Using feedback you’ve gathered from your conference is the reason for initially asking. You want to use all responses in a meaningful way. To improve your business, service or to better service your next event.
Yet, what happens when the results you’re getting are poor, or worse, you’re not getting any at all? As the planner, you need to find effective ways to get better conference feedback.
Gathering meaningful feedback from your conference attendees is borderline mandatory in today’s highly competitive world. Since you’re essentially putting on a show for the attendees, you want to know not only how everything went, but also about their experiences. Obviously people only get out of it what they make of them. Yet, there is still a level of measurement that can be had.
The quality of feedback that you’re receiving is important when trying to constantly improve your service. Obviously when you talk about the quality of feedback, the first thing you might think of is the quality of the conference. And that’s a fair thought. Because if the conference isn’t great, then you’re not going to get great results. Still, some of the blame for poor results doesn’t always necessarily lie with the overall quality of the event.
Since you’re after better feedback, there’re a few things you can do beyond making your conference awesome. As an event planner, you can enhance your conference feedback by doing a few simple things. So here are six ways to get better conference feedback that you can actually use.
Mention the survey at end of event
Have you ever written an email to somebody who’s sitting just a few meters away from you? If you’re in an office, I’ll bet you probably have. And while you’re doing this, have you ever thought that the conversation would be a lot easier if you’re speaking face-to-face?
Well, this is what it’s like to talk about your survey at the end of your conference. This opposed to only emailing them after wards (email does still work). When you’re discussing the survey at the end, you can better inform, interact with the audience and can give attendees more of a connection with the survey.
Yes, it sounds silly, but if you ask them to fill it out during the conference and get them to say “yes” to it. Psychology says they’ll more likely fill it out. Dr. Robert Cialdini called this the principle of commitment.
By doing this in person, you’ll likely get a much higher rate of answers and likely a higher amount of quality.
Send survey within hours of event finishing
Another one of the great ways to get better conference feedback is to send the attendees the survey while it’s still fresh in their mind. It’s easy to understand this one, yet a lot of event planners still send their surveys, thank you emails and many other things, too late.
Make sure you don’t fall victim to this and send the survey within hours of finishing the conference. Or better yet, have the survey go live in the closing hour of the conference. This way they can fill it out on the ride home or as soon as they can.
Make sure your survey works on mobile devices
Its 2017 and the world is already highly mobile oriented. With businesses, apps, events and every other thing imaginable being mobile friendly, why should your survey be any different?
Having your survey be mobile friendly will do a number of things.
First, it’ll make things incredibly easy for the attendee. Secondly, it’ll work with their ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle that many busy people nowadays have.
Lastly, going mobile will give you more results due to the accessibility.
Keep surveys short
This isn’t a new idea. Like I said in the previous point, people nowadays are incredibly busy. So perform them a courtesy when sending out your survey and have it not take too long.
A few quality questions is proven to be much more effective than bombarding people with ridiculous amounts. So when you’re thinking of the questions you want feedback for, make sure to cull. Because if you don’t, there will be significantly less submissions than you need.
We recommend between 6-10 questions.
Ensure questions asked are relevant
Following on from the previous point, asking relevant questions is one of the best ways to get better conference feedback. For multiple reasons, the most important being, that you want the answers to the most pressing areas of the conference.
Because you only have a few questions to ask, asking only the most important line of questions is paramount. It will allow you to get the most out of the survey and feedback provided. By skipping silly questions such as “name”, “age” and “status” (whatever that means), you can get to the nitty gritty and ask what you really need to know. And what will actually make a difference.
Act on the feedback
Using the feedback you’ve gathered is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll get continually good feedback for your upcoming conferences. Showing that you’re willing to work hard, bridge gaps and meet the needs of the attendees does many things.
Like building trust, you’ll likely see them the following year and you’ll likely get strong feedback in the future. Feedback that not only gives you a pat on the back for adapting to the needs of the attendee, but also stronger overall reflections on the event.
Doing this will ultimately help everyone in the long run.
For the majority, conferences are a way to network, learn and grow professionally. However, for the event planner of the conference, it can be a painful, time consuming stress machine. So once the conference is over, that’s it, right?
Well, for the majority may be the case. They get to go home more educated and better connected (hopefully) than when they came in. Yet for the planner, comes the time to get the attendees to provide their feedback.
Before any of this happens, however. Is planning. Planning on ways to get better conference feedback compared to the previous years.
This takes preparation, leading to the execution of the survey. From talking about filling out the survey during the conference, to the actual survey content, there are lots of ways to prepare. It just takes a little bit of thought, foresight and planning.