Anticipating Evaluation 2013

Evaluation 2013 starts tomorrow (well, I guess it started yesterday but the main event starts tomorrow). I kept my presentation schedule light this year; one think tank session on blogging and one session as chair/discussant on a data visualization multi-paper. Which should leave me some time to cartoon.

If you’re new to the blog, last year I cartooned the American Evaluation Association conference. I plan to do it again so you’ll notice the posting frequency go up for just a few days (conference ends on Saturday).

My hope this year is to find ways to project discussion outward. So going beyond just documenting the event. Wish me luck and please provide feedback.

Instead of a traditional preview, here are 5 things I’m anticipating at this year’s event.

High attendance and evaluation star systems

Looking at all the names of presenters, and in a city filled with evaluators, I’m guessing this thing is going to be pretty heavily attended. This should lead to the development of star systems caused by evaluators being pulled in by the gravity of their evaluation heroes.

Talk of the government shutdown

Hey everyone, come to DC where all the museums are closed! We’ll stay right next to the zoo (but sorry, that will be closed too).

This whole government shutdown thing will find its way into many conversations. I’m hoping it will open back up soon, but I’ve been hoping that since it started. I’m also going to guess the government folks will be exhibiting signs of cabin fever.

I’ll be recognized by someone I don’t know

And they will call me “the cartoon guy.”

Evaluation is a way of life

One of the things I noticed in past conferences is just how observant evaluators tend to be. They’re evidence finders and that comes up in conversation, even with off-topics. ย Which makes for really interesting company.

Bringing a new blogger online

Every year I seem to be able to convince at least one evaluator to start blogging. I want to continue that streak.

What are you anticipating?

Will you be in attendance? What are you expecting to find at the DC Hilton? Let me know in the comments.

If you’re a tweeter, I’ll be using #eval13 over the next several days.


  1. Wendy Tackett on October 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I’m ready to get re-energized with the enthusiasm from other evaluators who will be sharing about technological wonders, innovative evaluative techniques, focused methodologies for analyses, and concrete ways for visually-challenged to use data visualizations!

    • Chris Lysy on October 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

      Love the enthusiasm Wendy. Thanks for kicking off the comments!
      Let me know what you’re finding during the conference and help inspire some cartoons ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jeff Wasbes on October 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

    There is always a wealth of enthusiasm and great ideas at the AEA conference. I always enjoy hearing about those ideas and meeting the smart people who are developing them. Sadly, after the conclusion of the conference, I fail to follow up with many of the folks I meet to pursue areas of common interest. This year, I am dedicating myself to do a better job following through on new and existing connections after the conference ends.

    • Chris Lysy on October 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

      I know what you mean Jeff. I collect a bunch of business cards then subsequently forget to do anything with them.

      Any idea of how you are going to follow through on new and existing connections? Maybe add something in your calendar for a few weeks away that just says “touch base with ____”. Or, you know, I guess you could start a blog (see #5 above) and start asking those connections to collaborate on a post about something like computer simulation…

      • Jeff Wasbes on October 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

        I appreciate your preemptive strike about getting someone signed up to start a blog.

        Right – I think something as simple as a calendar reminder in outlook or gmail might work. I was thinking something similar, only I would link the reminder to some milestone in the project of common interest. In other words, I would want to touch base with the connection at the same time that I have something to discuss about progress made, or new ideas, or some barrier that we’ve encountered, etc.

        • Chris Lysy on October 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

          When I asked, I just knew you had some kind of plan in the works. It all sounds very “evaluatory” (that should be a word). If it works out, you can submit a proposal to present about it at next year’s conference.

  3. Eden Segal on October 15, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I find that what happens in “off-topics” as you call them, Chris, is much what stays with me and keeps me learning beyond the convening. I look forward to thought proving discussions about evaluation in the halls, at the booths, and in social settings with new and renewed colleagues.

    • Chris Lysy on October 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Will you come back and share what you’ve learned in the hallways throughout the conference? I’d love for the cartoons to represent more than just my own experience.

  4. Jan Hogle on October 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    The good things about the shut-down include: lack of crowds on Metro! And go to see the Newseum — it’s private and open. I was just there on Friday. Awesome. Special Newseum exhibits right now: Pulitzer Prize winners in photography, the Kennedy assassination, 9/11. Also, Van Gogh is at the Phillips gallery — also private, also open.

    • Chris Lysy on October 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks for the suggestions Jan! There are also lots of fine food and beverage locations in the surrounding area ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Kylie Hutchinson on October 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Re: Being recognized – at least I won’t hug you this time.


    • Chris Lysy on October 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      I’m not anti-hug ๐Ÿ˜‰