Feedback about the 2015 AAOM Conference

Submitted by Jan Trochim, AAM and Mirek Frolek, AAM


The AAOM executive thanks the 107 members that responded in our post-symposium survey. The survey was distributed to everyone who attended the symposium.  The following is a brief summary of  the  feedback…


Question # 1— Please rate your satisfaction with Best Western Plus, by considering the facility, meals, refreshments and the location.

  • The overall response was very positive. The food was good; however there were suggestions to include juices, fruits and breakfast the second day. The reason is twofold; the cost associated with juice and bringing in breakfast was high. The large burger bar for lunch was felt to be adequate.
  • The conference being held in the City received favorable responses from those living in the rural areas and those traveling thru the James Richardson Airport. The location worked well for all members along with the out of town guest.



Question # 2— Where should we locate next year’s conference?

  • The over whelming response of those who commented was to hold it in Winnipeg.
  • There were comments with respect to the driving time to Winnipeg for Provincial employees who had to drive in each day.


Question # 3— The AAOM strived to provide the best possible value for the conference fees. Did we meet that goal?

  • Once again the overwhelming response was very positive. No money out of pocket for both members and non-members and the quality of speakers along with two lunches was very well received.
  • The shorter presentations tended to be more popular.
  • The cheque processing time for the Provincial employees was an internal provincial issue.


Question # 4— Our goal was to schedule appropriate time for presentation, question, and breaks. Please rate your experience.

  • Scheduling speaker and breaks are often a challenge. Each speaker is given a time frame to include their presentation and asked to allot time for questions. As some speakers generate more questions than others the association finds it difficult to formulate a perfect plan.
  • Improving communication skill is an ongoing challenge for the association and profession .The City of Winnipeg along with the Province of Manitoba supports this aspect of the education program. It is understandable that some members find this redundant while others find it beneficial.
  • To incorporate a lunch time speaker was thought by the executive to offer an option of some informative light entertainment. As the lunch sessions are not mandatory, many members enjoyed the speaker.
  • The mock Municipal Board hearing presented an assortment of challenges such as sound transmission and a shortage of time.   The intent was to demonstrate the procedure of a hearing and unfortunately not enough time was allocated to this session.
  • The assigned seating for the 2015 AAOM conference was an attempt for the City and Province staff to network with others. Breaks were scheduled and occurred as planned. In some instances they were the scheduled 15 minutes with some exceeding that time frame.


Question # 5— Our goal is to facilitate networking opportunities among colleagues. Did we meet this goal?

  • The arranged seating was a very positive experience for most of the respondents. It afforded everyone to learn from others and meet people that they normally would not have met. There were a few people who were did not like the seating arrangements at all. The AAOM executive fully anticipated the mix of comments as received.
  • The lunch time speaker received mostly positive comments however restricted the opportunity for networking and socializing.
  • There was a suggestion to incorporate more team engaging activities and some ice breakers.


Question # 6— Our goal is to select topics that are relevant, interesting and educational. Did we meet this goal?

  • The goal of the Executive is to provide a conference with a wide range of topics along with an overview of assessment issues that impact all methods of valuation. It is understandable that some speaker content does not interest all. The association’s goal is to educate its member by exposing the membership to all types of valuation.
  • The overall consensus was favorable. There was disappointment with the Municipal Board presentation. The Municipal Board’s mandate is to be seen as impartial to both the assessor and the applicant. Presenting a mock Municipal Board presents many challenges for the executive.
  • Members have expressed interest of dual track presentations. However, due to budget constraints this is not possible for our association.


 Question # 7— Our goal is to provide high-caliber presenters who are knowledgeable, encourage questions, and engage the audience. Overall, how did we do?

  • The farm presentation by Gord Daman received overwhelming positive feedback.
  • James Battershill presentation was very informative and was very well received.
  • Michael Lomax also received positive feedback with his presentation.
  • Once again Dianne Himbeault from Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation was informative. The audience however would have liked her to focus more on the market rents and vacancy issues within the Manitoba Market. Dianne will be back to speak at future conferences.
  • Mr. Sauders, CBC’s weatherman received an overwhelming rate of approval at 85%. Although lunch time is always appreciated for networking and socializing the executive wanted to add some variety to the conference.


Question # 8— Did the individual seminars meet your expectations?

  • There were many comments with respect to expectations being met.
  • Some people felt the conference seminars were all good whereas others offered suggestions with how to improve along with topic ideas.
  • The biggest disappointment was with the Mock Tribunal. The problem arose around the issue of time. As each speaker is given a time frame often things arise where the executive has no control. The Municipal Boards instructions were to present this information in this format. The mock hearing of 2014 was informative and entertaining.


Question # 9— The 2016 Symposium will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the AAOM. For next year….

  • There was a unanimous decision that a three day conference would be too long.
  • The Provincial comments revolved around what their management’s decision would be with respect to attendance.
  • The City’s attendees would like to see a hospitality room!
  • Hospitality rooms can present some challenges. Pending on the numbers it is sometimes difficult to get a room big enough to accommodate the potential attendees. To get a larger room within the hotel raises the cost considerably, along with the requirement of serving hotel food and bartending which once again is a large expense.
  • A banquet evening for the 60th Anniversary for the AAOM would raise costs considerably for anyone attending. Costs in hotels for an evening are high, as dinner itself runs around the $60 a plate, the entertainment and then there is the cost of drinks. This can add up very quickly.
  • The AAOM executive opted for an evening at Joey’s this year for those who were interested. The evening was well attended and the cost was individually controlled.
  • Tours have been considered and are entertained on a yearly basis. The costs are often high and consume an entire morning/afternoon if available. Once again transportation raises the costs.


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