Research update: Hulya Ceren Anil’s work on Generation Y and conferences

Early in summer 2011 the DREaM project team was approached by Hulya Ceren Anil, a Masters student at the University of Surrey. Hulya asked if it would be possible for her to use the DREaM project launch conference as a site for data collection for her Masters dissertation. We were pleased both to welcome her on the day, and to hear recently that she achieved a distinction for her project, as well as her degree overall. Hulya has sent us an update on her study, the details of which are outlined below.

Hulya

An introduction to Hulya's work from the opening session at the DREaM launch conference

The aim of Hulya’s research was to explore the need for interactivity in the content design of meetings and conferences. She was interested in the Generation Y perspective, and to compare this to the needs of the previous generations. She wanted to find out what kind of advanced interactive technologies may be needed in conferences and meetings in order to motivate and attract the Generation Y audience. She suspected that members of this group are less responsive to basic PowerPoint presentations. Thus she hoped to find out whether there was potential at conferences for advanced audiovisual technology such as virtual reality, 3D, hologram projections etc.

The DREaM launch conference was an ideal site for data collection because of the delegate demographic in terms of age, and because the delegates were from a profession that has a tradition of conference participation. Apart from these main factors, the length and the date of the conference were ideally suited to the timing of Hulya’s research, and the venue was within easy reach for her to attend in person.

Hulya was grateful for a very warm welcome from the organisers when she arrived at the British Library mid-afternoon on July 19th. The audience had been notified of her research in the conference opening session in the morning and the delegates shown her picture.

Participation in the research was optional. When Hulya arrived she placed her questionnaires and envelopes near the exit of the auditorium so anyone interested could pick up a copy at the end of the conference. During closing remarks the audience was reminded about the questionnaire.

After the conference Hulya also appreciated help with distributing her questionnaires to a wider audience. She followed advice from the DREaM launch conference organising committee members on how to achieve this. This help was invaluable in generating further interest in the study, and in securing a high response rate to the survey.

The research findings highlight that visuals should be used extensively in meetings and conferences in order to aid the learning process of Generation Y delegates, and to keep them focused. To do this, an appropriate combination of these should be used along with other forms of data presentation such as audio, motion pictures (videos), and texts. The main reason for the necessity of high visual content is that Generation Y has been exposed to images and visual learning since early childhood. This generation is used to playing video games and surfing the Internet.

Hulya also found that Generation Y prefers a high level of interactivity (both technological and personal) and prefers that the entertainment element at meetings and conferences is also emphasised. In addition, serious games as well as interactive learning tools such as touch screen tables with a high level of graphics can be utilised for this purpose. Specialised software tailored specifically according to a meeting’s needs will encourage collaboration: Generation Y generally prefers to collaborate and co-operate. If the right design is employed, this can help bring out Generation Y’s true potential as effective collaborators and motivate the achievement of objectives of the conferences and meetings as educational events. At the same time networking and motivation elements are satisfied.

On the basis of her results Hulya advises conference organisers to understand Generation Y well and tailor their conferences and meetings accordingly. The findings have shown that there is no need for extreme changes. However, left to time, a gap will grow between the generations if attention isn’t paid to this issue now. Hulya’s research, and that of others, has shown that Generation Y is a very productive cohort, provided that it is approached the right way and given the right conditions.

Advertisements

DREaM workshop series news

Following the success of the DREaM project launch conference the project team has been working on the workshop programme and keeping details of those who intend to register for the set of three workshops. Registrations for the workshops will open soon. In the meantime we are asking anyone who would like to pre-register to contact Hazel Hall. We would also be pleased to welcome those who share the interests of other members of the DREaM network to join the DREaM project online community.

DREaM project launch conference materials now all online

We’re pleased to tell you that all the resources from last week’s DREaM project launch conference are now available. Please follow the links below for:

LIS DREaM 1 is live!

Delegates are now arriving and mingling over coffee before the LIS DREaM project launch conference gets underway at 10:30 with a welcome from Hazel Hall, followed by the opening keynote, presented by Professor Blaise Cronin.

As promised, all of the materials you’ll need to follow the event online are now available. Please visit the event 1 presentations page to find links to each of the sessions. You’ll find handouts, slides and details of how to get involved in the online discussions.

We will be providing a live commentary via Twitter using the @LIS_DREaM account, and the event hashtag: #lis_dream1. If you don’t use Twitter, you can still take part by visiting our CoverItLive session, where you can add your insights and discuss the issues raised without the need for an account.

We look forward to welcoming you online!

Follow the LIS DREaM launch event online

The final preparations for tomorrow’s LIS DREaM project launch conference are underway and we are looking forward to a packed programme of presentations,workshop discussions and a little bit of madness.

If you are unable to make the conference, but want to follow online, there will be lots of ways you can keep track of what’s going on and get involved in the debates surrounding the event…

Materials

Bright and early tomorrow morning we will be publishing a series of pages providing links to all of the materials you will need to follow each session. This will include speakers’ slides and handouts, where applicable.

Online discussion

We will be providing a live commentary of the event and online support through the @LIS_DREaM Twitter account. If you do not use Twitter, you can still follow this commentary and offer your insights to the online discussion using CoverItLive. You will not need an account to access or take part in the CoverItLive session.

If you want to get to know other participants before the event, simply follow our Twitter list of DREaM participants. To follow tweets from the wider event audience, please follow the #lis_dream1 hashtag.

We are keeping an archive of the Twitter discussions on this hashtag, which you will be able to find at Twapperkeeper.

Support

Our event amplifier, Kirsty Piktin, will be managing both the @LIS_DREaM Twitter account and the CoverItLive session, so will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about any of the online materials. If you have a burning question you would like to put to any of our speakers, let Kirsty know through one of these channels and she will act as your advocate in the room to get an answer for you.

After the event

We will be recording the main keynote presentations and making these available shortly after the event, subject to speaker consent. We will also be providing written summaries of the sessions, and posting short video interviews with a range of speakers and delegates to give you a sense of the different reactions and perspectives at the event.

We look forward to welcoming you to the LIS DREaM conference tomorrow – either in person or virtually!