There are very few conferences that focus solely on evaluation as the overarching topic of interest, but many conferences incorporate evaluation into programing.
The American Evaluation Association is the most prominent evaluation conference in the United States. They offer several participant tracks to optimize the conference experience. Like many conferences, content can be hit or miss. The best opportunity at this conference is to network with like-minded evaluators and to learn about evaluation efforts and methodologies in related fields.
The American Public Health Association conference focuses on a variety of subjects related to public health, but also have a biostatistics track. This may be the best fit for evaluators aiming to learn about and implement new methodologies. Without planning ahead of time, this conference can be overwhelming given the thousands of participants and hundreds of presentations to chose from.
AcademyHealth is the leading national conference for health services researchers and health policy experts. They have a strong quantitative component and presentation reviewers are known to critically examine methods. AcademyHealth also offers meetings specifically focused on data and policy.
In addition to these national conference, it is worth identifying local and state meetings that support participant learning and networking. For instance, in Colorado the Public Health in the Rockies conference has several sessions that are lead by local evaluators in private and governmental organizations. In addition, the Colorado Health Foundation offers the annual Colorado Health Symposium that exposes participants to engaging leaders, innovative programs, and authentic conversations. While few sessions are specifically dedicated to evaluation efforts, many presenters provide insight into evaluation efforts and are open to evaluation-focused questions.
Disclaimer: While End Grain Research and Evaluation has presented and attended many of the conferences listed above, we are not formally affiliated with any conference or conference organization. The above reviews are based on our experiences as of January 2019.
If you are interested in attending a conference to enhance your evaluation skills, but are unsure which conference is best for you, reach out via our contact page or directly through email – firstname.lastname@example.org - and we can provide as much insight as we have.