By Jose Bort, CEO and co-founder, EventsCase

Feedback surveys have enjoyed something of an easy ride. In the face of much technical advancement, driven by the pursuit of big data (itself a bi-product of our growing interest in measurability), post-event feedback has been allowed to cement itself as the de-facto gauge of attendee opinion.

Being easy to create, deliver and complete, most events use feedback surveys to glean insight on the very people that matter. They’re also easy to ignore, demonstrated by the relatively low rates of completion. We’ve seen clients estimating their conversion at 5-8%. That leaves 92-95% of all attendee feedback remaining untouched. 

Considering the importance of these answers in shaping the attendee experience, we as an industry must devise a more effective way of gathering them. Curbing our reliance on post-event feedback could represent a major step on the ladder to self-improvement.

The second step is to use data in a way that creates avenues for continuous learning. These days, it’s almost blasé to talk about collecting insight from our events. It is, of course, another thing to actually do it, while actioning on all the relevant points. By requesting attendee opinion as and when they need it, our organisers will have no doubts over the popularity of speakers, features, sponsors and much more.

The best thing about this transformation is that the technology is already there. Apps and websites are capable of extracting reams of important data on the attendee-experience. On the proviso of full GDPR compliance, we can use this insight as a path to greater satisfaction, based on the changes that people want to see.

We’re not waving goodbye to questions – more adjusting the manner in which they’re delivered. For example, we can already use data within apps to determine a speaker’s popularity, based on the number of times their session was bookmarked. By using push notifications to quiz attendees at the end of a presentation (e.g. “how did you find the content?”) we can see if the speaker really delivered on their potential.

The same data-building process can help us solve issues before they’re allowed to hamper attendees over an extended period. If someone is asked to grade their registration or their in-app experience, complete with a box for comments, we can make adjustments before problems start to escalate.

It’s a positive movement and one that certainly rings true with what we’ve seen across industries like manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, retail, finance and insurance. That is, the use of data and analytics to bolster our levels of efficiency and performance. Guesswork is on the way out; replaced by a more informed view of what works and what does not.

Feedback surveys, you have been warned. Although many events will see reputational value in asking their attendees for their thoughts and feelings, we are definitely moving into an era which will leave the obvious questions behind. 

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Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com