Events enable attendees to make new connections, learn about core concepts, share and discuss new research, and coordinate on projects.
- We think that EA Global London was our best event yet — probably more valuable than all events we ran in 2019 (combined).
- We’re expanding our team so that we can run three large EA Globals, and support at least six EAGx conferences.
- You can help us by:
Our core metric is the number of connections made at our conferences. We calculate connections by multiplying the number of attendees times the average number of self-reported new connections. We define a new connection as “someone you feel comfortable reaching out to to ask for a favor,” so this is a relatively high bar.
This metric has a variety of limitations. We’re still fine-tuning it, finding better ways of measuring it, and thinking through other important outcomes to measure.
|Year||Type||Estimated total new connections||Notes|
|2021||Q4 only||10,700||EA Global: London|
|Final||17,108||Excluding the Coordination Forum, EAGx|
EA Global: London
We ran the EA Global: London conference from October 29th to October 31st.
- We had 1530 attendees in total (~900 attended in-person, and 630 attended virtually). We hosted 22 different sessions at the in-person event, a number of which were streamed or paired with a session for virtual attendees.
- This event created approximately 10,700 connections for the community, which was more successful than our goals.
- On average, in-person attendees formed 10.24 new connections. Virtual attendees only formed 2.41.
- The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, especially for the in-person side of the event.
- We doubled the size of the in-person event at very short notice, and were worried that this would cause more logistical chaos or COVID-related issues. Our impression is that this did not happen, and the feedback we got supports this impression.
- We think this decision added around 3,900 connections.
- The virtual side of the event underperformed, although it still added around 1,500 connections; it was positively received by attendees, but we did not optimize it.
- We are reconsidering running hybrid conferences in the future, and might run separate virtual and in-person conferences in order to give more attention to each side.
- We began providing grants for travel and accommodation for attendees who otherwise couldn’t attend, particularly students. We also continued to offer discounted tickets for attendees who need them.
We also helped the EAGxPrague team organize their event in December and then respond to the decision to postpone it as a result of the Omicron wave. We expect that a lot of the work that went into organizing EAGxPrague is not totally lost, since the event will still be happening on 13 - 15 May this year.
In Q4, we hired
- Eli Nathan, Project Manager for EA Global, starting in April
- Ivan Burduk, Events Associate, started in November
- Charlotte Potts, a part-time contractor working on revamping our volunteer process
We are currently hiring for:
- Events Generalists
- This role could involve a wide range of tasks including public communications, impact analysis, admissions processing, production, and content development.
- Stewardship Program Manager
- This role would focus on our mentorship program, which connects people newer to the community with potential mentors who are further along in their careers.
- Retreats Program Manager
- This role will focus on designing and producing a retreats program - responsibilities could include attendee selection, programming, production, and onsite operations.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to apply or refer someone for any of these roles.
The exact schedule for 2022 is still being developed.
- We plan to run 3 EA Global conferences in 2022:
- EAG: London (15 - 17 April)
- EAG: San Francisco (29 - 31 July)
- EAG: Washington, D.C. (23 - 25 September)
- Plans for these events
- We’re hoping to have capacity for 800-1000 people at each of those if possible.
- We may run one or more virtual conferences.
- We’re working to improve our COVID policy and protocols.
- Additionally, we will be supporting
- EAGxOxford (26 - 27 March)
- EAGxBoston (1 - 3 April)
- EAGxPrague (13 - 15 May)
- EAGxAustralia (8 - 10 July)
- EAGxSingapore (2 - 4 September)
- EAGxBerlin (September/October)
- Applications for EAG: London (April), EAGxOxford (March) and EAGxBoston (April) have just opened. To apply for these events, please go here.
- We are also running an event in April for people interested in developing their event-running skills. If you know someone who might be a good fit, please refer them to us here.
Comment on this post or email us (email@example.com) if you have any feedback or questions, and we hope to see you at events in 2022!
- We expect this to overestimate the true number of connections, since people who engage a lot with the event may be more likely to fill in our post-event survey, and also more likely to make lots of connections. However, we think it allows for some comparison between events and years.
- 2020 figures include EAGx, whereas 2019 and 2021 figures don’t.
- We think this methodology overestimates the number of connections at virtual events relative to in-person events. All events in 2020 were virtual, and some events in 2021 were virtual, while all 2019 events were in-person.
- We expect virtual events to over-report total numbers of connections relative to in-person events.
- As mentioned in an earlier footnote, this figure is calculated as the number of attendees x average number of self-reported new connections. This is probably an overestimate, since people who engage a lot with the event are more likely to fill in the survey, and also more likely to make lots of connections. We expect this effect to be bigger for virtual events, because there’s more variation in how much people engage with the event, and because fewer people complete the survey (causing more bias). Therefore, we expect this method to broadly overestimate the number of connections made in 2020 (and to some extent 2021) versus 2019.
- Note that in 2021, 74% of in-person attendees and 39% of virtual attendees filled out the survey (which means the surveys were decently representative). These numbers fit the pattern that more in-person attendees give feedback, so virtual events may indeed overestimate connections more than in-person events do. However, we broadly did not find that in-person attendees who filled out the survey earlier (e.g. before we announced external incentives) were more likely to report more connections, which suggests that the method we use is relatively robust.
We expect around 200 connections were also formed at the Coordination Forum.
We expect this number to be fairly robust, as we had very high survey completion rates from in-person attendees (74% response rate— 666 responses), and that’s where the bulk of the connections comes from (~9,200 of 10,700). Moreover, as noted in a previous footnote, when we tested for trends in the responses to the questions related to our key metric (connections), we found that eagerness to complete the survey earlier or without extra encouragement (we offered respondents free books) does not correlate with higher responses for the number of connections formed. This means that we are likely not significantly overestimating the total number of connections formed at an event by extrapolating from partial information.
In the previous update, we had optimistically projected 11,285 connections, 500 more than we got in the end. Our projection overestimated the number of attendees and connections from the virtual side, and underestimated the number of connections per attendee from the in-person side.
These compare favorably with our past events. The in-person score is a new record.
This is very high for the in-person event, and a bit lower than our average for the virtual event.
Few people reported getting COVID after the event (and many attendees were getting tests for travel); we are aware of only ~4 cases that might have originated at the conference. This is close to the baseline rates of COVID in the UK at the time (how many cases you’d expect for around 1000 people existing in the UK).
We are worried about potentially harmful effects from the admissions process. We were surprised by the number of extremely strong applications we received for this event, and had to reject or waitlist some strong candidates as part of the process. We think this may have negatively impacted some people involved, but believe that the result was probably positive.
We got ~9,200 connections from the in-person side of the event. All else equal, if we only had 500 attendees, we’d only get 5,100 connections.