Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Conference scaling: From collegial to colossal

Following two conferences in a row…
Erich: ASCJ was navigable with 300 participants.
Jean-Paul: Right, and at most half a dozen parallel sessions over two days.
Erich: Whereas at ICAS, there were more navigational choices because of the 1200 participants, running to 25 parallel sessions over four days.
Jean-Paul: I sense a coefficient coming on.
The plenipotentiary
takes the stand...
Erich: So at ASCJ, you could potentially attend 12 percent of the presentations.
Jean-Paul: And at the bigger ICAS, you could potentially attend only 4 percent.
Erich: Assuming you only stayed in one session and didn’t float or hop between rooms.
Academic conferences range from the small group of colleagues (maybe 20 or 30) who meet to exchange ideas. Use of one of the member’s university teaching rooms: gratis. Everyone chips in 300 yen for coffee and scones. Single sessions, so everyone gets to speak and be heard. Audience: 20 or 30.

Go a little bigger and an institution might ask for some payment. Conference fee a reasonable 3,000 yen. Reception dinner, optional, 3,000 yen. See 10 to 15 percent of the presentations if there are no distractions. Audience in each session: 20 or 30.

Then go international and rent a crowd. Hotels, transport, international conference centre, book publishers as sponsors of coffee breaks. Conference fee from 14,000 yen to 30,000 yen (including reception). Audience in each session: 20 or 30.

No comments: