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Program Design (2)
The biggest challenges in our experience are coming up with a program that meets three distinct needs.
- The program must capture data that is important to the entire organization. Put another way, it has to cross stovepipes. And go upstairs.
- The data has to be easily understood. This starts with things like using standard nomenclature, and also includes how the data is captured and reported. So apples and apples.
- A useful program integrates data from multiple sources that already exist – things like registration data and session evaluations can be combined with various survey instruments to provide a much more complete picture of where the event is successful and where it needs to improve.
Historical data is data that describes “what happened” at a particular event. It tells you things like how many people registered, how many people went to the keynote and how many people downloaded the product information. This data is often used in year-over-year comparisons and is useful for forecasting specific kinds of requirements like how much space you will need and how many meals to budget for. We characterize this kind of data as counting because you know how much, how many and when…
The problem is that historical generally doesn’t provide event sponsors and managers with insight into “what and why”.
Actionable data is data that gives managers the information that they need to change future outcomes… to create more effective events that deliver a greater contribution to the topline.
It is the kind of data that is necessary to improve the guest experience, not just document it. It’s the data necessary to guide the development of more valuable content, increase the number of leads and effectively change brand perceptions.
Gathering actionable data depends on asking questions about beliefs and intent, and being able to segment the answers across the key attendee groups.
User Considerations (2)
Privacy is always a consideration for everyone who works with event attendees.
The cornerstone of most of our survey programs is registration data. We use a single unique identifier to enable us to match various data sources – for instance registration and an online survey. The most commonly used identifier is the badge number issued by the registration company.
We never need, nor do we ever collect any personal “business card” information such as name, address and telephone number; nor do we ever collect financial information such as the credit card that was used to register.
We find that this policy protects everyone.
One of the benefits of a web-based survey (in contrast to a paper based instrument) is that the questions are progressively revealed to the subject. They see only what you put in front of them, in the order you put it. This helps to keep the subject engaged, thereby increasing completion rates and so providing larger samples.
One of the greatest sources of frustration comes from asking people questions that do not pertain to their own interests and experiences. Often their reaction is to exit (quit) the survey. In fact we expect that the response rates will drop-off as you get towards the end of almost any survey.
SO… Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to design surveys that minimized frustration and encouraged completion by only asking people about their areas of interest?
The concept of a self-adaptive survey brings together the benefit of the progressive reveal, with the ability to dynamically serve each survey to reflect what we know about the subject and what they tell us they did at the event.
In other words, each survey “adapts” to the individual taking it – and because it is all done through pre-determined logic it is said to “self-adapt”.
For instance… Some of our clients host events where both partners and customers attend. Since both groups will do many of the same things, they will both take the same survey. In this example certain questions will be asked of one group but not the other, based on the difference in their relationship to the company.
Most of the three day events we look at are so jampacked that no single attendee can possibly do everything. As a rule, the longer the event, the more unique each guest experience becomes. By identifying which activities they attended, we will then only be asked follow-up questions specific to those events…
In both examples, the benefit of this adaptive approach is a shorter, more positive survey experience that results in higher completion rates and larger samples.