprehension)

I apologize for the misunderstanding. Perhaps some of the leaders did not travel to the conference. Being a young movement also means there are less of them or less accessible at this time. As Sarah mentioned, nobody is getting paid to do this right now. People had to fly themselves there we couldn't pay for their travel. I don't know how much work the panelists have done crossed borders as there are many social issues they are tackling within the US.

You make some very good points as to why others would not be able to come / do a panel. As for the panelists that did make it, they're all involved with projects that are international: AVEN pretty much speaks for itself, Asexual Awareness Week also has an international set-up, and I've come across Swankivy's videos in the weirdest non-English spaces. These projects all have an enormous international reach, though I'm not sure how much the panelists are personally involved in the international outreach or are aware of their international impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kelly

I don't think that it was intentional that the awesome leadership panelists were all American; it just happened that way. The language panel was quite international at least.

Perhaps we will have more international panelists next time in Madrid. It is farther from the USA and should be easier for Europeans, at least, to attend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now