The JSM starts in San Diego this weekend. I am going on Saturday. I started here three months ago and have participated for all 87 days. I have sveral things to do at the meetings and may not get on every day. It occurred to me thatt many of you may be going and that it could slow down on questions and answers. Is there usually a lull during the JSM and what about other big meetings like the Royal Statistical Society meetings or other major meeting in Europe? If you choose to answer could you tell me whether or not you are going and if so how will it affect your participation on StackExchange?
This site started up around the 2010 JSM and naturally had a strong peak of interest, so there's no reliable data there.
In 2011 there is a tiny dip in the Q&A rates for the JSM (7/30 through 8/4), but it's no different than comparable dips observed before (e.g., 6/15, 7/3) and after (9/13), each of about 20% less than a longer-term moving average.
We are a strongly international site peopled primarily by working statisticians, consultants, and people in related fields with strong statistical interests. In my experience (a) JSM is primarily a US conference and (b) academic participation is far higher than private participation. Accordingly, until our site attracts more of these kinds of statisticians (we would love to have them), I would expect to see no measurable changes during JSM.
With one exception: If any CV member attending JSM were to make a point of talking about us--such as a mention during a talk or panel session, for instance--we might see a significant jump in activity during and following the meeting.
As a follow-up on this question, I am at the 2012 JSM for the past two days. I am still finding ways to participate on CV but my daily rep points are down to around 30 point a day for the past two days. Of course this is mostly because of lack of time to read and answer a lot of questions. However, I have also noticed that when I look at the top rep point getters for this week everyones totals seem to be down quite a bit. So I think there is reduced activity in questions asked, questions answered and the rating of answers (i.e. upvote and downvote activities).