You spoke and we listened. MDF conducted a post-conference survey in September, capturing participant feedback to inform future conference programs. The results of the 2012 MDF Annual Conference survey were illuminating. Most survey respondents (46%) came to the conference primarily to learn about myotonic dystrophy symptoms, diagnosis and management, although almost as many (41% of respondents) were most interested in this year’s research update.
2012 MDF Post-Conference Survey Results
As one attendee noted: “As a family member, I needed more direct information [because] I wasn’t at the doctor’s appointments. The Conference was vital to my understanding myotonic dystrophy. Meeting everyone… and hearing personal stories… also helped me understand the disorder. [And we] found new friendships with strong bonds that we never expected.”
Another attendee commented: “Only during the Conference did I realize that meeting other DM community members was what [would be] the most important role of the conference for me. It’s nice to see that I’m not alone in this (potentially) life-altering journey…”
Survey respondents overwhelmingly preferred holding the conference on Friday and Saturday (74%), rather than on Saturday and Sunday (19%), and with few exceptions, conference presentations and presenters earned very high marks with regard to the information they presented, their presenting styles and the level of complexity of the information they presented.
New topic areas this year included a presentation entitled “Social Security: Be a Consumer, Not a Victim” (click here to review the presentation from this and other conference sessions). Many survey respondents liked the expanded resource fair, and would like to see even more vendors at next year’s conference. The “Do It Yourself (DIY)” community meetings program scheduled for Sunday morning was popular with meeting attendees who used it, but many survey respondents were not aware that the community meeting program was available. MDF will work to make that program more visible next year.
Speaking of which, be sure to mark your calendars for next year's conference! The 2013 MDF Annual Conference will be held November 8 - 9, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Conference registration will open in early Summer 2013.