It is miserable to give a paper to an audience of 30 scattered in the back of a long space with a seating capacity of a hundred or more. I wish SBL organizers insisted on procuring rooms with seating capacities in line with expected attendance. I gave one paper to an audience in a relatively small, jam-packed room of perhaps 20 people. That worked well. I gave another paper to perhaps 30 people in a cavernous space. That did not work well. I couldn’t tell whether people were following me, which meant, in the end, that I couldn’t even follow myself.I know what John means, but the fault is likely to be with the chairs of the section, group or consultation in question. When chairs set up a session, they are asked to estimate attendance, and a room is allocated based on that. So if a huge room is allocated for something with a small audience, it is sometimes because the chairs overestimated attendance. This is not always the case, though. Sometimes it's just the case that there are not enough of the requisite number of rooms for the time slot in question.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
SBL Room Sizes
On Ancient Hebrew Poetry, John Hobbins writes: