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Survey Summary: Annual Meeting 2016

Tuesday, August 02, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Han Dietrich

Dear GPA Members,

I want to first extend appreciation to everyone who completed the 2016 Annual Meeting surveys in order to assist the association in future planning. The 2016 Annual Meeting was a success both financially and operationally. GPA took a risk venturing farther from the Atlanta area in order to support other areas of the state. Both members and non-members ultimately supported the 2016 meeting location and returned with pleasant reviews.

The following email highlights significant outcomes from the survey data from the 2016 Annual Meeting post-event surveys. This information is being provided to GPA members in order to be transparent about the outcome of the meeting as well as to provide understanding to our future decisions based off of these surveys.

Overall Experience at the GPA Annual Meeting at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center:

45.83% - Excellent / 47.22% - Good / 6.94% - Adequate / 0% - Fair and Poor

Each year, GPA makes improvements based on the previous year’s surveys. Therefore, we are very happy to see this result.

Comments about Lodging Options, Food and Facilities:

Most of the attendees raved about how surprised and pleased they were with the facilities. Venue size, layout and staff all contributed to positive comments. The food primarily received positive reviews, although we have noted that there is an increase in requests for healthy options.

Additional Concerns:

  • Coffee: All day coffee is a repeat request that we see in surveys. We have calculated the cost of coffee over and over again, and ultimately we can never justify the expense. For example, if we had all day coffee in future meetings, we project that we would have to increase registration fees by at least $25 only to cover the expense of coffee. We provide coffee in the mornings and sodas in the afternoon. We scout venues that have coffee available for purchase after our breakfast coffee service ends.  Purchasing coffee individually would cost approximately $5 per day. We have decided this option is much more reasonable than increasing registration by $25 for everyone.
  • Room Temperature: Each year, we receive feedback about rooms that are too cold and too hot. Please understand that for as many people who think it is one way, there are just as many who believe the opposite. We try our best to maintain temperatures at a comfortable level.

Factors that Influenced the Individual’s Decision to Attend or Not Attend this Year’s Annual Meeting:

Those persons who did attend the 2016 Meeting, attended because (surveyors were able to select more than one option):

88%-Needed the continuing education hours / 43.5%-Location / 40.69%-Topics / 35.89%-Networking with GPA meeting attendees is a priority for me / 32.41%-Cost/Value / 16.55%-Ease of registration

Those who did not attend the 2016 meeting did not attend because (surveyors were able to select more than one option):

52.60%-Location / 31.77%-Prior Commitment / 28.65%-Did not need the continuing education hours / 26.56%-Topics / 26.04%-Cost/Value / 5.21%-Networking with GPA meeting attendees is not a priority for me / 0%-Registration difficulties

The above data indicates that continuing education can be a powerful motivation for registration and those needs should always be considered. Also, location and timing is an important consideration that GPA must take seriously. 

Continuing Education Needs:

As you can see in the previous section, continuing education was the main motivation for this year’s attendees to register. Continuing education only accounted for 28.65% of the reasons for why someone may not have registered for the meeting, potentially leaving approximately 70% of surveyors still needing continuing education hours at that time. Therefore, it is important to look at the continuing education needs around the time of the Annual Meeting.

For 2016 meeting attendees, 45.83% needed 15 or more hours of continuing education as of April 14, 2016. A little over 40% of attendees were split between needing 10-14 hours and 1-9 hours of continuing education. The remaining 11% did not need any hours.

For those persons who did not attend the 2016 meeting, the continuing education needs were as follows:

15 or more hours: 25.24% / 10-14 more hours: 15.05% / 1-9 more hours: 28.16% / Did not need any more hours: 26.70% / I am not licensed: 4.85%

As you can see, the continuing education need was much more varied for those who did not attend. However, 40% needed 10 or more hours of continuing education at the time, which is something that our meeting could have supplied. There is a missed opportunity here that needs further evaluation.

We will ask this question again after next year’s Annual Meeting in order to evaluate both continuing education as a motivator and the rate at which psychologists get continuing education over the course of the two-year licensure period. Especially with the new Georgia Continuing Education Rules, this data is important for decisions in regard to the structure and timing of our annual meeting.

Suggestions for Future Workshops, Themes, Keynotes, and Lunch and Learns:

This data is pulled from both surveyors that did and did not attend the meeting.

The suggestions listed in this question vary and are mostly unique. This information, which is extremely helpful, was passed to the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Continuing Education Committee. We did notice several requests for applied workshops as well as intermediate and advanced level workshops. We have taken note of these requests and will endeavor to meet those requests in the near future.

When to Host “The Trust” Workshop:

Based on past surveys, GPA decided to move The Trust workshop from Sunday to the Thursday before the meeting. This decision allows full conference attendees to not miss the Sunday workshop that they formally had to miss in order to attend The Trust workshop. This modification has proven successful in the past two years. Additionally, this year’s survey data from both those who did and did not attend the meeting indicated that the majority of psychologists prefer The Trust workshop to be held on Thursday. 

Future Locations:

This data is pulled from both surveyors that did and did not attend the meeting.

The most common suggestions for future meeting locations were Atlanta, Savannah and Athens. There were a moderate number of requests for Augusta and Columbus. Other repeat requests include Macon, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Callaway Gardens.

For those who did not attend the meeting, a significant portion of survey respondents emphasized the Atlanta area. We would like to remind everyone that we are a state association and want to support other parts of the state. We also understand that the majority of psychologists live in the metro Atlanta area. In the past, we have had an annual rotation of alternating meeting being in Atlanta and out of Atlanta. There are discussions on whether or not this rotation will be modified but those decisions have not been confirmed.

Jekyll Island: This year, we asked all surveyors if they specifically would be likely to attend a meeting at Jekyll Island. For those who did attend this year’s meeting, the responses were primarily “yes” and “probably.” For those who did not attend this year’s meeting, the responses were mixed. While there were significantly less “yes” answers compared to those who did attend the 2016 meeting, most were open to the idea of going to Jekyll Island but said their decision ultimately pended on the timing, cost, distance and program. The remaining answers were “no” or “probably not.”

Plans to Attend Future GPA Meetings and Workshops:

Ninety-nine percent of surveyors are open to attending future workshops and meetings, with the majority stating “yes” they would. The remaining 1% has personal life changes such as retirement or moving that influenced their decision to say “no.”


We are pleased to know that those who did attend the meeting enjoyed the experience and that in the future, practically everyone is willing to consider our events. We will do our best to consider all requests and needs in order to make future events the best experience possible. Thank you again to everyone who responded to the survey.


Amy Han Dietrich
Director of Communications and Continuing Education
(404) 634-6272, ext. 208