On Tuesday a blogging hiatus will very likely start, because the hotel in Las Vegas wants a whopping $12.99 a DAY for Internet access. I was lazy and didn’t set up any posts for this time because I am too busy getting my talk done and all.
There is a very fitting saying in Germany: Gelegenheit macht Diebe. Literally, this translated to ‘opportunity makes thieves’, but in this case I’d rather paraphrase ‘opportunity makes highway robbers’. The hotel has a special offer for the Internet connection that saves you some real money: only $24.99 for 24 hours of access. WOW! What a cheap offer!
SVP offers an online itinerary planner, quite a nice feature. You can search the abstracts volume database for keywords, words in the title, authors, and so on, and have the results displayed with and without abstracts. Then, you can use a simple “ADD” button to add the item to your itinerary, if you wish to do so. Any time you can download a PDF with all dates and abstracts you added. So far, so comfy. Overall, it is a great service that saves a LOT of confusion and flipping pages in the abstracts volume!
But there is plenty of room for improvement. What I am listing below is, by the way, not difficult to do. I have seen it in operation for medical conferences.
1. Have already-added items still show in searches, but with a “remove” button in a different color.
2. Highlight conflicting events with a different background color.
3. Offer a calender overview for all selected events, not only a list with full abstracts.
4. Offer a one sheet, one-week-calender with printed-in talk info for the entire conference (not that important), essentially a graphic display of the schedule.
5. Do not schedule all posters for a poster session at 9:30 AM that day. They now show up in the middle of the morning sessions, which sucks.
Initially, they didn’t offer the PDF without the abstract texts. Very annoying! I want two version, so that I can print one out Then, there was a popup window that gave a choice, but the PDF print command didn’t work. AARGH! Now (Saturday, Oct. 29) it finally works. Maybe they’ll improve things by next year!
My own talk will be on Wednesday, 10:15 AM in Technical Session I. I really look forward to it, because what I will be talking about has, when I gave a talk to my FOR 533 “Sauropod Gigantism” colleagues about it before, gotten my quite a few slack-jawed looks, and quite a few “oh, wow!”s, too. Apparently, some people had a different reaction, so it is high time I explain the matter in detail, and not only to a select group.
Other talks I’ll blog about soon; my itinerary lists 39 plus mine that I really want to hear, and I am sure that I missed some when creating the plan.
The poster sessions are getting huge. Yes, they were large in Bristol, but now things are getting absurd! Two hours of author’s presence won’t be anything near enough, given the large number of topically similar posters per session. Additionally, I keep thinking that it is not a great service to poster authors to nail them to their posters at the exact time they could talk to the authors of other posters with similar content. 20, 30, even 50 posters are OK for a poster session. For Poster Session 1 of SVP this year I count way over 120 posters. AAARGHHH!!!! This means that I really need itinerary planner, and that I will need a map of what poster is where (SVP usually has them – well done), and that I will miss out of TONS of interesting stuff. Bleh!