Convention survey reveals high satisfaction levels

Attendees at the 2015 EPA convention in Westminster, Colorado, responded with enthusiasm when completing a survey about the recent convention.

97.8% of those who attended previous conventions said it was as good or better than any they had attended, with 63.0% claiming it was better than others or the best ever.

64.8% said it increased the likelihood that they would attend future conventions, and no one responded that the convention discouraged them from attending again.

Here is a list of comments culled from the survey:_C9A1258_1 400pixels

What attendees said was a highlight of the event for them:

  • Seminars were especially applicable and well presented.
  • The two sessions that stood out were Chonda Pierce and Vernard Gant. Those two were thinking outside the usual Christian boundaries and I appreciated it greatly.
  • Every workshop I went to was relevant and extremely useful.
  • The management sessions were so helpful to me. Attending the workshops by Lou Ann Sabatier, Mark Galli and Ron Forseth were outstanding.
  • Liked the added plenary sessions. Positive, upbeat feel.
  • I thought the content was outstanding and there was much meaningful personal interaction with people of various backgrounds.
  • I'm always interested in learning new things, and passing on to others what has been given to me.
  • The quality and kindness of the attendees only added to my excitement to attend again next year.
  • Always enjoy the fellowship and times of learning.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the breakout sessions. To hear from professionals currently in the field was encouraging to hear what is working now.
  • The morning sessions were outstanding, as was the location. This hotel was great and the staff went above and beyond.
  • EPA always gets the creative juices flowing.
  • The “Secrets of Writing Powerful Stories” two-day seminar was, by far, one of the best, if not the best, seminars that I have ever been to. Spiritually and professionally encouraging and helpful.
  • Making connections with other freelance writers, meeting new people, and developing relationships with editors of possible outlets for my writing.
  • I really enjoyed the time when we shared in small groups. So many experienced editors, writers, and designers shared their wisdom with us and encouraged us during the convention. I also enjoyed the time with the young people attending. It was a rare opportunity to see what attracts our younger target audience.
  • I was really surprised by the amount and quality of entertainment, and even though I went with more of a work mindset, I ended up having a lot of fun.
  • I enjoyed the presentation on social media. The group was interactive and thought provoking. The workshop on the global church also stood out.
  • Interacting with other professionals in my field. Especially during the breakout sessions.
  • Vernard Gant was outstanding and, not only relevant, but progressive in his thinking.
  • I enjoyed viewing "War Room" but even more talking to Alex Kendrick about his craft and vision for Christian filmmaking.
  • Free stuff. Meeting great people. Amazing food.
  • Connecting with professionals with common interests.
  • Relationships established. Networking.
  • Making connections with so many peers and leaders of wide efforts to spread knowledge of God's word, work, and stories through publications.
  • The good workshops and meeting people!.
  • Networking.
  • Since this was my first time, everything was a highlight. I can't pick a personal favorite.
  • Vernard Gant was phenomenal, validating and even convicting me to do my part in seeing that people of color (myself included) have a voice and are invited to use it in Christian publications.
  • Connecting with other EPA members.
  • Robust content in workshops.
  • Design Field Trip to Gloo and Sterling-Rice Group studios.
  • Chonda Pierce -- I loved hearing her story! The tears, the laughter and the picture of God's love in her life even thru tragedy and heartache.
  • I was very encouraged by the supportive nature of fellow attendees, and their willingness to share knowledge and experience.
  • The networking -- I had several very meaningful and, I hope, fruitful conversations.
  • There were so many highlights for me . but I think I most enjoyed Jim Mellado's plenary session. A close second would be Chonda Pierce's session. so real and riveting. Vernard Gant was especially challenging and I was glad to see you invite a speaker on such an important topic.
  • The venue was amazing, the presenters were some of the best in years. Dr. Gant gave me food for thought.
  • Spiritually and professionally edifying!.
  • EPA is a great place to connect with like-minded people and to share in ideas.
  • Some of the best plenary speakers in years.
  • Overall, we had a fabulous, productive time and made some new professional contacts.

 

What is one thing you learned that you'll take back to your shop and use right away?

  • How to think about the growing range of social media platforms, from Friday morning, will help us moving forward.
  • Working through the continuing impact and interplay of electronic media vs. print. Also, the challenge of communicating and reaching Millennials.
  • Social media tips.
  • The ABCDE model from Ann Marie Winz.EPA 2015 Vernard Gant
  • A different perspective.
  • Mark Galli's reflections on grace in the workplace.
  • I now know the difference between an italic font and an oblique font! Thanks Christer!
  • I learned of an industry move that affects me immediately, on which I've already followed up.
  • Writing is a discipline and must be practiced every day. If we're struggling a story, go back to the focus statement. If we're struggling with the focus statement, gather more research.
  • Typography and design.
  • encouraging our organization to expand its digital outreach.
  • I want to explore the Word software that rates writing on word choice, readability, passive voice, etc., that Mark Galli talked about in his workshop.
  • Dean Merrill's workshop on technology will show up in my teaching.
  • The writing process from the pre-conference workshop.
  • I learned about design structure for a magazine. I also learned about contracts. These basic necessities are missing from our magazine now. We can't wait to implement them into our process.
  • Better understanding of audience demographics.
  • There were several writing tips and interview suggestions that I hope will be useful in our ministry and I'm encouraging our mission to have a writing workshop/seminar in our area.
  • I don't think I can say just one thing. There were many relating to digital publications, editing, and blogging.
  • Some of the do's and don'ts of creating a useful infographic.
  • Keeping my average words per sentence at 14 words. I'm thinking even more about readability when I write.
  • Editing metrics from Mark Galli's class.
  • Helping our magazine become more relevant for the younger crowd.
  • Writing online titles that are accurate and fair but also get people to click.
  • The titling workshop by Ted Olsen was outstanding.
  • We have committed to using our skills and knowledge to make the convention better in the future. I already talked to the co-chairs about helping with the collateral design and teaching a session or helping with relevant topics.
  • Mark Galli's use of Readability Statistics.
  • Design tips: typography, use of photos, etc.
  • When interviewing, always plan on a second interview to clarify nuances you may forget, get correct spellings of names and places, and ask THAT question you should have asked the first time around. :-).
  • The tips and techniques I acquired during the session on interviewing.
  • More “connections” than tips.
  • New income streams through publications.
  • Microsoft Word readability stats, something Mark Galli talked about in his Advanced Writing and Editing session.
  • Helpful legal information.
  • Connections with PR houses, story ideas and connections.
  • Mark Galli's writing tips.
  • Mark Galli's writing tips about using MS Word readability data as a self-correction. Especially as I'll be working without other editors, this self-performable but objective check will be very, very helpful.
  • Interview skills.
  • Tips on how to title for an online audience.
  • Some of the concepts from the pre con design workshop.
  • Just about everything.
  • The millennial critique panel provided great input on what strikes a young reader to pick up and keep reading a publication.
  • Spend more time promoting and less time creating content.
  • Looking at how we name our articles when we post them online--not necessarily giving them the same title as the print version.
  • Develop a focus story for every feature-length story. (from pre-conference intensive).
  • From Vernard Gant and Kevin Palau--to be much more thoughtful in the way I communicate.
  • Specific approaches to writing gleaned from the pre-Conference workshop.
  • Met someone with expertise that we're using for a developing story.
  • Running a series on why Jesus hates religious freedom, based on Gant's talk. (Kidding!).
  • The tips from Dean Merrill on making the most of free-lancers.
  • Mark Winz, the gentleman who led the discussion on interviewing best practices, had much to offer on the topic. I know I will be referencing his materials when I am preparing to conduct an interview. Very helpful.
  • Difference between The Content and The Delivery of said Content.
  • I learned some good lessons about websites which could be helpful as our agency launches its new website soon.
  • Taking the temperature of our readers. Find out who what they want now and not assume we know because we asked them 10 years ago.
  • A more efficient process for producing a magazine.
  • Mark Galli reminded writers to go back to the fundamentals now and then and work on honing our craft.
  • Feedback from a couple of the judges' evaluations.
  • I'm already using what I learned at the pre-conference workshop and at the advanced writing workshop that Mark Galli taught.
  • I learned a lot.
  • Mark Galli's workshop gave me many practical insights to bring back to my team.
  • Information on finding ways to increase revenue for publications without depending on an increased audience.
  • Galli's discussion of readability ratings available from Word.

 

Comments on favorite workshops

  • The Print Editors in a Digital World was the most helpful as we continue to move forward balancing the old and the new processes. All the sessions I attended were good and helpful.
  • Love the one on infographics. A great means to communicate.
  • Mark Galli's workshop on writing from good to great was really interesting. I already printed out his notes and will begin using them every time I write._C9A1609_1 cropped 400pixels
  • I really enjoyed Christer Tschamler's presentation on The Love of Typography. It was a visual feast, especially using type as a design element rather than just putting words on a page.
  • The design field trip was inspiring. It gets the wheels turning to see people locating a vision and bringing it to life.
  • The writer/editor panel and millennial panel stood out to me.
  • The Gipson and Flagler one [legal issues] was extremely helpful for people -- there's just so many issues of copyright and fair use, especially now with digital media.
  • Mark Galli's workshop on advanced writing/editing. He walked us through how he approaches editing decisions. With a new senior editor coming on board our staff soon, Mark's handout/notes will help tremendously.
  • Thin-slicing the Global Church. I learned a bunch. It reminded me that North America isn't the center of the universe. I learned that overall Christianity isn't dying.
  • The one on titles. I appreciated it because it is an area where I can improve as an editor.
  • The advanced design workshop gave us an in-depth review of the whole design process.
  • I loved the interview workshop. It’s hard to give advice for something that can change overtime, but the advice I received was extremely helpful.
  • The Grace-Filled Workplace with Mark Galli was really good because it was geared specifically to our career field.
  • Legal Issues and 33 Secrets for Dynamic Online Engagement were packed with useful information.
  • Ted Olsen's 29 Best Online Titles to Write Before You Die. Super practical. Stretched me. Fun.
  • Mark Galli's writing tips. Very practical and helpful.
  • Infographics. Most creative presentation, very interactive and relevant.
  • Online titling was so practical and helpful. It inspired me to be more intentional with our titles.
  • Pre-Con Design Workshop. Very interactive.
  • The Flagler Law guys' legal workshop and Ted Olson's online titles workshops. But if I had to pick one, I'd say the legal workshop. They had a great presentation, they knew what they were talking about, they were comfortable talking in front of a group, they left time to answer questions. Just over all a great workshop.
  • Passing the Torch to Millennials.
  • I was really inspired by Mark Winz’s Conducting Effective Subject Interviews. His content was so clear, it built my confidence with interviewing skills, too.
  • Dean Merrill's workshop on free-lancers. Great tips to implement immediately.
  • I think the Axis presentation lit a fire under me, and I was most inspired by the Mark Winz interview session.
  • 33 Secrets for Dynamic Online Engagement stood out for me. Although I am not an expert on websites and online work, Ron Forseth made this topic interesting and engaging. He presented many helpful ideas, and got the attendees involved in the discussion.
  • The Writer-Editor Dance provided a lot of insight into the dynamics of the relationship and how to handle common issues.
  • Loved having a hands-on pre-conference writing workshop.
  • Typography was great.