By Jessica Connor
They asked, you answered — and the results are overwhelmingly positive.
On 26 questions in six categories that attendees were asked to rate, Annual Conference 2011 got high marks in nearly everything. Eighteen of the 26 questions (69 percent) got very high ratings: averaging between 4 and 5 on a 5-point scale.
The rest averaged at a 4.01 “ considered good. Convention center food got a 3.58 average rating, hotel cost got a 4.06 average, and worship services collectively got a 4.07 average.
Laity gave the event slightly lower marks than did clergy. The lowest average rating was 3.2 among lay people for a worship service, still above average.
It tells me that people are pretty pleased with both the setting and the arrangements for Annual Conference, said the Rev. Tim Rogers, conference secretary.
Still, only 250 of the approximately 1,650 lay and clergy who registered for Annual Conference submitted their evaluation of the event. Rogers said he hopes more people will respond next year so the analysis can be fully representative.
Tech, information responses also helpful
Rogers said the most interesting part of this year s evaluation was the conference s ability to gather information about how people receive and use pre-conference materials and trainings.
Asked how often they use the Internet, 80 percent of clergy and laity said they use it once a day or more often.
Asked how they prefer to receive information (Internet or paper), 67 percent said either Internet or no preference, which could have cost- and tree-saving impact on the conference.
Asked how they prefer to receive official pre-conference materials (mail paper, distribute paper at meetings or online) most people said they would like paper distributed at pre-conference meetings.
It gives us some sense of the movement of our people into new technology, Rogers said. The percentage of both lay and clergy who never use the Internet is pretty small, and a huge majority use it more than once a week or once a day “ and these are people in their 50s and older.
A majority of responders said they did attend pre-conference training sessions (66 percent) and felt they were helpful (77 percent).