You’ve put in the time, effort and money to create a successful meeting. Now you want to know what types of rewards your company reaped. Calculating the return on investment (ROI), evaluating questionnaires, and rating the services you hired for the event can give you a clearer picture of the gains and losses from the event. Being informed of your strong and weak points can help your business succeed. Here are 5 ways to improve your results with attendee satisfaction surveys.
Create a Satisfaction Survey Template
Knowing the objectives of the meeting and where your business is headed are essential to evaluating your meeting. In order to compare and contrast each meeting, create a basic layout of questions and stick with them when evaluating of all your meetings. No, all your meetings won’t be the same, but setting different criteria makes it far more difficult to objectively compare one meeting to another.
When creating questionnaires to obtain feedback, make sure you keep your goals in mind, as you certainly want to know if attendees picked up on and retained your central message. Your questionnaires should include questions on the general program, presentation, location, services, and other aspects specific to your event.
Give these questionnaires out to attendees after every presentation to receive feedback while the content is fresh in their minds. At the end of the meeting, give out another questionnaire for attendees to rate the entire program and obtain feedback as to what they thought was most beneficial or needs improvement. You can also send out questionnaires a week or two after the event to evaluate what attendees retained.
Eliminate Survey Question Bias
Your first task in creating questions is making them objective. Be careful that your own biases don’t slip in – after all, you want to determine how the audience perceived the event, not how you wanted them to perceive it.
The most common type of questionnaires contains questions with set answers. This allows you to calculate percentages and rank responses accordingly. The drawback of this type of question is that it does not give insight into why the assessor responded in that particular way. Therefore, you may want to have a few personal response questions that allow assessors to answer in their own words. Using a mix of both set questions and personal response questions can help your company get a greater feel of the success rate of the meeting.
The questions, themselves, should be informative and specific to your event, and quick for attendees to fill out. The easiest and quickest types of answers are basic rating scales. The three most common include
- rating the performance: “excellent, very good, good, fair, poor”
- agreeing or disagreeing: “strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree”
- measuring satisfaction: “very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied”
These can also be measured based on a 5- or 10-point scale. For example, on a scale of 1-5 with 5 meaning “extremely satisfied”, how satisfied were you with…
Consider Anonymous Feedback
Another key issue to the layout of the questionnaire is privacy in sensitive issues. If you are looking to collect information such as age or income, group answers in ranges so your respondents won’t feel their answers can easily identify them.
You may also want to consider keeping assessments anonymous depending on the questions you ask to ensure greater openness and honestly with their answers. Thank respondents for giving you their opinion, and let them know where they can view the results of the survey.
Offer Incentives For Completed Satisfaction Survey
Remember that people are taking time out of their busy lives to fill out your evaluation. Therefore, be considerate and show your appreciation in any way you can. For example, if you mail our questionnaires, sent a gift and a postage paid envelope for respondents to send the questionnaires back to you. If responses are not mailed, have a drawing for a prize or give out a thank you gift when the sheet is returned.
Once you’ve received all responses, it’s time to analyze the results. Basic math will calculate the means, standard deviations, and percentages you need to know to determine the success of the meeting. More advanced statistical analysis can include using Microsoft Excel to more advanced statistics tools such as SPSS. If you don’t have the time to collect results yourself, hire a professional survey or marketing research company to take care of the logistics.
Calculate Your Return on Investment (ROI)
So, now that you’ve calculated the overall opinion of the event, it’s time to calculate return on investment. This is easy if you have specific monetary goals – compare the numbers to determine if you’ve met those goals.
If you didn’t create specific monetary goals, ask those that financially invested in the event what they expected the return to be and analyze those projections against expenses. Once you’ve calculated ROI, be sure to inform your investors of the financial results as well as the results of the opinion survey.
Finally, if you’ve had a good service team, be sure to show your appreciation. Gratuity is sometimes added directly to the service bill automatically, but if you feel your service team has done an excellent job, show your appreciation by giving them a bit more. You may also want to consider sending a thank you gift.
Sometimes, there is one person who just has a tremendously positive effect on helping your meeting run smoothly, so do something special for them to show your appreciation, such as letter of excellence to their manager or a special gift. Remember, there were a lot of people involved in making your meeting successful, so always try to give something back when you can.