21 May 2020

Genealogy Meetings Online: Survey Results

57 people took the survey Are Online Meetings Toooo Looooong?

31 (54%) regularly attend in-person meetings of a family history society
42 (74%) wanted societies to offer online presentations as a regular membership benefit. Of those who regularly attend meetings only one opposed online presentations.
31 (54%) were neutral on whether online family history society meetings should mirror to the extent possible the format of in-person meetings. 23% thought they should not, 16% that they should.
28 (49%) were of the view that the optimal length of time for a presentation online is 20 - 30 minutes. 37% favoured online meetings from 30 - 50 minutes.
The question on willingness to pay for online events should have been separated into one for meetings and another for conferences. My bad. A small majority indicated a willingness to pay.

Comments were:
  • Agree that presentations can be shorter but depends on the topic and how much there is to cover.  Thanks for setting up this survey.
  • I never considered it before.  But, shorter presentations make sense
  • Hard to say what is "optimal".  I think the availability of online presentations is reaching people who need it and so the more indepth we can go plus ample time for questions is Optimal.
  • Quality of speaker's voice matters to me.
  • The length of a session is dependent on the topic IMHO. Additionally, if the questions outweigh the length of the session, that usually indicates more should have been covered by the presentation 
  • Yes to a presentation, no to a conference. There was no way to give both of these answers.
  • Willingness to pay would depend on the potential quality Of the presentation. There is ample available material without a fee. 
  • For virtual meetings it would be good to see the speakers for announcements, introductions, start of presentations, and questions -- maybe the people asking questions too, if their cameras are on.
  • I think that given the demographic of genealogists and the restrictions on us going to public events, Zoom meetings will become more and more important, as we are discouraged from being together. I can cope with someone talking to me for about 40 minutes but presentations either live or online should not be longer than that. I would like to see online society meetings make better use of break out rooms where a few people could chat about the presentation. The social time and resulting friendships is an important part of why we belong to a society. On line presentations with members who live to far away to attend physically are also a great thing. Adapt or die.
  • Every time I have tried to do a presentation or register I have never been able to get registered????
  • Depends if we are still under lockdown. You did not make that clear. The on-line branch meetings are great for those of us who belong to many branches that we cannot travel to (e.g. Sudbury, Ottawa, Lanark. [We live in Toronto]. We have noticed attendance of over 200 people on-line - even some from America participating - don't get that many at physical meetings.
  • There are still members without a computer or a reliable high-speed connection. There are others who won't use many of the social media services. Genealogy meetings are social events which are much more enjoyable than sitting in front of a monitor.
  • "I do not attend Canadian online meetings because they are held in the middle of my night. Not all are repeated later for far afield members.
  • "
  • I would and have paid for specific online meetings or presentations but would not pay for online conferences. 
  • Thank goodness for ZOOM and similar platforms, that can keep us in touch, and provide on-line courses to us. I have now attended meetings in Ottawa, Kingston, Halton-Peel, & Toronto that would not have been otherwise possible. We may well be in this isolation boat for quite some time to come otherwise.
Thanks to all who took the survey, and in advance to those organizing events who consider these opinions in their planning.

No comments: