Feedback. It’s a critical part of learning how to improve both your event and for honing your skills as an event organizer. Build up a clear and detailed picture of how your participants experienced your event by utilising from the many tools you have available to you, and you will be excellently prepared to make smart decisions moving forward. Treat every event as a learning experience and do a thorough post-mortem after every one, examining each element to see what went well and what might need tweaking or changing completely the next time around.
Use everything in your event organiser toolkit to gather detailed feedback about your event
- Don’t forget about internal feedback. Do a detailed debrief with your team and your volunteers, especially those that have direct content with your attendees. They’ll have heard the complaints, the comments and the congratulations – and they’ll probably have some amazing ideas of their own. There’s no monopoly on good ideas so be open to suggestions, wherever they come from.
- Stay open. Receiving criticism can be unpleasant and it’s natural to get defensive when someone appears to attack something you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating. Learn to love negative feedback, and be thankful that people have taken the time to share their opinions with you. Although it might not feel like it at the time, negative feedback is one of the best things you can get as it gives you great raw material for stepping up your event game.
- Manage your digital data by keeping your metrics lean. People don’t have time to fill out endless surveys and you don’t want to get bogged down with meaningless numbers. When polling attendees, keep it as short as you possibly can and ask questions that invite a thought-provoking response. If you have a decent number of attendees you might want to consider polling in batches with different questions to give you sample answers to a wider range of questions.
Keep your polls short and sweet to keep your attendees happy and your data sets manageable
- Every conversation is an opportunity for feedback. People love being asked their opinion on things, so subtly mine your contacts for information at every opportunity. It’s helpful to have a few core questions you want answered in mind at all times so you can cross-reference conversations, but remember that feedback will arise naturally from your conversations, so be open to gathering useful snippets wherever they appear. Make notes in your note-taking or project management app for sorting at a later date (but not until the conversation is over, ok?)
- Think outside the box with design-driven data collection. Give people a simple, fun way to share their feedback during the event that is accessible to everyone and doesn’t necessarily involve writing or verbally giving feedback. How about a wall area and lots of stickers which people can use to vote on different areas of the events?
- Use both qualitative and quantitative data to build up a complete picture. Qualitative data – like interviews and group discussions – allows you to drill down into people’s motivations and reasons as well as gather detailed suggestions for things to improve. Quantitative data – like polls and surveys – lets you generalise results from a sample to tell you broadly which elements of your event were the most popular. Together they let you build up a detailed overview of every aspect of your event, giving you the information you need to be a total event ninja moving forward!
Employ the strategies discussed above and you too could become an ultimate event ninja!
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live brings a seamless social experience to events, conferences and exhibitions using a combination of mobile applications and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) swipe cards to streamline information sharing.
This post was written by Clemi Hardie, founder and MD of Noodle Live.