How to Make Better Use of Surveys Regarding Large Corporate Meetings By Jack Kowal
Posted: Dec 31, 2015
Quarterly or annual conferences that bring together a large number of your company’s staff, investors or potential customers – or industry-wide conferences your company hosts – are monumental but important undertakings. If you’re part of the team in charge of organizing the big event – or especially if you’re the sole person in charge or the leader of the team – you know it’s practically a full-time job to organize everything, and you may start weeks, months or even a year in advance.
Your bosses, the board or whoever invests in your event will want to know how successful it was and if the amount of money spent on the event was worth the expense. When it comes to something like a large-scale meeting, "success" is difficult to quantify. Just because you got the right number of people in the right number of seats doesn’t mean the event was a success if people were required to attend in the first place. That’s where surveys come in. Surveys are a way to actually produce data of an event’s success, and also to steer the meeting in the right direction in the first place. With the assistance of the right service, you’ll learn to make better use of the surveys tied to your large-scale meeting or event.
Pose the Right Questions
Surveys are only useful if you collect the right data from the responses – and that starts with asking the right questions. An online service that specializes in planning large-scale company events can help you by customizing your questions to suit your industry, your company goals and the goals on the event. They can even help you design a way of extracting useful data from open-ended questions, as it’s difficult to get a clear picture from multiple-choice and rating questions alone.
Make the Survey Multilingual
The more international your guest list, the more important it is to consider making the survey multilingual. At the very least, make it available in both English and Spanish to encourage employees for whom English is a second language to give the most detailed comprehensive answers. A meeting planning and analysis service can even help you with survey translation so every voice is properly counted.
Recognize What to Do with the Data
Surveys after the meeting is over are essential for event analysis and calculating return on investment in addition to planning future events, but that’s not the only time you should be collecting data. Ask attendees or representatives from different departments to respond to surveys even before the event to determine the answers to questions such as, "What do you hope to get from the event?" and "What do you plan to contribute to the event?" This helps you plan a more tightly focused and meaningful meeting because you can plan for speakers, panels and other activities that tie into the most frequent responses to these surveys.
Even mid-event surveys can prove useful, if you encourage participants to answer questions at computer stations set up throughout the venue. With the assistance of meeting planning software, you can analyze the answers fast enough to give investors updates as the meeting unfolds concerning how the participants are responding. You’ll even be able to tweak the proceedings as necessary in light of the data.
Surveys are the single most valuable asset when it comes to determining an event’s return on investment and when deciding which aspects of the event worked so you can replicate them in future meetings. Relying on an online service that helps you ask the right questions, translate the responses and compile all the data will make planning the most successful events as simple as possible.
About the Author: Jack Kowal is a human resources manager for a Fortune 500 company who often plans events with the help of MeetingMetrics, an online service for planning and analyzing large-scale meetings.
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