Before you know it, Evaluation ’13 will be here and thousands of evaluators will converge on Washington DC, the venue for this year’s AEA annual meeting.

The Local Arrangements Working Group (LAWG) is blogging this week in AEA365. (You might want to check out all the posts this week.)  There are A LOT of links in these posts (including related past posts) that are worth checking.  For those who have not been to AEA before or for those who have recently embraced evaluation, reading their posts are a wealth of information.

What I want to focus on today is the role of the local arrangements working group.  The Washington Evaluators group is working in tandem with AEA to organize the local part of the conference.  These folks live locally and know the area.  Often they include graduate students as well as seasoned evaluators.  (David Bernstein and Valerie Caracelli are the co-chairs of this year’s LAWG .)  They have a wealth of information in their committee.  (Scroll down to the “Please Check Back for Periodic Updates” to see the large committee–it really does take a village!)  They only serve for the current year and are truly local.  Next year in Denver, there will be a whole new LAWG.

Some things that the committee do include identifying (and evaluating) local restaurants, things to do in DC, and getting around DC.   Although these links provide valuable information, there are those of us (me… smiley) who are still technopeasants and do not travel with a smart phone, tablet, computer, or other electronic connectivity and would like hard copy of pertinent information.  (I want to pay attention to real people in real time–I acknowledge that I am probably an artifact, certainly a technology immigrant–see previous blog about civility.)

Restaurants change quicker than I can keep track–although I’m sure that there are still some which existed when I was in DC last for business.  I’m sure that today, most restaurants provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options (it is, after all, the current trend).  That is very different from when I was there for the last AEA in 2002.  I did a quick search for vegetarian restaurants using the search options available at the LAWG/Washington Evaluators’ site–there were several…I also went to look at reviews…I wonder about the singular bad (very) review…was it just an off night or a true reflection?

There are so many things to do in DC…please take a day–the newer monuments are amazing–see them.

Getting around DC…use the Metro–it gets you to most places; it is inexpensive; it is SAFE!  It has been expanded to reach beyond the DC boundaries.  If nothing else, ride the Metro–you will be able to see a lot of DC.  You can get from Reagan-Washington NationalAirport to the conference venue (yes, you will have to walk 4 blocks and there may be some problem with a receipt–put the fare plus $0.05 on the Metro card and turn in the card).

The LAWG has done a wonderful job providing information to evaluators…check out their site.  See you in DC.

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One thought on “Evaluation ’13

  1. Molly,

    I’m glad you’re finding the LAWG resources to be helpful!

    If you want to carry copies of the LAWG guides with you, you can print the PDF’d versions. For example, here’s a link to the PDF version of the restaurant guide:

    We’ll also have printed copies of these guides at our booth, which will be staffed throughout the conference with local volunteers.

    See you in October!
    Ann Emery

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