Now - I confess I was really impressed with how ASM handled this enormous meeting I was just at. If you are going to have a big meeting, ASM does a smashing job. And I can see how such big meetings can have their appeal - the diversity of work and activities relating to Microbiology are amazing. However, big meetings are still not my cup of tea.
So here is my top 10 list of "You know the conference you are is too big when ...". All are based on experiences from this meeting.
- People communicate within the conference venue by email and cell phones
- They give you a foldout map showing the locations of all the different venues/activities/
- Colleagues contact you electronically after your talk rather than in person
- The lines for food are longer than the lines for security at the airport
- There are more:
- counters at the registration booth than at the airport ticket area
- meeting staff than scientists at the last conference you attended
- promotional booths than active players in Major League Baseball (OK, we are not quite there with this meeting but we are close)