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- About VSA
The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) seeks to foster a sense of community among its members, who gather once a year to pose intriguing questions, explore diverse opinions, debate controversial issues, challenge assumptions and share their successes and their struggles—in essence, to learn from one another.
The Data Revolution
The 2016 Conference will be in Boston, MA July 19-23!
Evaluators have always relied on data to illuminate the visitor experience. But since the founding of the Visitor Studies Association, the prevalence of data and the capacity for increased use of data for decision making by evaluators and non-evaluators alike has risen dramatically. More than a numbers game, the data revolution is about connecting users with data to make decisions; evaluators analyzing data sets in ways that create knowledge; advocates of evaluation using data to solve problems. The wide-spread availability of data has resulted in new, unique collaborations and ways to present information. For instance, the 9/11 Memorial developed a computer algorithm to create “meaningful adjacencies” of the lists of names. As the visitor studies field matures, we can share data with each other and collaborate to learn much more about the field at large than we could on our own. The Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education, in partnership with VSA, is one such example, along with associated projects including the Building Informal Science Education project. The Data Revolution as a conference theme seeks to advance the field of visitor studies by challenging conference speakers and presenters to think about how the use of data in decision making, data collection and analysis techniques, and the availability to and use of data by wider publics can contribute to new insights about the visitor experience and informal learning environments.
This theme allows for both the discussion of innovative uses of data, presentation of new findings and methods, as well as opportunities to reflect on the purpose and utility of current data collection, analysis, and visualization techniques and the ethical and practical issues around collecting and sharing data on audiences.
Some questions this conference theme will allow speakers and presenters to address include:
Schedule at a Glance
Conference registration is now live! Check out our registration page for Early Bird and Regular rates.
April Award and Student Scholars Announced
Congrats to Staci Bennett, Visitor Services Supervisor at Des Moines Art Center, for receiving this year's April Award. Our Student Scholars are Pippa Gardner (University of Sheffield), Kristen Denton (California State University, Long Beach) and Margaret Schriber (Seton Hall University). Come meet and celebrate them on Wednesday, July 20 at the conference!
Call for Dining Discussions
Consider pulling a group together to discuss a topic of your choosing at the conference this year!
Buried Treasure: Website and Social Media Analytics
Wednesday, May 18
2-3:30 Eastern/11AM-12:30PM Pacific
Find out more and register
2016 VSA Conference