My favorite part of the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in October 2012 was officially meeting the evaluators who I’d previously met online – like Karen Anderson, Katherine Dawes, Amy Germuth, Simon Hearn, Susan Kistler, Chi Yan Lam, Chris Lysy, Ehren Reed, Patricia Rogers, Jon Sachs, Anne Schwalbe, David Shellard, Jessica Weitzel, Trina Willard, and others – as well as reconnecting with old friends.

Here are the rest of the highlights from the conference. Enjoy!


Ignite sessions lit up the conference! Kudos to the 50+ brave evaluators who gave an Ignite presentation. I’m looking forward to watching and re-watching these presentations once they’re posted online.

  • trcharisse
    Ignite presentations were a blast! Wish I’d been able to see more of the #dataviz presentations at #eval12. FUN conference this year!
    Tracy Wharton
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 18:12:53
  • theImproveGroup
    #eval12 #ignite good: get point across, focus, be creative, learn content very well. Bad: hard 2 curate your knowledge, need entertaining
    Leah Goldstein Moses
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 09:21:40
  • ChristieGetman
    Ignite presentations- aiyo! No question I could talk that fast but could I ever be so succinct? Not likely! :) #Eval12
    Christie Getman
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 08:26:01
  • usefuleval
    Possible ignite panel for #eval13, “Evaluation? What is that?” Anyone interested in contributing? Loved ignite at #eval12! @aeaweb
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 14:42:40
  • theImproveGroup
    #eval12 benefits of internal eval:: proximity, relationships, chance to experiment, driving agenda, immediate use, seizing opps @AnnKEmery
    Leah Goldstein Moses
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 09:07:43
  • beccacarsel
    #evalAHA Brian English CHF Int’s Ignite about empowering slum residents to survey 500,000 and use data. How powerful eval can be. #Eval12
    Becca Carsel
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 20:32:08

For the second year in a row, the Data Visualization and Reporting business meeting was run entirely through Ignite presentations. Best TIG meeting ever?

  • evalu8r
    At the #dvrtig business meeting, being run as an #ignite session. Don’t miss it. 203 a/b #eval12
    Stephanie Evergreen
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 17:36:15
  • limeygrl
    RT @AnnKEmery: Chris Lysy (@clysy) just killed it during his IMPROV ignite session at the #dataviz meeting at #eval12! 20 slides, 5 min, & zero prep time!
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 19:28:18
  • evalu8r
    @clysy way to rock those surprise #ignite slides.
    Stephanie Evergreen
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 18:24:55

Our dataviz nametags at the Data Visualization and Reporting business meeting

Potent Presentations Initiative

  1. Kudos to Stephanie Evergreen for leading #p2i!
  2. usefuleval
    Noticing #eval12 presentation slides overall are far better than most conferences. Thanks @aeaweb and @evalu8r for #p21 initiative!
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 14:07:15
  3. AnnKEmery
    Have to wake up in 4 1/2 hours for #eval12 TIG meeting but i can’t stop reading @evalu8r’s #p2i materials!
    Ann K. Emery
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 22:36:49
  4. patriciajrogers
    @usefuleval Great you can see a difference in quality of #eval12 presentations. Huge kudos to @aeaweb and @evalu8r for #p2i initiative
    Patricia Rogers
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 20:43:40
  5. P.S. Patricia Rogers is one of the friendliest and, ahem, most genuine evaluators you’ll ever meet.
  6. Susan Kistler

  7. Susan Kistler’s presentations were the talk of the town! What will we do without her?! Have you noticed that her daughter Maddy is a rockstar-in-training?
  8. syd_angie
    #evalAHA @sukist Susan Kistler should do an entire day! #eval12
    Sydney A. Anderson
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 07:41:23
  9. rayrlewis1
    Susan Kistler is having fun doing demo of free (mostly) tools at #aea12 Slides available in elibrary
    Ray R. Lewis
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 06:27:18
  10. exposyourmuseum
    @rayrlewis1: My pleasure re pic w/ @sukist. Looking good! Great to meet/tweet you. Thanks for mine too. #eval12
    Kathleen Tinworth
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 13:11:25
  11. Local and Regional AEA Affiliates

  12. Affiliates rock! Glad to have met Allison Titcomb, Cassandra O’Neill, and Gwen Willems so we can continue talking about future affiliate collaborations. 7am on a Satuday morning, and I’m awake! Representing the Washington Evaluators in my turquoise sweater at the Affiliate Breakfast:
  13. AnnKEmery
    RT @AllisonTitcomb: #eval12 Affiliate Bkfst. Thx to MN eval & Rodney Hopson (AEA Pres & WPEN affiliate) & 30 members of 16/26 affiliates!
    Ann K. Emery
    Sun, Oct 28 2012 19:46:41
  14. AllisonTitcomb
    Thx to Frank, Gwen, Leah & John! Sustaining Small Volunteer Orgs: Insights from Local Affiliates. #Eval12 #EvalAHA!
    Allison Titcomb
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 14:51:37
  15. Friends from affiliates & beer = good times. Thanks to everyone from the Washington Evaluators, Baltimore Area Evaluators, Eastern Evaluation Research Society, and new NYC affiliate who attended the happy hour #tweetup on Thursday night.
  16. limeygrl
    Had a blast at #tweetup #eval12! Many thanks to @AnnKEmery for organizing and @jonsachs1 for being Canadian (and charming)!
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 19:40:17
  17. jonsachs1
    @limeygrl best compliment ever. Thanks!
    Jon Sachs
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 19:41:31
  18. Love when my favorite evaluators get to meet each other! Here’s Jen Hamilton, Cindy Tananis, and Stephanie Evergreen at the happy hour #tweetup.

    Finally got a good picture with David Bernstein at the happy hour #tweetup!

    Innovation Network’s booth

  19. Who knew sitting at a booth could bring so many highlights to my conference trip? Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth to say hello, especially Trina Willard and the Westat crew.
  20. InnoNet_Eval
    Hello from @Innonet_Eval’ers @wtfenn, @j_morariu, and @KatAthanasiades working the booth at #eval12! Come by to say hi!
    Innovation Network
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 07:08:55
  21. Our State of Evaluation 2012 reports were flying off the table! If you didn’t get a paper copy of the report, please check out to download a PDF.
  22. CarsonResearch
    Met staff from @InnoNet_Eval who gave us some great info about the state of eval report. Link on our FB page! #Eval12
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 08:39:43
  23. evalu8r
    The State of Evaluation report from @InnoNet_Eval is BEAUTIFUL. Check out a copy at their #eval12 booth
    Stephanie Evergreen
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 12:53:42
  24. And taking a limo to our team dinner wasn’t bad either…

    The Innovation Network and Center for Evaluation Innovation team dinner: Kat Athanasiades, Veena Pankaj, Johanna Morariu, Will Fenn, and past Innonet-er Ehren Reed.

    Will’s first limo ride!


  25. Geez, I missed some great sessions! Thanks to everyone who tweeted tips, tricks, and resources from sessions they attended. Now I know exactly whose slides and handouts to check out later.
  26. rereichenbach
    Fredericks – Great new tool for social network analysis – ORA NetScenes! #eval12
    Rachel Reichenbach
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 12:39:57
  27. anneschwal
    Chart chooser #dataviz #eval12
    Anne Schwalbe
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 12:51:26
  28. anneschwal
    Get color themes from you logo #dataviz #eval12
    Anne Schwalbe
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 12:55:43
  29. jgothberg
    #eval12 watch for AEA conference interviews on Kylie Hutchinson’s Adventures In Evaluation Podcast airing next week
    June Gothberg
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 13:10:26
  30. Twitter

  31. If you can’t already tell from this Storify, Twitter added a little something special to this conference – and even helped me find the owner of this lost & found memory stick! I’m looking forward to seeing the conference evaluation results from Anne Schwalbe and the rest of the University of Minnesota’s team of graduate students.
  32. elschloesser
    Eval12 on Twitter –
    Elissa Schloesser
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 12:31:12
  33. AnnKEmery
    Did you lose your Ball State University memory stick at #Eval12?? Found in 200A on Saturday. Please retweet!
    Ann K. Emery
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 09:42:31
  34. #EvalAHA! moments

  35. I loved watching lightbulbs go off throughout the conference. Hooray for the #evalAHA hashtag. Brilliant idea.
  36. AllisonTitcomb
    “Balance SMART goals with ones that are more WISE. ” Matt Keene. #eval12 #evalAHA!
    Allison Titcomb
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 11:56:13
  37. KD_eval
    my dataviz #evalaha: start with 2 colors, then go from there. Leave the multi-colors to the pros… 😉 #eval12
    Katherine Dawes
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 13:23:41
  38. terraluna_eval
    Amen! RT @brinkhus: Reports don’t have to be on paper!?!? What? #eval12
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 09:22:15
  39. Chris Lysy and his cartoons

  40. Everyone was talking about Chris Lysy’s cartoons. Check out for all his drawings.
  41. AllisonTitcomb
    @clysy Your cartoons are “value add” for me to #eval12. Thx for your humor and perspective!
    Allison Titcomb
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 03:41:39
  42. txtPablo
    I cannot believe I missed these cartoons of @clysy (and one is of me!). Did you tweet them? Thanks!! #eval12 #eval
    Pablo Rodriguez B.
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 11:37:53
  43. tayover
    @clysy they’ve become one of my favorite parts of #eval12!
    Taylor Overstreet
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 15:37:42
  44. Sure, evaluators love getting awards and earning degrees and all that, but our highest honor?? Getting drawn by Chris Lysy.
  45. evalu8r
    Also feeling part of the cool kids club now that I’m immortalized in a cartoon by @clysy #eval12
    Stephanie Evergreen
    Thu, Oct 25 2012 13:40:53
  46. limeygrl
    @clysy thanks!! You know that you are not somebody until clysy draws you! :-)
    Fri, Oct 26 2012 19:06:11
  47. Additional LOLs

    Remember when Stephanie Evergreen wrote about how each city has its own branding and font? Then what was Miami’s branding and font doing in my Minneapolis hotel?!

    My hotel in Minneapolis

    Remember when Jen Hamilton told us not to worry about forgetting our socks? So naturally Jen and I LOLed when we saw this:

    Kathryn Henderson really *did* forget her dress socks. Incredible.

    How many Innovation Network evaluators and smart phones does it take to find the hotel? (More importantly, why were all the streets numbered in Minneapolis? 4th street AND 4th avenue?)

    Will Fenn, Veena Pankaj, and I finding our way in Minneapolis

    Relationships, Responsibilities, and Relevance

  48. The conference theme really hit home during the closing ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
  49. Nora_Murphy
    Spirit is in the room. It’s moving and wonderful. #eval12
    Nora Murphy
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 15:14:40
  50. NBPC1
    @aeaweb #eval12 #evalAHA Reflecting on AEA 2012. It filled me up-heart & mind. Im blessed by colleague outreach n friends. #feelingthelove
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 13:20:23
  51. AllisonTitcomb
    #eval12 Looking at life with wonder…favorite take home reminder from closing session. #evalAHA!
    Allison Titcomb
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 14:53:30
  52. jgothberg
    #eval12 #evalAHA AEA saves the best for last! Closing ceremony values complexity and validates our field.
    June Gothberg
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 15:00:53
  53. All around good vibes

  54. There were some good vibes at this conference – a sense of community, support, and general we-like-eachother-ness.
  55. clysy
    My #evalaha it’s not about networking, it’s about building deep personal relationships with people you both respect and like #eval12
    Chris Lysy
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 13:40:12
  56. dlarwin
    AEA’s also about renewing existing relationships–& in some cases its about mourning the loss of cherished ones formed in years past #eval12
    David Larwin
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 18:13:15
  57. Lija27
    My #evalaha from #eval12: It’s all about relationships, which are formed by building trust by sharing stories.
    Lija Greenseid
    Sun, Oct 28 2012 07:32:52
  58. terraluna_eval
    On final day of #eval12, feeling deep gratitude for generous and knowledgable members of our field and their willingness to share #evalaha
    Sat, Oct 27 2012 06:49:57
  59. Congrats again to Agata Jose-Ivanina, who had her second daugher just after the conference!
  60. AnnKEmery
    Congrats to my favorite evaluator & best friend @AgataJI who had her baby this morning!! (Pretty awesome reason to miss #eval12 last week!)
    Ann K. Emery
    Tue, Oct 30 2012 07:55:36