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Virtual Symposium Thoughts

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dave Fritz, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    I've started a new thread because the thread I originally posted in was concerning the chat room specifically I guess.

    I really liked the virtual symposium. I probably will never go to one in person due to health issues in the family so this was a great opportunity for me. I wish I had spent more time becoming familiar with the AAW homepage because I kept looking at the original symposium website, not the virtual symposium website. The demos were nice to watch and you can tell it's an evolving process in that some presenters seemed to have a better video setup and feel but that's to be expected. I look forward to re-watching some of the demos. While I may not make exactly what is being demonstrated I love being able to watch the tool control. I wonder when in person symposiums are back is it possible there might be a virtual attendance offering as well. Finally I'm curious how the auctions fared in the digital format? Were their new buyers bidding? How did the prices paid compare? What was the reaction from vendors? Interesting times, hat's off to the AAW for moving forward.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  2. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    I also enjoyed the symposium and believe it might become the “wave of the future”. Yes, missing is the camaraderie of visiting with others, and of course, visiting the vendor booths and instant gallery in person. I felt the online demos were as good or better than the crowed breakout rooms. I am not sure how we can replace the enjoyment of contact with friends, touching and feeling new toys (whoops new technology) in the vendor area, and admiring the work of others in the “physical sense” because pictures don’t convey the craftsmanship nor the beauty of pieces in the instant gallery. So perhaps there will always be a place for a physical symposium. Do we need two symposiums, one physical and one virtual?
     
  3. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    I enjoy Zoom demos and Zoom meetings. The AAW Virtual Symposium I think will be a success in the eyes of the AAW (I must believe they made some money, that is something I don't think they do at the real symposium). I think it went over OK and would do it again (if the price stays low). One thing I will never do is go to another critique, that's time I will never get back. My two main gripes were the chat pop up and the music (play an actual song instead of those god awful rifts and give us the means to keep those chat pop up off). I've been to between 30 and 40 symposiums and these Zoom demos for me are way better than sitting in on real ones, you just see so much more. Yes you don't get to mingle with people and I do miss my friends but with this virus crap (and I do believe this won't be the last one) times have changed. Not 1 of the 4000 paid participants will get a virus from their screens. Only time will tell what we face in the future, I do hope I get to go to a few more but these Zoom things sure are keeping me busy and again I am enjoying them.
     
  4. Roger Domina

    Roger Domina

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    I thought the AAW team did a great job. The symposium was very well orchestrated and included great content. Am hoping we can see more of similar approaches in the future. My thanks to all involved for a job well done.
     
  5. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I enjoyed the demonstrations and like was already mentioned I had a better view of what was going on. I did have a piece in the instant Gallery Critique. I think it was a very tough job for the panel without some interaction to talk about the piece. I did submit a description, but it was really lacking in information. They did a great job, but didn’t have the artist input to their questions. If it would be done in the future maybe a list of question could be sent to those selected to help the panel. I also miss the vendor area to see in person some of the new things and first hand look at things. The worst for me is Louisville is a short drive for me and I grew up in that area and have family to stay with. I hope Louisville gets another shot in the near future. I definitely would sign up for another virtual symposium..
     
    Dwight R Rutherford likes this.
  6. Russ Braun

    Russ Braun

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    I would definitely sign up to a Virtual Symposium again!

    On the plus side:
    1) I found that the cost savings was significant between this Symposium and Raleigh; a huge plus!
    2) The zoom presentations are nice as well!
    3) The fact that they will be available for an extended time is huge!
    4) The comfort of my own chair!
    5) The whole effort to pull this off by AAW shows what an outstanding job they do for the membership!

    On the downside:
    1) Social interaction is way down! I missed visiting with my friends; especially with the people from the AAW team/ office!
    2) I really missed volunteering to support the Symposium! I believe you get out of something what you put into it! Volunteering has made a huge difference for me!
    3) Because I didn’t travel to a Symposium site, I got very little escape from my everyday world. Work was ever present; I could not immerse myself like I would being out of town! I missed many of the live demonstrations.
    4) Browsing and overspending at the Trade Show is a habit that I hate to see broken! Shhhh, don’t tell the wife!
    5) Seeing pieces in the instant gallery is a great treat; it’s irreplaceable to see them up close, pictures can only do so much (like show size and detail).
    6) I always want a piece showing in the instant gallery This provides some framework and deadlines to get pieces ready. I noticed a big Covid induced “nothing” in this area of my segmenting world! My efforts have sort of meandered this year!
     
  7. Ron Solfest

    Ron Solfest

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    I also echo the great thanks to AAW personnel for pulling this symposium off wonderfully on short notice. I really enjoyed it!!

    All of the demonstrators did a great job, even with the added pressure of 2000+ watching (as they all commented on). Craig and Cindy’s demos were the best best technical/camera presentations I think. Glenn started off the demos WONDERFULLY. And I really enjoyed watching and learning from Rudy and Trent as well. All showed mastery of the craft, great personalities and lots of technical and design advice. THANKS ALL.

    I enjoyed most of the discussion and slide presentations too, but some were not as well organized as others.

    Really liked everyone’s shop tours, especially when the camera lingered long enough to look for ideas and things I don’t have :)

    I have mixed feelings on the critique session. I was really looking forward to it, but found it’s focus almost exclusively on ‘high art’ gallery perspectives. I appreciate this perspective as it’s not where I come from, but would really like to see some ‘craft level’ critiquing that would apply to me (and many I suspect). Good critique on nuances of form, finish, and design elements of more functional pieces that most of us do would help elevate our work. I know this craft vs art debate has been raging forever, but would like to see more balance I think.

    Lastly I have to comment on the VALUE. I’ve been to two other AAW symposia in the Twin Cities over the last 20+ years. Access to this was certainly easier. Missed some of the live aspects, but many visuals of the demos were better here. Also missed getting to wander the vendor floor, always spend more $ there than the cost of the show. Somehow I did on the virtual one as well, but with picking up a PAPR this time and the low cost of the show the ratio of toys/show cost was WAY high this time :)

    THANKS AGAIN to ALL that helped make this a very successful event!!
     
    Karl Best likes this.
  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    This is the function served by the “intimate critique” in the live symposiums. people sign up for various categories like hollow forms, Usually it is 4-5 people bring their pieces to the critique table then 1 or 2 critiquers talk about each piece what is done well, possible improvements, Suggested techniques, and of course answering questions.

    I may be possible to do this with individual zoom sessions limited to 5 people.... each person in turn could hold their piece in front of the camera. This adds a lot of complexity to the schedule and signup procedure. And the limitations of what you see on the screen don’t let the ciritiquer feel the surface and weight of the piece.

    it will be a challenge to meet various needs.
     
    charlie knighton and Ron Solfest like this.
  9. Paul Winer

    Paul Winer

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    I thought, overall the effort was a big success, My issue with "Craig Timmerman: Turning an Arch Bowl" is that his process and information was from a production turner perspective. I seriously doubt that there are more than a small minority that were interested in turning out the bowls in production quantities. Not sure why the turning community is so obsessed with production turning.
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    You have a valid point regardless of percentage. With the format of this years virtual symposium the choice is watch or don’t watch.
    Realize that Craig is telling you how he does it. Part of his focus is making a living...

    At a live symposium during each rotation period you have the choice of attending 10 demonstrations, the trade show, instant gallery, exhibitions, helping with the youth classes, or hanging out with friends.
    Of course with this format there is always a rotation where you want to see 3 or 4 demos - wealth of choices...
     
    Dave Hulett likes this.
  11. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I haven't watched the symposium demo but Craig did a demo for the TAW a month or so ago and it was excellent. I don't remember any thing that seemed focused on production although we all know that Glen Lucas and Mike Mahoney are production turners.
     
    Dave Hulett likes this.
  12. Hugh

    Hugh

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    First off - I think the AAW Staff did a fantastic job on the Virtual Symposium.
    I am hoping that they do this from now on actually. Travel has become just too hard, and now is not safe.
    I hope the AAW made money on this adventure.
    I do miss the social end of the in person symposium. I miss the trade show and the instant gallery too.
    I enjoyed the demos that I watched.....except one of them. But, then I just turned it off and went to some other activity until the next demo was on.
    This virtual symposium cost was low I think. For the content that was delivered, a terrific deal
    I would have spent 10 times the cost of this symposium just to have someone come and take care of the cat while I was gone. Add in air fare and housing and food. A super deal.
    Easy to watch too. View was just fine.
    More and more of the demonstrators are moving to virtual demos. Saves travel, time, time off, etc.
    I miss the social part though.
    I can handle the travel now, but my wife can't. Not sure it is safe to leave her along that long too.
    So, this worked out just fine in my mind.
    Good Job AAW.
     
  13. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    These Zoom demos will get better as the demonstrators get better at using the equipment. Now not only do they need to know the ins and outs of what they are turning but they have to know the best video of every cut, movement and position they are in. I have watched over two dozen of these demos and no one does it better than Cindy Drozda. Glenn Lucas did good job as did Timmerman and Bosch. Mike Mahoney even when he turns it is a video previously filmed and that has pluses and minuses as he stops and marks on his screen to describe certain points. Right now demonstrators who want to do this are finding the video parts needed very hard to find (and at great expense). I think that it could be a possibility for the AAW to hold both an actual symposium and a virtual symposium. Everything pertaining to an actual symposium happening is going to be based on there being a workable vaccine, without that there will be few who at our ages and states of health willing to take a chance. I do hope that happens as I sure that most feel the same way.
     
  14. Ditto Bill Blasic above on Drozda, Lucas, Timmerman and Bosch. Watched two Mahoney "demos". Disappointing. Not well prepared. No live turning. Slide shows are not an acceptable substitute for live turning. - John
     
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  15. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    I'm hoping that some of the technology used for online remote demos will spill over into the AV support for live demos. Most live demos I've been to would benefit from having multiple cameras placed carefully, easily switchable by the demonstrator to show what s/he wants to show. Streaming it locally, as it happens, to individual's various phones, pads, and laptops in the room would allow everyone who wanted to to have a good view of what was being shown, not to mention potentially better, individually adjustable, sound. I for one don't see clearly enough any more to get much information from many conference room TV setups; and I seldom get there early enough for a front row seat.
     
  16. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    @Bill Blasic I do not know if this will help but this is how to handle the chat window with least interaction with it.

    As to chat it cannot be turned off by the viewer , only by the presenter or the one who scheduled the meeting. This is what you can do to hide or reduce the annoyance:
    1. Click Chat at bottom of window
    2. Click that arrow on the left top of the chat window
    3. on the options that pop out click "pop out "
    This will place the chat in a window you can move, resize, or place almost totally off screen.

    I think that Virtual will be ongoing but what we do with it after the crisis is another thing altogether. Hopefully AAW will offer some format similar to this again as it was well worth the effort. If that is so I think I will watch some live and wait for video on some. I watched almost all straight thru. By the way Cindy had a personal Zoom Q&A session that was also very good.
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  17. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    I thought the demise of the national symposium was nearing as regional symposiums became so successful. I know the subject has been discussed often. Imagine how much financial assistance could go to work with education if the giant budget of the national symposium went away! For one thing the journal would have a big increase in articles if pages weren't used to advertise and promote the national symposium. I'm not confident that high density travel and conventions will be back by this time next year. Mass injections will take months to accomplish, AFTER the testing is completed.
     
  18. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    This doesn't work for everyone. It works if you're on a computer (not a tablet or phone, and using the zoom app) and if your zoom window is not in full screen. If you're in full screen, it's almost the same but the whole "pop out" thing is not there, so it confuses someone who doesn't zoom regularly. If you're on a phone, the chat popup messages are probably big and periodically cover the demo screen. And bringing up the chat window takes over the whole screen. A tablet is probably somewhere in between phone and computer (I don't have one). I also don't know how the chat appears for someone joining via browser....
     
  19. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    that would be a good idea except the national symposium pays for itself.

    Registration fees, vendor booths, advertising in the handbook .... these incomes are set to cover the symposium costs.
    In any given year the symposium either makes a little bit or losses a little bit depending on attendance exceeding expected or falling short.

    The benefit auction raises money for the education grants.
    So with no symposium and no benefit auction there is less money for education.

    you point about using journal pages for the symposium promotion is correct.
     
    charlie knighton likes this.
  20. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Hate to disappoint you two on journal pages. All that promotion is considered ADVERTISING and removing it will reduce size of Journal.
     
  21. Bob Sheppard

    Bob Sheppard

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    I don't see the turning community as being all that obsessed with production turning. If anything, it seems to me that it leans towards art turning.
     
  22. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    turning community discussions often involve how many & which chucks I have,
    Either how big or how small a lathe I have,
    but when get on club level it's How....how
    and tks
     
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  23. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    the AAW symposium to me is about seeing old friends and making new ones. Also getting to see the instant gallery in person. How many of you saw pieces that were either much smaller or much larger than you thought they were after seeing them online. Same is true about seeing the vendors in person. You get to ask questions and get clear answers about their products. Hard to do that online. Yes the regional symposiums are good but you just don't get to see all the people you do at the AAW symposium.
     
    Timothy White likes this.
  24. Hugh

    Hugh

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    I wonder if the in person Symposium will work in the near future (2-3 years)?
    Other questions I have: How much did this cost AAW to run? Did it break even?
    If the in person symposium comes back, would it be possible to have a virtual symposium for those who can not make the in person one?
    Just me thinking is all.
    I really liked this one. And I have been to about 15+ normal symposiums in the past.
     
  25. bbergst

    bbergst

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    I can foresee the more successful clubs putting on their own virtual.symposium. They would act as the organizers and promoters coordinating the demos from zoomed from wherever. I also could see a virtual venders segment, with venders talking about their latest and greatest. Another would be placing venders talks in between demos. Ten minutes showing their goods. Kind of like paid for advertising.
     
  26. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    right side brain vs left side brain
    Mahoney introduced me to calabash.....forever impressed
     
  27. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    I have to say my experience this year was a good one. Having been at 8 or 9 symposiums in the past, I found the demos quite good, didn’t have to jockey for a seat or put up with conversations around me obscuring the audio. While I missed the trade show and mingling/meeting new friends I certainly didn’t miss the 2 to 3 thousand the typical trip cost me.
     
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  28. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    I prefer the virtual show. I loved going to shows but I just can't function in a crowded environment anymore. This was a nice opportunity to watch some great demos by good turners.
     
  29. Dave Hulett

    Dave Hulett

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    nor the hundreds you would have spent! LOL
     
  30. Mike Amphlett

    Mike Amphlett

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    I agree with Roger regarding the technology spill over into the "Real life symposium", my wife and I have been to three so far, and feel that as good as the camera work is it doesn't always get it 100% right. As said with a multi camera setup the demonstrator can select cameras to the most appropriate view. We also thought the picture in picture worked really well.

    I also think the slide show presentation is less appealing I want to see hands on turning demonstrations. And it would also be good to have a five minute break between presentation I'm sure we all need a comfort break, and a chance to get another coffee!

    Personally I hope the symposium, as we have known it in the past, carries on for many years to come. We are serial visitors to the US and every couple of years combine the symposium with our annual vacation, as a result we go to places we might not have thought of on our own, and above all we also get to meet a great bunch of people.
     

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