Launch Tour 2005 – Toronto – Part VII – Q&A

[NOTE: For those who come right in for Launch Event entries andsee this first, please jump down to the first postand come forward (up) – I thought that it was a fantasticevent, and a great use of the time, and the stars in this entryonly apply to the final segment – Q&A]

4:30pm – 5:00pm

1.0 stars

If you’ve ever watched the Daily Show, imagine Jon Stewartsaying “awkwarrrrrrd” in that way that he does.

I really don’t understand why Q&A sessions continue to befeatured in these sorts of events, when they virtually alwaysfollow the same clumsy sequence – people ask very domain- andproblem-specific questions (the kind that would best be asked inusenet newsgroups or email support), there are communication issuesleading to the same wrong answer being provided multiple times andthe questioner re-asking the question, and then everyone finallygiving up. In the odd case that the question is actuallyunderstood, often the prospective answerer dances around it for awhile, or gets defensive, because they really don’t have aclue (for the reasons covered in a priorpost – questioners have an infinite set of questions todraw from, versus the finite knowledge of anyone on the stage).

This one was no exception. Everyone hung around only to see ifthey won an xbox360 (which they gave out – to be shipped whenreleased – to one person at the entire event who had filled outtheir evaluation form. They also gave out some Toronto Maple Leafshirts, but they went over pretty poorly), or to figure out how toget their bounty (previouslydocumented).

As is standard at events with evaluation forms, more than once Iheard presenters admonish the crowd with lines like “If you’regiving us less than 8 or 9, then please come up and tell us how wecould improve the show…” I find these sorts of requestsdisingenuous and manipulative – the real purpose, obviously, is toguilt people into giving an 8 or 9 (under the guise that if they’retoo lazy or unmotivated to go up and detail their complaints, thenthey should suck it up and give a good mark regardless). Eventmanagers should banish these sorts of requests by presenters,because it’s basically stuffing the vote and eliminating the valueof the feedback – and I’m saying this as someone who gavehonest 8s and 9s pretty much across the board.

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