Well, this was my first time attending (and presenting!) at Thai TESOL. This year’s conference was in Chiang Mai, a beautiful historic city in the north of Thailand, and one that is often featured in top-10 lists of places to visit or live. It’s winter here, so the temperature is a freezing (for Thailand) 15-25 degrees Celcius.
I had a great slot for my presentation, first thing on the first day, but unfortunately my room was in a separate building, hidden away behind the hotel pool! I guess they had checked out my reputation as a presenter 😉
As I only had 30 minutes, I started on time with five people in the audience, and finished on time with about 30. Sadly most of them arrived after the half-way mark, so I am not sure how much they will have gotten out of the presentation.
My criticisms so far:
1. the venue is not appropriate, because we have two sites that require at least five minutes to walk between
2. there are only five minutes between presentations but presenters need at least ten to wrap up, pack their stuff away, and allow the next presenter to set up (I would recommend fifteen to allow for audience questions)
3. the plenaries have been vague, common-sensical, and dull
These three things aside, the location is fantastic, many of the attendees are friendly and interesting, and Thailand is a great place to spend a few days.
In terms of the value of the conference itself, I am going to withhold judgement for now.