Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all


  • 1.  Surveys

    Posted 10-24-2019 11:13
    We sent out a survey for our recent event.
    Comments are from greatest ever to worst ever.
    Do you ever get the feeling that you weren't at the same event?

    Plus so many comments are things we have absolutely no control over.
    Has anyone figured out how to make it not rain on your parade?

    Can we honestly learn from surveys?
    Our events are in different locations with different volunteers every year.

    Steven Schlossman
    Jack of all trades. Master of none.
    BMW Car Club of America

  • 2.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-01-2019 13:31
    You can certainly approach certain changes based on the survey results, but clear we've had our best results come from analyzing years of data and asking similar questions each time. I know that's obvious and not always an option if you don't have the data, your event moves locations regularly, your staff changes, or you've made big changes to your programme which it sounds like your model includes.

    We honestly do our best to respond to the major themes of issues or concerns and to aggregate comments into groups or wordclouds to search for trends.  We've been able to respond to participant concerns year after year (yet it won't always reflect back on the next years' surveys.)

    I like to look at the scoring feedback (1-10 type questions) for an overall idea of how the event went, and comment based questions to identify anything we may have missed or search for good ideas that can be incorporated. That being said, sometimes it feels that we massively overall or change a policy because 3 out of 3000 people made a comment on it, and the subsequent changes lead to more complaints the next round.

    And yeah ... it often feels like we're attending complete different events ...

    Geoffrey Seiler
    Registrar and Travel Coordinator
    International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) .

  • 3.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-01-2019 16:13
    Take all survey results with a grain of salt. You will never please everyone. But if the majority of people noted that something wasn't working, or something that went wrong was a big deal, then you need to act on those responses. Something that your staff found easy, may have hindered your attendees and its important to understand that and make changes. Some things the hotel did may have been a problem, so you must take that into consideration when you look for future venues (this past year we had tons of people who complained about where the bathroom was located in relation to the ballroom... nothing we can do about that, but try to find a venue with a more central bathroom next time, or change rooms if possible). You do what you can. No event is every perfect and it never will be.

    Kim Schechter
    Program and Administrative Manager
    Executive Director Inc.

  • 4.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-04-2019 11:52
    Hi Steven,

    It can definitely be disheartening reading survey results. I would say in general, don't put too much weigh on the extreme responses on either end of the spectrum. Focus on the averages you are getting, and tailor your questions so that you can use the data to your benefit. Try to ask questions that get to the specifics of why it was the "best" or the "worst." We also give our clients a space to put their contact info, if they are open to discussing further (getting on the phone can be a lot more well-rounded than a survey).

    If things are different from one year to the next, someone will always love the change while someone else hates it. Try to focus on the average, and focus on any comments that are repeating themselves.


    haley kilar
    Junior Operations Coordinator
    Encore Live Productions

  • 5.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-04-2019 14:42
    We get comments all across the board in our post event surveys. We understand that there will always be a few people who complain about things like meeting room temp (even though you tell them to bring a sweater because the meeting space is cold) or that the food wasn't to their liking. Overall, we get a lot of valuable information from our post event surveys that really help us shape our next event. We spend a lot of time analyzing the results.

    Christie Gravesen
    Forte Research Systems

  • 6.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-04-2019 14:52
    Hi Steven

    We switched to a ranking system in our post event surveys to help curb some of the really random comments we would get. That way we can target feedback on specific points of interest (session topics, speaker effectiveness, schedule, etc.). We still keep the opened ended comment style questions at the very end and have noticed a good decrease on the random comments with this setup style.

    Hope that helps!

    Megan Ridgway
    Sr. Specialist, Event Operations
    S&P Global Market Intelligence(PreviouslySNL Financial LC)

  • 7.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-04-2019 15:58
    I've enjoyed reading the comments.
    We still use survey monkey. Sorry, cvent. :) I know there is Inquisium.

    One observation I made in our survey was where did you hear about the event.
    The first choice was our magazine that got the highest number.
    Fact is our primary advertisement was direct email. we hardly promoted it in our magazine.
    So this tells me people are checking the first choice and moving on.
    I can randomize in the future, but the data is still flawed, Maybe the first answer should be, I hate surveys. Lets move on and get this over with. :)

    And I think we may all cater to that 1%er or squeaky wheel.
    I'll start my rant since you all can relate. :)

    Some of our sessions are off site. Some 45 minutes away. I still have people asking for printed directions in the comments.
    Before GPS, I get it. Back then the complaint with the printed directions was road construction or accidents. We print the instructions a week earlier and then then there are lane closures. So we stopped printing and create a link to google maps. Now when someone asks me for printed directions, I ask them, how did they get here? 99% of the people drive from all over the country.

    Another common comment, I miss printed schedules that I can fold in my badge holder. Back when we printed schedules, it was always the last thing I would print since it changed all the time. And often once at the hotel I'd throw them out and print new ones.

    Maybe the focus on the survey is just to let attendees vent?
    I've often thought of prefacing the question with, we know. We'd also like the bathrooms to be closer to the ballroom but there is only one hotel that can accommodate 800 seats for dinner. The bathrooms are where they are.

    Our events would be good if it wasn't for our attendees. :)

    Steven Schlossman
    Jack of all trades. Master of none.
    BMW Car Club of America

  • 8.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-04-2019 16:34
    Steven - our convention services team does send out post surveys and the results are being reviewed and considered (to some extent) to enhance the next meeting. There is not always a chance to do things better as some are out of your hand, but i.e. if you use the same volunteers, go with different ones, offer training, etc.


    Andrea Timbes
    CRM Administrator
    Visit Fort Worth

  • 9.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-04-2019 19:52
    Usually different volunteers, always different cities and with different.
    Just got back from a weekend event in Irving. :)

    Steven Schlossman
    Jack of all trades. Master of none.
    BMW Car Club of America

  • 10.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-06-2019 12:39
    I think it's important to separate things into what you can control and what you cannot!   If there's things you are able to control and several people mentioned it on the survey, then take it into account for next year.  If there's comments on something out of your control, maybe just accept that this is where they needed to let their voices be heard!  If many people had the same comment, it might be helpful to share the responses with who is in control of those things - just so they are aware and can do better in the future.  If you are getting many responses that are irrelevant to you, you may consider asking different questions so your responses are more in line with what information you are looking to gain feedback on!

    Kayla Sisco
    Convention Coordinator
    Impact XM

  • 11.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-06-2019 13:59
    @Kayla Sisco Good points. I need to get better at asking survey questions. :) ​
    @Jodi Meier We need a like button. :)

    Steven Schlossman
    Jack of all trades. Master of none.
    BMW Car Club of America

  • 12.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-07-2019 11:45
    Being in Continuing Education, we use surveys as a way to gage how useful people found our content.
    We offer free registration at our next event as an incentive for people to answer, which insures we have enough respondents to make it good feedback. We also use a lot of weighted answers rather than open text answers to insure ease of data analysis.

    Béline Falzon
    Event Manager and Marketing Specialist
    Cornell Veterinary Continuing Education

  • 13.  RE: Surveys

    Posted 11-07-2019 14:18
    Do you ever get the feeling that you weren't at the same event? Absolutely, especially as the planner. You think you have F&B nailed, activities for everyone and someone ALWAYS compains. It's easier to complain than to compliment.

    Has anyone figured out how to make it not rain on your parade? Don't survey people, JK. Just provide yes/no options or don't leave room for commenting. 

    Can we honestly learn from surveys? We do. I don't always take into account all comments, but I like to consider feedback on the content of our event. For us, that's how we measure success - how relevant our content is. 

    Rebecca Quinn
    Corporate Events Manager
    Transplace Texas, LP