After running an event usually one of the first things that comes to mind after the “Whew, its over and nobody died.” thought is, “I wonder what people thought about the event”. Feedback is important because it allows you to see what went well versus what didn’t. In result, it gives you a tool to improve future events you run.

Methods to Get Feedback

  1. Ask People: Easiest way to get immediate feedback is a simple question such as, ‘Hey I was wondering what you thought about the event, feel free to give any constructive criticism”. Do that a few times and mentally compare answers. However people may be too nice to say issues they had with the event to your face, which leads to the second method…
  2. SurveyMonkey: According to Wikipedia, “SurveyMonkey is a private American company that enables users to create their own Web-based surveys”. Its free and is an amazing tool to get honest feedback about your event. However it is important to send the survey out immediately after the event is done while thoughts are fresh in your attendees minds. Also knowing how to properly write a survey helps.

Effective Use of Information

Often when I run surveys through SurveyMonkey, I ask about the following topics; satisfaction with instructors, satisfaction with venues, things they liked, and things they think could be improved. I also make the feedback for instructors and DJs available to them so it just does not not benefit my event, but them as well.

The important thing once you have all your data, take the summary and note recurring themes on the positive and negative side of the spectrum. When you plan your next event, have these notes on hand so you can reinforce what people liked about your last event and organize to prevent mishaps from the previous event.


One thought on “Workshops: Getting Useful Feedback

  1. My biggest rule for writing surveys is

    All questions must yield actionable information. (Don’t ask for information you can’t/won’t use)

    For example if you are absolutely stuck with a particular venue, there’s not much use asking people if you should use it again. You’re just wasting people’s time. You’d be better off asking for things that will help you use that venue better, like ‘was the parking information clear on the website?’ or ‘do you have a rich relative who would give us $4000 to rent a better venue next year?’.

    I also encourage people to skip questions that they feel less passionate about. This makes the survey as short as someone wants it to be. I think it encourages more people to take the survey even if all they want to say is that they really liked/disliked one DJ. It also reduces the amount of less useful text I have to read to get to the good stuff. (or I assume it does – I don’t have proof)

    I try to word and choose my questions to orient people towards positive reflection rather than negative. People are already more likely to take the time to report negative opinions, so as long as I leave open space somewhere they will tell me the negative stuff anyway – I don’t have to ask what went wrong. I believe the survey is like a debriefing and can end up being part of the memory of the event and so I want the survey to help reinforce positive feelings towards the event or our group.

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