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Symposium 2000 Survey Results

Total Number of Respondents (N):  26
as of 
Friday, April 07, 2000

1.  What type of organization do you represent?




Independent/Self-Emp 6
Federal Government 5
Military 3
Other 3
Education 1
State/Local Government 1


1. DOD Consulting and Technical Services firm for Industry and Government. (I tried to submit by selecting Corporation but the logic function kept failing me for this question and not allowing the survey to be submitted ... so I tried h vice a)

2. I work for CSC (a corporation), but my services are contracted to NASA (federal government).

3. The Analytic Services, Inc. (a.k.a., ANSER) is a not for profit public service research institute.  


2.  What type of work do you do?

Facilitator 22
Technographer 19
Management Consultant 18
Trainer 12
Coach 11
Technical Consultant 8
Technical Support 8
Manager 4
Other 4

1.  Researcher

2.  Marketing solutions provider looking at including GroupSystems as part of core service offering to clients and as an internal resource

3.  Other: sales of GS

4. I've begun to refer to myself as a "Decision Coach & Group Facilitator"


3.  Have you attended GroupSystems Users Conferences in the past?

Choices                                               Count
Y                                                          15
N                                                         11

Yes%                                                    57.69
No%                                                    42.31

4.  This Symposium met my expectations.

SA-Strongly Agree 
SD-Strongly Disagree

Choices                                               Count
SA(5)                                                   14
A(4)                                                     10
N(3)                                                     1
D(2)                                                     1
SD(1)                                                   0
Statistics                                              Total                                                    115
Mean                                                   A(4.42)
Mode                                                   SA
High                                                    SA
Low                                                     D
STD                                                     0.76


5.  Would you like to attend a Symposium next year?

Choices                                               Count
Y                                                          25
N                                                         0
Bypass                                                 1


6.  What was the most beneficial aspect of this Symposium and why?

1. Real experiences shared by experienced people.  Much more emphasis on processes using what we have not dangling expectation for new products about to come out.  It was very valuable to see how to incorporate value added software packages to enhance our overall capability to provide value added meeting/process management.

2.  Opportunity to present; it energized me to research, explore, and try out coaching with people who mostly are new to the topic; and Brice's presentation which I found tremendously inspirational.

3.  The opportunity to learn processes and techniques from the presentations and from networking.

4.  Exposure to other users, their issues, approaches and product recommendations.

5.  Seeing how others creatively use GroupSystems to address clients' needs.  Meeting other practitioners.

6.  Hands on nature of some of the presentations.

7.  Understanding the flexibility of the system in a real corporate environment and networking with other attendees for education in best business practice and possible cooperative project activity. Also hearing first hand the future directions of the software houses to ensure capital investment is correctly focused on the right systems and will be rewarded by real business benefit.

8. Networking with colleagues

9.  Most beneficial to me was to see how the software was used to support different processes and achieving different desired outcomes.  Actually, I didn't see this very often.  In many of the workshops I attended, there was more time spent on the content of the effort, than the process of the effort.  I would like to see more process and software use.

10. Meeting people, sharing experiences, and learning how other people are solving some of the problems that I have faced.  This also gave me an opportunity to compare my office with what other people are doing - benchmarking can be very helpful.

11. -Dialoging with others on ways to market and use GroupSystems
      - Learning ways to get more energy into the process.
- Learning ways to take care of the human-side.

12.  the presentations and the networking because we are able to discuss our work with others.  Most of us work in isolation and this is a good way to check out how and what we are doing..

13.  I liked having multiple tracks, so I could observe the best parts of all the presentations.

14.  The conversations with other users were very helpful.  I brought back with me more information than I had planned on getting.

15. The group discussions during the sessions were most beneficial

16.  Getting new ideas from others. Usually they aren't ground breaking ideas, they just hadn't occurred to me. It helps break the rut of doing things the same way every session.

17. Contacts made and hearing about how a variety of technology tools are being applied throughout organizations.

18. Networking with others in the same profession

19.  Opportunity to network with other FTF facilitators.

20.  meeting the people face to face

21.  Liked the fact that it was tool-independent, allowed us to talk about other technologies and approaches. 

22.  Chance to meet with other practitioners and see what they are doing.

23. Listening and learning from my fellow practitioners offered the most benefit to me.  The free exchange of ideas and suggested "lessons learned & best practices" raises the bar for all w/in our industry.  This helps everyone better assist clients.

24. I think there was a wonderful balance at the symposium.  A WONDERFUL speaker to get the creative juices flowing; opportunities to interact with others in the same field; attending presentations with specific examples of how they are working with group software.  I thought you did a great job!


7.  Which sessions or types of sessions were the most beneficial and why?

1.  I'd have to say all of the sessions I attended were equally valuable.

2.  Same as 6 + J Harvey

3.  Demonstrations of practical techniques.

4.  The ones that discussed tangible results of what tasks they faced and how they accomplished them using the tools of this trade.

5.  Ones that used GroupSystems--especially ARL's presentation.  Others that really got into how the tools were used were good, too, especially Peter, Bob, and Mark on budgeting.

6.  Hands on nature.  It was interesting to see how various folks used GS and to experience how they used it.

7. Integration of GroupSystems with MS Project as Project is a core piece of software for running my business on a day-to-day basis and by adding GS it could release enormous potential within the workforce, deliverables and focus of activity.

8. Jerry Harvey was a great keynote speaker.  Practical applications of GS seem to be the most beneficial

9.  The coaching session was by far the best session in my opinion.  While I felt a different tool should have been used (since the one in use is no longer available or desired,) it was easy to determine an adequate replacement software for the activities of the session.  The facilitators new how to "energize" the group and through active participation, shared the process of coaching with a collaborative tool.

10. Learning about new tools to use in conjunction with GroupSystems.  Often GroupSystems doesn't have the specialized tools needed for unique situations.  Specific sessions that had interesting tools were:

Robert J. Beard "Creating an Information Map Using ThemeScape and Categorizer"

Dr. Money an "Project Planning with GroupSystems, CPTeam and MS Project"

Peter Beck, Robert Beard and Mark MacDonald "Resource Allocation: Integrating GroupSystems, Team Expert Choice and Equity to Effectively and Efficiently Make Difficult Group Decisions"

11.  "Coaching Groups and Individuals with Collaborative Meeting Technology"  Learned ways to take care of the human-side and how to get more energy into the process utilizing GroupSystems.

12.  the ones that resemble the kinds of work that we do - that is, the coaching one, the emergency operations, consulting.

13.  I enjoyed John Lesko's presentation.

14.  For me, it was the presentations on tools to complement the Group System's Software.  We are always looking for ways to make our meetings more powerful. 

15. Didn't know that there were different types...  But, I liked the sessions that allowed for some REAL use of the systems followed by discussion of the results.

16.  Applications of other tools with GroupSystems

17. Those which outlined the variety of tools used throughout organizations and the application of those tools in a new or innovative way.

18.  "How to" sessions such as the one on GroupSystems, Expert Choice (AHP), and Equity; and Bob Briggs' "thinklets".  Good food for thought and good techniques to apply to my work.

19. 1. serious and informed presentations on any aspect of GS  applications   2. the key note presentation was also for me very good value - and of course very funny.

20.  Liked Brice's session on the Teen Think Tanks, great to see the application of collaborative technology with kids.  Also like the PWC session on the consulting use of GS, this is a very relevant organizational implementation for me.  Briggs session on the 'Thinklets' was also good.

21.  Hands on examples of using GS and other tools in innovative ways.  The keynote speaker was great.

22. Your format was very good.  Allowing for "give & take" and or "Q&A" in smaller sessions is ideal for the learning and sharing outlined in my answer to question 6 above.

23.  ThemeScape was very interesting and even though expensive, shows the future of our work and how it can move even faster. Export to Microsoft Project was wonderful, I have attempted this in the past and had to stop for lack of time to develop the solution but still had to spend (waste) group time displaying Project on the front screen and modifying the timeline.

8.  What would you like us to repeat next time?

1.  I would like to see a third day added where the sessions most requested could be repeated.  There were at least five sessions which I could not attend due to other sessions I deemed more crucial for me to attend.  At the end of Day one and two you could provide a sign-up sheet for attendees to express interest is seeing sessions they were unable to attend.

2.  Friendliness, welcoming, Ease of getting information and registering.  Good food, and easy access to good food at breaks.  Good room configurations and setups. Support; helpfulness, availability, and friendliness of all the helpers.(The names I remember include JR, Tayler, Sheryl, Sue, Sue's husband -- Thank you) Office for working and locking up our equipment.

3.  Demonstrations of practical techniques.

4.  See 7.  May want to define clear tracks based on the feedback you get here. I'd like to concentrate on clear experience presentations and not ones that increased my skill levels or awareness (like coaching techniques). I need (at this point) a better understanding of what folks have had issues with in using the tools of the trade.

5.  Hands on sessions.

6.  Hands-on nature. 

Any distributed oriented applications would be acceptable as well - the hands-on would not have to be distributed, but the distributed applications could be simulated in the room.

7.  2 day format was good with the additional registration time. Networking breaks were timed about right although most attendees this year were from Federal Depts so not as attractive for business prospecting for business-to-business corporates like ourselves. Would probably like to see an end of conference social activity so that attendees don't just 'drift away'.

8.  I liked the two days (versus one or three days) and I enjoyed the session opening to set the stage for those two days.

9. The excellent food and service by the hotel was a crowning touch - If you can afford to do that and keep the price reasonable.

The variety and quality of speakers was excellent.

The sessions with the middle school children were great.  These kinds of sessions help to get me to think outside of my personnel box.

10.  "Coaching Groups and Individuals with Collaborative Meeting Technology"

"How to Utilize GroupSystems in Training Programs ---this is a different slant than Alan Weatherall presented.

This takes GroupSystems to the next level.  I would be interested in presenting as I my goal this year is to integrate GroupSystems with Training.

11.  The place was very nice and accommodating - repeat the same or better.  The spaces between the presentations were very good with long breaks.  The speakers were outstanding.

12.  Presentations should be on:

   1) The use of GroupSystems

   2) New/possible thrusts/research related to GroupSystems

   2) Facilitation techniques or experiments

   3) Management research that might be of interest to our community

13.  The social gathering on the first day which gave us all time to talk about what we do and how we can do it better.


15. Lots of networking time

 Pretzels during the afternoon break

16. Networking sessions

17.  "How to" and "Lessons Learned" sessions.

18. As many serious and informed presentations on any aspect of GS  applications as possible.  Any financial benefits would be particularly useful.

19.  Get broader representation of EMS groupware tools-- MeetingWorks, Consensus@nyware, Council

20. Multi-tracked presentations allow for choice and variety.  Repeat this format next time ... Consider enriching this with either a round-robin or panel discussion at the end of a session / track.

21.  High caliber speaker, presenters who give real example of what they have done.


9.  What should we NOT do next time?

1.  Have GroupSystems.com have any more presence.  Bob Brigg's presentation was fun and informative - and it was good to see him and discuss various issues regardless of whether they directly involved GroupSystem.com or not.

2.  Don't raise the price -- less expensive would be better.

3.  Encourage presenters to show up on time. (One presenter showed up 10 minutes late and took almost another 10 to set up ... and he was one of the more experienced ones)

In pitches with multiple presenters, get them to coordinate better and stay on topic and time slots. Got cheated out of the meat of two presenters because the lead off one allowed himself to get pulled off track.

4.  Maybe not feed us so MUCH!

5.  Sessions that are purely viewgraphs with no hands-on.

6.  Speaker modules should be 1.5 hours max and speakers should be strongly recommended to include more 'hands on' activity in sessions. Useful if the sessions were streamed and maybe graded to allow attendees to assess appropriateness of sessions to their own needs.

7.  Nothing specific but I think you could share with presenters that sometimes a person wants to observe a process, not participate.  I got much more from one session by doing just that, but I had to "insist" that I did not want to sit with the group up front, I just wanted to sit back and observe.    Sometimes facilitators are too anxious to include everyone.  At a seminar, it is important for participants to choose a learning style that best suits them and that is not *always* through participation.

8. I would like to see GroupSystems.Com have a presence at the next Symposium.  I was hopping to learn more about their online tools.  Though, I think it was good having someone else running the symposium

9.  Need to find a way so we can attend all the sessions (may be impossible) we want to.

10.    Drop presentations on the use of other software--even though our organization has that other software (and others) and we have been trained on it, we still find that GS is superior for 99.9% of the time, and not worth the trouble of relearning software for the remaining 0.1%.

11. Everything was so great, I can't think of anything you should not do.

12. Have long sessions (almost mini-training courses) in parallel.  Shorter sessions, maybe of 30 minutes, could extract the main points of most of the presentations.  Or maybe ask the people giving the long sessions to also give a 30 minute summary.

It is impressive from some viewpoints to have lots of parallel sessions and choice, but it is also in many was frustrating.

13.  Very well done.

14. I honestly cannot think of anything this team did that could be labeled a "failure" or a "don't do this again" item.  Well done!


10.  Where would you like the next Symposium to be held?


Washington DC, Marriott 17
Washington DC, Other 13
Other 8
Tucson 3
No Preference 2

1.  I enjoyed coming to the Washington area.  Perhaps we could have a golf day next time.

2.  Tucson (in Feb or Mar) is best; second choice would be somewhere in the warm south. ....and the presentations would be better, if we had one big prestigious conference.

3. The Westfield Center was VERY nice but possibly a bit pricey?  Of course, I'm just a small-town boy from NH who still pinches pennies.  I'm a gov't worker now for pete's sake.  You'd think I would be able to spend some cash, especially someone else’s. 

I'm probably the minority here though, so ignore me.

4. Be able to draw individuals from a variety of organizations (both public and private) and from a multitude of countries.

5.  How 'bout Atlanta or Nashville? The OpryLand Hotel in Nashville is one of the largest convention hotels in the world.

6. The only snag with the Westfields was the need to drive for about 45 minutes to the nearest restaurant (allowing that is time to get lost on the way).

(I wanted to enter Washington DC other and add a text comment, but it wouldn't let me.  If you put in a text comment then it insists you choose option e as one of your two choices. ) 

7. I do think you need to see what the plan is for the GS conference;  if it is going to be held in Tucson or west coast, then I would stay with Washington...you have a large user community and it's a fairly easy place to get to, including the International attendees.  Westfield's was a good conference style location, more relaxing than most business hotels.  If GroupSystems comes East, you may need to rethink the location issue. If I were GS, I would stay west or rotate the conference among cities...my recommendation to you for ftf is to stay in Washington.

8. Consider alternative executive conference centers such as the Airlie Institute and/or Landsdowne.  Both within the greater Washington DC area and accessible to an airport for those needed to fly in.  Also close enough for sponsors to "lug equipment to", etc., etc.  I'd imagine your demographics place most decision coaches, facilitators, and consultants in the mid-Atlantic region.  Keep this on the east coast, thank you.


11.  What time of year should the next Symposium be held?

Spring (Mar, Apr, May) 14
No Preference 8
Summer (Jun, Jul, Aug) 1
Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) 1
Fall (Sep, Oct, Nov) 0


12.  Comments or suggestions?

1.  Great job!  incorporate the ability to repeat requested sessions and you'll have one of the best symposiums I've ever attended (in 25 years of attending IT related conferences etc..

2. Make the first names on the name tags much larger so they are easier to see.

3.  Enjoyed and would be interested in giving pitches next year. 

4.  Abilene paradox guy was wonderful--very entertaining and gave us things to talk about during early networking times.

5. Looks good!  Just testing again -- JR

6. More use of the systems could have been done.  Several sessions did not use the technology.  Some only had topic commentor open for on-line questions, but then didn't have time to look at the questions.  The best session for interactivity that I was able to attend was the biological simulation one by the Army.  Briggs's didn't look bad, but the stations were full when I arrived.

I think some more thought needs to be done about how this type of symposium could be more effective for the attendees.  For example, you could use GS remote to solicit comments from future attendees on the sessions they feel are most useful - before you accepted the sessions....also I think you could have gotten a great deal of information from the community by opening up all three rooms (or at least one) at the end of the first and second day for comments about how the symposium is proceeding.

7.  It was a great pleasure to attend - the ambience was fantastic and the information sharing invaluable. THANK YOU.

8.  Question 10 - Specifically Washington, DC, not the DC area.

9. Thank you and keep up the good work.

Regarding my response to question 10 (I checked both DC answers): I am from the DC area so this location was great.  I am open to traveling to other parts of the country to help share the wealth, though

10.  Please include a segment on how to market GroupSystems into your organization

11.  Wonderful job!!  Had a great time!  Learned a lot!  You need to direct the action in the rooms to take advantage of the GroupSystems in the rooms - like introducing people - getting feedback on the system as the presentations occur -makes the event more cohesive.  Jerry Harvey was a great main speaker - but where were the GroupSystems.com folks?

12.  The conference was super!!!!

13.  Good Job!  I enjoyed every second of it!  I can't wait until next year.

14. Can I bring my system next time?

BTW - This is Sam Barnes - you got my info.

15. Maybe a constant technology tool that is available to the participants during the conference to allow for running dialogue and lessons learned to be captured.  Create some sort of a town hall wall which could include surveys evaluating each of the sessions in addition to a running dialoge or chat room (which would be captured and delivered to the group after the conference is over).  On the whole, great job!!!!

16. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the symposium, and would welcome the opportunity to work with you in the future.  The facility was superb, and the luncheons were exquisite.  The networking was valuable, and I learned new uses of the GroupSystems tool.  Overall, this conference was top-notch!

17.  My response to Q11 should be qualified as "the March-April timeframe, only if GroupSystems does not have a similar event in that timeframe." This is a budget consideration to get the time and travel approved by our primary customer who happens to be a government agency.

[Sue, I'm curious.... was this survey done using GroupSystems survey? I have not used the Internet version lately. Does it take care of the background colors for you? This survey has a nice appearance.  Brice Marsh ]

18. End March is the perfect time.

Something on GS Online would be interesting - maybe by next year there will be something to say!

Could more formally extend the scope to cover wider ftf technology (maybe with demos).

Provide copies of presentations to all presenters.  I would really like a copy of some of the presentations that I missed.

19.  Spring is good, stay opposite whatever GS does to give us two conferences/year.  April will be a little warmer!

I'd add a main tent session on day 2 in the morning, and also a closing session on day 2 to bring everyone together.

Thx for inviting me!!  See you next year!  (DSGA)

20. RE:Q5 ... Will I likely attend / participate next year ... Yes.  I truly look forward to it ... I hope to have another presentation / paper to share.

RE:Q11 ... I think summer is a good season for such symposia because our schedules seem to slow with the arrival of summer.  Client demand is lower in the summer (and, for that matter, during the winter holidays).  Since my preference is that you keep the Face-to-Face Technology series on the east coast, the milder weather seems to call for late-spring or summer as best. 

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