Immediately after the Yokohama WAIMH Congress the WAIMH Office sent an email to all congress participants asking them to fill in an evaluation form in the web. The office received answers from approximately 10% of participants. The respondents were quite satisfied with the content of the congress: 90% of respondents precongress events, master classes and congress plenaries as excellent or good, 80% rated plenary interfaces, symposia and clinical teach-ins as excellent or good and 70% rated workshops, poster workshops, video presentations and poster sessions as excellent or good.
Concerning the amount of events, two thirds of the respondents felt there were too many events, while one third though the amount was just right. The respondents gave a lot of positive feedback on the organisation, content and facilities of the congress. What respondents were most happy about was the nice and friendly athmosphere of the congress, and the helpful and friendly staff was mentioned by many. The most frequently expressed critical comment was that there was too little time for general discussion, particularly after plenaries and in symposia. As suggestions for following congresses the respondents mentioned that posters should be up for a longer time. Some respondents suggested that abstracts from presentations could be available in the rooms or that printed abstract book would be sold in the congress. A key word search for abstracts on the website was also mentioned.
Of the internet based services submission of abstracts seemed to have gone without problems for the most of the respondents, while congress and hotel registration had been more difficult. Finding of the congress abstracts had also proven to be difficult for some of the respondents. According to received answers, people were quite happy with the social programme. Nohs play, calligraphy, tea ceremony and kimono dressing were particularly mentioned, as was the get-together party and the fireworks! The gala dinner also got positive remarks, but some respondents felt it should have been in a facility allowing more people to attend.
For the next WAIMH Congress in Leipzig the respondents wished to hear more of fathers and of “real life”, how to work in everyday practice. People also expressed wishes for more interaction between senior and junior congress participants, for group discussions in different language groups or around various interests and lunch discussions with experts. Practical courses on both assessment and treatment interventions were suggested by many respondents. For social programme people expressed a wish for events with music and German traditions. Some of the respondents were also interested in visits to kindergartens, schools and hospitals. In short, people wished events with more interaction and discussion.
The results from the congress evaluation have already been given to the Board of Directors of the WAIMH and to the Programme Committee of the next Leipzig Congress. On behalf of the WAIMH Office I wish to thank all of the congress participants who gave their valuable opinion to help us organise even better Congresses in the future.