C&I organisers should rethink post-event evaluation methods

The success of events is not being judged effectively because most feedback forms are ill thought out, according to P&MM director Nigel Cooper. "Collecting feedback is vital, but most forms are not worth the paper they are written on because they do not ask the right questions," he said. Cooper advises that questionnaires should not be those requiring delegates to ‘ring box one to five indicating bad to excellent’, but questions that invite comment. "When delegates rate their level of satisfaction in this way you tend to get a lot of middle-of-the-road responses because people are nervous of praising or criticising too strongly. Ask them specific questions, such as ‘What would you like to see different next year?’." P&MM often employs an independent company to collect feedback and operates telephone interviews to gauge opinion. "An outside company is seen as neutral and it’s easier to talk about someone than to them, so you get more honest answers this way," said Cooper. Post event communication is as vital as the event itself, he said, but some organisers tend to think the job is done once the event is over. "Our research shows that delegate satisfaction is 75% higher when there’s a follow up," he said.

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