I have a few questions.
1. How was the video seminar marketed? Is it possible that not a sufficient
number of engineers heard about the availability of the seminar on video tape?
2. How much was the taped seminar? Was it too expensive (say, over $25.00).
There has to be a basic premise that the information is intended to help
engineers - not hold the technology hostage until an engineer can afford the
key to unlock the commentary. Sounds tough, but I think this is what is
happening. We are searching for ways to generate income from the Internet or
Visual tools but are not paying enough attention for how we spend money. If
the philosophy changes to providing the information at a price afforeded by a
small one person office - then we need to keep the cost of seminars as small
3. Why not do the humanitarian thing - provide a lending system and make
seminars available to members for free (say one week at a time) and charge
non-members a nominal fee for the tapes. This accomplishes one big thing - it
makes joining a professional organization really worth the dues and attracts
others outside the organization to consider the advantages of membership.
The second accomplishment is that it increases the valid education of the
practicing community - which should be the ultimate goals.
Remember that seminars would not be necessary if the comentary or code were
clear as to the intent and methodology.
I don't see live seminars working in my area which has ten or twelve
engineers to service 100,000 people. It just is not large enough to support a
chapter - the closest of which is over an hour away. This is probably the
reason that only two of the twelve engineers here (myself included) are SEA
In a message dated 6/8/99 7:33:08 AM Pacific Daylight Time, vicpeng(--nospam--at)vtcg.com
My $0.01 worth.
Your point is valid here in BC too. At CSCE (Vancouver Island Section) we
tried the video tape exercise. The taping went well but the response from
engineers was zero. We lost a lot of small change in that one. It struck
me that we are all too busy to stop, sit down and look at a video of
something that happened some time ago. Here, it appears that preplanned
well publicized conferences go well but the smaller, shorter term planned
talks are best attended "on the day" only.
We are reviewing video conferencing now, something that didn't "calc" a year
ago and there is a growing voice of discontent here too with the lack of
dissemination of content of seminars, meetings etc. Our Division of
Structural Engineers in Vancouver runs "Brown Bag" lunches that often have
important issues and the idea of conferencing those is too much to let go.
Here on Vancouver Island we are particularly frustrated with the effort
required to go to the mainland for these events.
I attended one of the FEMA Conferencing (Earthquake Preparedness, I think it
was) sessions at a local college here and found it a bit stilted but the
idea worked and attracted a lot of interest. I like especially the promise
of attending from the seat in my own office!
Thor Tandy P.Eng MCSCE