Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 14 2015

3 Simple Tips To Get More From Your Post-Meeting Surveys

By Mary Reynolds Kane

You can’t plan better meetings without inspiring your attendees to offer some suggestions. The post-meeting survey is one of the most powerful tools in your meeting toolbox. Asking the questions can unlock new insights, and leveraging the findings can help increase attendance. As you look ahead to distributing your next survey, here are three simple tips to keep in mind.

1) Don’t delay.

When your attendees arrive home, a mountain of catch-up work will be waiting to greet them. As they respond to emails, accept new calendar appointments and try to get back in the groove of their daily responsibilities, the memories of the most recent meeting will fade. That’s why it’s crucial to have your post-meeting survey ready to send as soon as the last general session ends. Do your best to catch attendees’ attention while your meeting is fresh on their minds.

2) Show respondents you’re actually listening.

Surveys are about capturing and analyzing large amounts of data from a big audience. However, effective surveying isn’t simply about combining all the information to gain a broad picture of what the entire audience liked and disliked. It’s also about making each respondent feel like his or her opinion really matters.

For example, consider how quickly major brands respond to negative surveys. After my recent stay at a resort in California, I completed a survey and indicated that I was less than pleased with the condition of the property. Within two days, the general manager sent me a personal apology, informing me of plans for an upcoming renovation and offering to handle my reservations directly if I decide to give the resort another try.

This type of immediate and personal response can make a difference with your attendees, too. Consider having someone in your organization send a personal email to any attendee who reports a less than satisfactory experience. It can go a long way in helping them consider returning to your meeting.

3) Put those positive reviews to work.

We live in the age of peer-to-peer reviews. In fact, recent research shows that 88 percent of people have been influenced by an online customer service review before making a purchasing decision. With that in mind, your positive survey responses can do more than give your meetings team a pat on the back; they can make a difference in motivating next year’s prospective attendees to register. Consider adding a disclaimer that their responses may be used in meeting marketing materials, so that the most glowing reviews can appear as testimonials on the meeting’s website.

Looking for more help in your efforts to solicit feedback from your attendees? Check out “4 Common Problems With Post-Meeting Surveys — And How To Fix Them.”

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