VAF Membership Survey Summary: 2023 Conference

26 Oct 2023 8:35 AM | Michelle Jones (Administrator)

In September 2023, VAF distributed a survey to members who attended the conference in Plymouth, MA this last May. The short survey offered multiple-choice and more detailed open-ended questions. In addition to general perceptions of the conference, VAF collected demographic data, involvement with the organization, employment, age, gender, and racial self-identification.

More than one-hundred respondents provided a broad sense of members’ experience at the conference and detailed suggestions for the forthcoming conference in 2024. Over 60 percent of respondents said they were very satisfied with the conference, 30 percent satisfied, and under 10 percent somewhat satisfied. Over 70 percent of the members were very satisfied with the guidebook provided by VAF conference organizers and many wished the text was available a week prior to the meeting. Overall, respondents most enjoyed the bus tours, followed by walking tours, networking opportunities, and paper sessions. Some members noted they would like more options for affordable accommodations and vegetarian and gluten-free options. Also noteworthy was a desire for greater and accurate representation of Indigenous and POC histories.

Over 50 percent of respondents are in the 55 and over age group, with members in other age groups coming in at 15 percent (45-54), 18 percent (35-44), and 7 percent (25-34).

Half of the respondents self-identified as female, 48 percent as male, and remaining respondents preferred to not answer the question. Over 90 percent of the members self-identified as white non-Hispanic or Latinx, with one person selecting Hispanic or Latinx and another as Black or African American.

Over 45 percent of respondents work in academia, 20 percent in state, federal, or municipal government, 16 percent work as consultants, 6 percent in museums, and 14 percent identified as self-employed.

Responses to the question about forms of involvement with VAF resulted in a representation of robust engagement, with members selecting multiple roles as members.

VAF plans to disseminate additional surveys covering topics like the 2024 conference, publication efforts, and membership engagement. Please share your thoughts and shape the future of our organization!

Submitted by Vyta Privo

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