Now that the dust has settled after NISO Plus 2022, we are happy to share a summary of this year’s conference with you, including some statistics, feedback from attendees, and next steps!
With over 630 registered attendees, participation this year was lower than last year’s 850 registrants. However, we had proportionally more registrations from outside the US — close to 27% of the total, compared with 22% in 2021; and from 28 countries, compared with 26 last year. Increasing global participation is one of NISO’s strategic goals, so we are happy to be making progress toward this. We also had more sponsors than ever before — 35 in total, including eight new sponsoring organizations. We are hugely grateful to each and every one for their support.
As a result of feedback from attendees at NISO Plus 2021, this year’s conference was shorter (three days, rather than three and a half), and there were more sessions during the Asia Pacific working day. This enabled us to include around one third more speakers from the region — another step towards greater global engagement with our community.
Many thanks to the 75 people who responded to the post-conference survey, who were broadly representative of the overall attendees, although there were proportionately fewer responses from outside the US/Canada. As in previous years, libraries and infrastructure providers were especially well-represented; associations were better represented than in the past. And, once again, feedback across all groups was mostly very positive.
Around half the respondents had attended at least one NISO Plus conference in the past, and that was the most common reason given for attending this year, along with the relevance of the program to their work. Over two thirds of respondents attended at least one keynote and two or more regular sessions; half listened to one or more of the recorded sessions in their own time.
A large majority of respondents found all aspects of the NISO Plus conference valuable, with especially high scores for the regular sessions (rated as valuable or extremely valuable by 90%), and the format of recorded presentations followed by extensive live discussion (87%). Feedback about the overall experience was mostly positive, but some aspects of the technology were less popular — definitely an area for improvement next year!
Feedback on the conference content was universally positive, with the opening and closing keynotes (by Siva Vaidhyanathan and Katharina Ruckstuhl respectively) especially popular, along with the sessions on archiving and digital preservation, AI and machine learning, Indigenous knowledge, OA pain points, and seamless access. When asked what they liked most about the conference, most respondents told us that they loved the content and the quality of the speakers, as well as the sense of community and inclusion fostered by the conference format — all priorities for NISO! In terms of what we should change, improvements to the conference platform were the most common suggestion — unsurprisingly, given some technical difficulties experienced by some attendees. Over 60% of respondents either didn’t reply or said that no changes are needed.
We also asked respondents to rate how successful we were in achieving our goals for the conference: dividing content between two time blocks to enable global participation; and facilitating conversations about important topics for the information community. This year’s ratings on both were slightly lower than last year (3.75/5 and 3.9/5 respectively, compared with 4/5 for both in 2021).
NISO Plus continues to meet the expectations of most attendees (3.9/5) and to compare well with other virtual conferences (3.5/5), with a strong Net Promoter Score of 36, meaning that a clear majority of attendees would recommend the conference to colleagues.
As in previous years, we especially wanted to check that our all-important speakers and moderators had a good conference experience. Around one third of respondents were speakers, and we are delighted to report that they were overwhelmingly (96%) satisfied or extremely satisfied overall, although a small number feel that there is room for improvement in our communications and the pre-recording sessions, something we will continue to work on for 2023.
As you know, one of the key goals for NISO Plus is to generate ideas for potential future work, and this year’s conference resulted in an impressive 59 suggestions. Our Topic Committees are now hard at work reviewing and prioritizing them. As a small organization, we need to focus our limited resources carefully, but we are confident that, like last year, we will be working on at least two or three concrete work items as a direct result of this year’s conference.
We are also planning a small, (hopefully) in-person conference in September. Over one third of our survey respondents told us that they are likely or extremely likely to attend, and they had a strong preference for a location in the Northeast/Midatlantic, so we are looking at venues in the Baltimore/DC metro area. More information on this event soon!
Looking ahead to the NISO Plus 2023 conference, we will be addressing platform functionality, seeking to increase Asia Pacific engagement further, and improving how we plan sessions and communicate with speakers and moderators. We hope you’ll join us then — virtually again — so please mark your calendars for February 14-16, 2023!