This is the first in a series of posts which provide feedback and reflections on the IWMW 2019 event which was held at the University of Greenwich on 25-27 June 2019. Today’s (long) post provides a review of the comments made on the event in its entirety.

IWMW 2019 Event Evaluation

Numerical Ratings

Based on the feedback received on the IWMW 2019 evaluation forms, it seems that 50% of the respondents rated the content of the event as excellent and 50% rated it as very good, with 0% rating the content as good, poor or very poor, an average rating of 4.5. The rating for the event organisation was also impressive with 59% rating the organisation as excellent and 36% rating it as very good or good and 6% rating it as poor or very poor, giving an average rating of 4.3. This seems to confirm the suspicion that the event was one of the best ever – and this is confirmed by looking at the evaluation scores since IWMW 2014, when the event was reborn following the cessation of JISC’s funding for UKOLN:
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Content 4.39 4.49 4.43 4.52 4.56 4.50
Organisation 4.70 4.31 4.53 4.74 4.61 4.32
Evaluation [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link]
The slight decrease in the rating for the event organisation reflects the challenges faced in supporting the larger number of delegates the event attracted this year, with a total of 173 being the largest since 2009.

Comments from IWMW 2019 Participants

We asked delegates to give general comments on the content of the event. The comments we received included:

  • Lots of it and mostly very relevant to my role
  • There was a lot of content which was really relevant to my role and institution.
  • Really enjoyed the talk from the guy at the BBC, really interesting and relevant. It’s always good to hear from people outside the section, would definitely like to see more from people outside the sector.
  • The content was relevant to part of my work, and it was useful to connect with colleagues in other institutions to see how they were solving common problems. This mostly served to reinforce my views on the subjects covered.
  • Brilliant talks on a breadth of relevant subject matter – one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended.
  • An excellent range of talks and topics, especially the governance sessions.
  • Good range of topics which included a good balance of content and UX related talks which interest me.
  • Some excellent talks this year.
  • Great narrative
  • A nice mix of theory/practicality and different formats
  • Very much enjoyed the presentations – very relevant to my role(s)
  • The general standard of the talks and workshops was excellent
  • Everything was relevant and high quality.
  • I thought the shorter sessions this year were ace. Never did I feel anything was dragging on for too long. Some truly excellent speakers.
  • Well curated content with only a couple of elements that didn’t resonate with me.
  • Loads of content about content which was great!
  • Content was really insightful and useful. Found the majority of the talks very informative. There was a real range of topics covered.
  • Nearly all highly relevant and a good mix of approaches
  • A lot of highly relevant content and it was good that most was at a higher level and it didn’t get bogged down in technical detail.
  • Excellent but maybe a few more technical sessions
  • Great variety of talks, just the right amount of time given to each speaker.
  • Very good – wide variety of topics, high standard of presentations
  • Amazing content, found everything engaging – lots to take away.
  • Getting better every years in some areas but some are a little repetitive
  • Wide range of interesting speakers and topics covered. We’re super-invested into HE websites and everything was directly focused on this.
  • Well put together presentation. Insightful. Could have done with more practical / tips sessions.

We asked delegates to give their feedback on the event organisation. The comments we received included:

  • Everything went very smoothly and I never felt like I didn’t know where I needed to be
  • All ran really smoothly and the social events were fantastic.
  • Great organisation. it was a shame there was a bit of back and forth between buildings but it worked out well as the weather was good 🙂
  • Very well organised as always. Ran like clockwork.
  • Excellent organisation. Felt very welcomed. Slido was really helpful
  • Well organised as always.
  • Very good
  • Seamless
  • Superb
  • Very good 🙂
  • Generally all good, everything seemed clear and straightforward.
  • I don’t think I ever received an email confirmation of my booking though (either that or I may have accidentally deleted it) so I did have a bit of a last-minute panic about whether I’d actually booked or not!
  • It wasn’t a huge issue, but the distance between the venues for talks and tea breaks meant that it was almost time to go back as soon as you’d got there.
  • It wasn’t ideal having things spaced out over several different locations. I would say University of York was a better venue on this basis. Felt like a lot of time was wasted walking back and forth between the different buildings…
  • Mostly excellent.
  • Fantastic organisation with everything running seamlessly.
  • Event ran smoothly. Wasn’t sure about the refreshments being a short walk away / different building, but I think the leg stretching helped keep session energy levels up.
  • Very good
  • From a vendor and exhibitor perspective it was very disappointing. There seemed to be a real disconnect between us exhibiting and the event itself. Being placed in a building away from where the main activity was going on. I personally felt we would have been better positioned outside of the lecture hall.
  • The coffee break times weren’t sufficient enough for attendees to venture over, grab a drink and speak to us before heading back for next talk. If we are to invest in such an event, we’d like to feel more connected to it throughout the day.
  • Maybe allow the sponsors to do a very short intro at the start of the event to just highlight why we are sponsoring and make ourselves known.
  • Great, though some local issues around accommodation and payment
  • Great, lovely venue – easy to find everything.
  • Bit of a pain moving between buildings for coffee
  • well organised
  • Very good, although lack of working wifi (eduroam) was frustrating
  • Great, nice events in the evening to promote collaboration/comms.
  • Well organised
  • As an attendee it was all pretty great. As a vendor, we had a number of issues.
  • Primarily: stands were located very far away from the talks, meaning relatively little interaction with attendees. This was a common refrain among vendors: it was exceedingly quiet most of the day, and even during coffee breaks there was little opportunity to network.

We asked delegates for their reflections on the highlights of the event. The responses included:

  • Gareth’s talk from Greenwich
  • BBC talk, boat trip was something a bit different
  • ‘Why you don’t need a website’ (Day 1)
  • Boat trip
  • Photo comp!
  • Boat trip was pretty good.
  • The talk this morning on static site generation was interesting, as were the workshops yesterday. The quality of the speakers was really good.
  • Meeting fellow professionals and getting valuable advice/insight on approaches to CMS. And the boat!
  • The governance sessions. The friendliness of the event and feeling part of a network.
  • Really enjoyed the talk on accessibility and Rob’s design Sprint workshop.
  • Talk by Pamela Agar
  • The cruise!
  • The social events and user experience talks
  • Gareth Edwards, Kat Husbands & Jonathan Trout’s talks, Lean Coffee, the dinner cruise 😀
  • Boat trip, lean coffee sessions and photo scavenger hunt!
  • Good range of topics, from the core HE ones to the slightly out-there ones like the BBC Alexa talk. Fantastic venue.
  • Lovely people. The run!
  • The majority of the talks and the general community atmosphere
  • The river cruise!
  • Top 2 were the conference run and the lean coffee session
  • River cruise down the Thames, photo scavenger hunt.
  • BBC plenary and the cruise
  • Meeting new people