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Program Committee

  • KLAS UC 2021 - What we liked & learned

    Screenshot of Drea Callicutt's photobooth selfie from the first day of the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference.

    You've likely already seen a link to the 2021 KLAS Users' Conference Attendee Feedback Form created by the KLAS Users' Group Officers and Program and Logistics Committees. With this being such a different year, it's more important than ever for us to hear from you!

    In addition to getting feedback from attendees, though, both Keystone staff and the committees have each gotten together to discuss their own observations about the conference. By digging into the conference's schedule and content, as well as the PheedLoop platform, we can make sure we learn from what went wrong and take note of where we got it right.

    Today I want to share some of our notes from these conversations so you know what's been our minds. (Agree? Disagree? Have thoughts on something else entirely? Please let us know--starting with the Feedback Form!)

    Schedule

    No schedule will be perfect for everyone, but our discussions looking back on this trended positive. We managed to offer a lot of sessions, and time them reasonably for everyone, regardless of time zone. Other ideas were discussed, but on the whole, this schedule seemed to work well for an online conference, with one exception: the month of June can be a difficult time for IRC / IMC KLAS Users to attend. 

    We also had split opinions on the strict enforcement of session times. On the one hand, it kept everyone on track and moving. On the other hand, it also resulted in some pretty abrupt cut-offs... as did ending sessions manually without accounting for the 10-second broadcast delay--sorry about that! 

    Content

    We were thrilled with the amount and variety of user-proposed and user-led sessions! The Keystone staff especially appreciate the effort made by the committees to recruit and involve more users throughout the conference. 

    One complication we identified was that some sessions applied to more "tracks" or topics than we'd initially thought, and ended up scheduled against too-similar content. It's probably impossible to avoid schedule conflicts entirely, but one idea from our discussion was to provide a better way for the presenters themselves to identify the topics their session will cover and / or intersect with. 

    Platform

    While we were satisfied with the PheedLoop virtual event hosting, there was definitely plenty to discuss on this front. It was a little surprising which features generated a lot of interest, and which fell flat. We made sure to consider whether that was the platform itself, people taking time to learn it, or just a matter of leaving time for it. For example, the Networking rooms were barely touched. If we want to try them again, we need to make sure there's a designated session block instead of expecting people to give up their valuable breaks to try it (especially since many people need to use those breaks to keep up on their day-to-day work). 

    We really liked a lot of their back-end and event management tools, but we have a long list of suggestions, feedback, and feature requests to pass on to the PheedLoop team. One strong positive: since signing on with PheedLoop, we've seen a lot of activity in terms of useful updates, so we're very hopeful that it will get better and better over time.

    Final Thoughts

    Virtual conferences have their pros and cons. Going online meant a lot of expanded access to new user presenters (plus other attendees) who may not have been able to attend otherwise. On the other hand, we saw mostly very familiar names, in the chat boxes and especially unmuting and speaking up in the Zoom sessions. It's impossible to replicate a lot of in-person conference experiences, but we wondered if we were doing enough to help new attendees get to know the Users' Group and feel comfortable participating.

    Remember: this is your conference--so don't be afraid to let us and / or the committees know what we're doing right, what can get better, and what we haven't even thought of. We hope to hear from you!

  • Online Content Round-Up

    Since this is an off-year between KLAS Users' Group Conferences (and what good timing that was!), we've been working with the Programming Committee and your fellow users to bring you periodic online content to help keep you connected and tide us all over to the next conference.

    We hope this is a good opportunity for folks who can't usually attend the conferences to get a taste of them, and that they've helped you keep up-to-date and involved. But to make sure we're succeeding--and to get even better--we need to hear from you!

    If you haven't yet taken the KLAS Users' Online Programming Survey, please take a few minutes to provide your feedback. It's incredibly valuable, and will help bring you even better online content in the future. We've done our best to keep the survey short and sweet, and it'll inform not only our Fall programming, but maybe even online offerings at future in-person conferences!

    Of course, if you have more opinions on the matter than you can fit into the survey, we're always happy to add more voices to the Programming Committee. As Erin says in her invitation for new members, "Being a part of a conference planning committee is a terrific way of getting to know other colleagues and putting a voice to the names!" If you're interested, or just want more info, shoot an email to .

    Finally, you know what one of the best things is about online content? That you can always catch up after the fact!

    So if you've finished the survey and still find yourself with a little down-time, make sure you're logged in and then follow these links to catch up on what you've missed:

    • 5/19/2020 Online KLAS Users' Meetings (Includes links to the Overview of Keystone Systems Updates, KLAS Updates & New Featuresfor Talking Book Libraries, and KLAS Updates & New Features for Instructional Resource Centers sessions)
    • 04-23-20 KLAS IRC Users' Roundtable
    • 03-19-2020 KLAS Users Roundtable: Duplication on Demand
    • 02-20-20 KLAS Q&A with Katy Recording

  • Workshops & Seminars & General Sessions - OH MY!

    Workshops & Seminars & General Sessions - OH MY!

    The KLAS Program Committee has been hard at work and has a new, freshly updated Overview Schedule for the 2019 KLAS Users' Conference ready for you. This is still a draft schedule but has several changes from the version published two weeks ago.

    So, how did the committee get here and what do they still have to do?

    Here's a brief look at our 2019 KLAS Users' Conference Program Committee Planning Timeframe...

    October

    • Establish Committee
    • Set meeting schedule & expectations
    • Begin reviewing feedback from the previous conference

    November

    • Publish initial Overview Schedule with conference framework with no specific session topics or speakers based on info from the site visit, logistics committee, etc.
    • Send out a call for proposals
    • Continue reviewing feedback from the previous conference

    December

    • Continue reviewing feedback from the previous conference
    • Review session proposals as they are received
    • Identify / discuss other possible session topics

    January

    • Finalize list of session topics based on conference feedback, proposals received & ideas presented by committee members
    • Slate session topics based on the type of session
    • Publish updated Overview Schedule with slated session topics

    February

    • Review & Update Overview Schedule document
    • Assign committee member liaison for sessions
    • Refine session titles & descriptions
    • Recruit additional moderators / presenters

    March

    • Continue refining session titles & descriptions
    • Publish the first draft of the conference agenda
    • Communicate deadlines to moderators / presenters

    April

    • Continue communicating with moderators / presenters
    • Review / update Agenda as needed

    May

    • Publish finalized Agenda document
    • Send out presentation template
    • Collect presentations for publication

    June

    • Conference!

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800-222-9711