SS 2013 STORY• Seminar 8.6.2013 at ITMO, St. Petersburg, Russia– 19 presentations in 3 tracks– 8 hours including lunch, breaks and networking– 50+ participants (70+ registered - 20 no show)– 7 nationalities• Off-seminar program 7.-9.6.2013– Data Art and Yandex excursions– Dinners, lunches, breakfasts, hostel, party– Walking on the rooftops of SPB– Riverboat tour and sightseeing• 25 responses to feedback, offline and online– Online form was open for one week
PROGRAMWhat was good about program?Interesting workshop topics and good presentations.The program of the seminar was very intresting and helpfull for me.Content wise it was good!Visiting the companies Data Art and YandexPresentations from people working in the russian business world, it wasinteresting to see russian businesslife and values tied to it up close.Well organized program, with locations, guides, food, hostel, everythingpractical went very smoothlyPrograms were very intresting.good presentations and well connected with seminars topic. culturalprogram was good and interesting.information, meeting, opinions, experiencesallfunorganization; lots of speakersOrganization, food and peopleinteresting topic in general (motivation), ability to see and meet peoplewith different point of views and large companies working frominside, practial workshopsa good mix between experienced and successful newcomersVery interesting topics, would have liked to hear almost all of them!Meeting of new people and new ideas.Organization, a lot of food, very nice and positive peopleHow could we improve the program?Some presenters have very interesting topic, good cards, but were verynervous, as it was their first public presentations. I believe suggestingpresentors to make test-drive before event can help.too many topics and its like 3 themes not one...too squeezed.. need more time in between talks..and workshops should belonger.3 parallel was too much 2 would be much better... and it might be 2 dayinstead of one day...Some presentations were not about motivation. It would have beeninteresting to know more for example about how to motivate yourself andothers from a organizational psychology point, or from a scientific point(the one that talked about science had nothing to do with motivation), orfrom a project management point, group dynamics, leader vs employeemotivation drivers, motivation as a critical success factor for doing businessand so on. Many presentations had these themes but felt that some ofthem didnt get to the point.make sure speakers really speak about topic as they promisseIt was difficult to choose between workshops. More time? =)Please dont repeat same things in each lecture of seminarbetter seminar trainersbe in SPb moreThe first thing that comes to mind - remove so many parallel threads. Its ashame everyone had chance to see only 1/3 of everything.Unfortunately, a couple of very interesting workshops were parallel. Iwould like to have all visited. One way to avoid this could be none-parallelspeaking Keyspeakers.Make sure that the titles for the presentations have some correspondenceto the actual content. Now it seemed that the titles had very littleinformation about what it is about. The lower grade on Milyutinspresentation is because the presentation ended where the title suggests itwould start from. There was actually no talk about motivation, but a modelthat could be used in context of motivation.Invite more interesting speakers
ORGANIZATIONWhat was good about organisation?Program was well planned. Many options andsuitable group sizes for workshops.Everything!Attitude of organizers and intuition. Starting ontime...company visits.Well organized program, with locations, guides,food, hostel, everything practical went verysmoothlyObvious schedule, tips and trick in the programuseful e-mail, nice people (organisators)There are good guys big thanks for organizationWShopOrganization in general, friendly atmosphere,interesting topics covered, good excursions, nonoicable technical flawsThings ran pretty smoothly during the event!We were kept well informed about things.How could we improve the organisation?Registrations to workshops (stickers) was a bitconfusing as some of the workshops were shorterthan others.it would be great if program contains not only infoabout presenters, but some keynotes of their topics.More time for speakers..more time for rest anddigestion!It could maybe have been better to sign up for thepresentations, lectures and workshops before theseminar to avoid overcrowded and too littleparticipants in different workshops andpresentations.More time management during workshopsYou can differetiate themes and authorsbad coffee!The only thing coming to mind - attract morereleavant people. Somehow ive got impression thathalf of listeners were actually either speakersthemselves, or organizers, or their friends. Itdeserved a broader audience.Easier registration. I got desperate at some pointwhen there was just so many things to do (visas,tickets, payments, confirmations, forms,...)
ORGANIZATIONWhat was good about the off-seminarprogram?Local "guides" were excellent during the weekend!Roof klimingThe attitude of Rusian friends. It was obvious thatthey were trying and doing their best. I like thecompany visits.Well organized, fun, everything practical wentsmoothly. Not too much and too little, wellbalanced. The local guides were a big help and verydevoted and generous to the participants and funto see spb from a locals perspective and not only atourist perspective.roof climbinginteresting excitingThat it was there and was relevantthere was enough time to have very goodconversations with the whole crewRoof climbing was nice although somewhatexpensiveI loved to see the city ass well.How could we improve the off-seminarprogram?The schedule was quite tight.More free time for people to rest, to do their ownprogram and not to miss general programs in thatway.It would be great if there will be a handout about citywith map and important places to visit and so onwould be great..At the Yandex excursion it would have been fun tomeet with a project manager like we did at Data Artto compare practises in the finnish and russianworking environmentfulfill your promissesJust do it!Yandexs speaker barely spoke English and cameunprepared. Good that he had someone to back himup :) Nonetheless that was rather good.maybe a bit more of the announced program ;)
FINAL WORDSFinal words for organisers of Summer Seminar 2013 - and 2014!Thanks a lot for an awesome weekend!The seminar was fantastic :)The seminar was perfect.Thank you for your excellent job.Thank you very much! You rock ; )Thank you!It was a successful event. what could be better from my point of view is there were quite alot speakers but theydid not have enough time. 45 minute .1.5hr is not a good workhsop duration its just speech time. It might be 2days with same number of speakers 2 parallel sessions and more time in between events...time of digestion andrest...Well done! Thank you for a really nice seminar!Well meet again :)Thank you very much for such perfect Seminar. It was really nice.well done! to organise SS in St. Petersburg was great idea.It was awesome - ThanksDo it again!Seminar 5+, Off seminar OK, Very goodThank you and keep it up!To Mikko and all the rest of the organisation crew: Many THANKS!Good work :)It was great seminar thou it took bit too many steps to take part. Speed networking was a great idea as well.Networking is an important part of YC events.
ANALYSIS• Biggest minuses– Failed to attract more people (resulted in chaoticregistrations system and less interaction)– Failure to give enough time and be concise withpresentations• Biggest pluses– A good mix of different program and off-program– Friendly and efficient organization– A lot of interesting program (so much that it was aminus when one person cannot see it all)
CONCLUSIONS• Corrections– Better and earlier marketing, easier joining (oneregistration)– More volunteers to help with marketing, speakerspreparation and sponsorship– One person to have a holistic responsibility for seminarprogram (tempo, themes, time slots) and organisation• Must keep– Relaxed and interesting off-program– Build such a great team of volunteers– Professional content