August 20, 2019
By Caroline Howard
Being able to understand your attendees' feedback is huge. This can be difficult, though. Comment cards and surveys can be seen as highlighting your failures, but they're incredible tools to analyze your successes. That's why it's so critical to understand the feedback you collect and improve from it. Questionnaires allow planners to measure the extent to which events or policy changes have impacted attendee satisfaction. Evaluating each comment matters in order to understand the needs of individual attendees. Sorting feedback into batches can be the best way to tackle it. Attendee feedback is important to help your next event evolve. Every year, we take tons of feedback from our Cvent CONNECT attendees which makes each year more focused on our attendees' needs. This helps us really deliver because we understand what they want.

5 Steps to Streamline Analyzing Your Feedback

Step 1: Categorize

First make an excel, use a website or physically write down and sort your feedback into sections. Once you’ve read through the comments once or twice, you'll start to notice that the comments fall into categories. Sample categories: speed, accuracy, courtesy, price, product choice, availability, hours, location

Step 2: Tally the Comments

After you have developed the categories and sorted the comments, figure out how many fall into each category. This will show you what was most important to your attendees.

Step 3: Break it Down

If attendees comment on more than one thing, you can break each comment into parts and sort the comments separately. If you're assessing specific attendees, make sections for their feedback.

Step 4: Assess the Positives vs Negatives

Highlight or note which comments are positive and which are negative. You will also notice some comments are both positive and negative.

Step 5: Look for Patterns

Typically patterns start to form and become obvious. Many people may have struggled with the same thing, so note the patterns you find. The patterns will usually correlate to the themes you’re seeing in the quantitative portion of your questionnaire. If you're able to understand your attendees' pains you'll improve. You might not have seen an issue that your attendees' had an overwhelming response to in their feedback. Or, on the contrary, you may have perceived something as a big deal that actually wasn't. When creating your survey ask questions you need to know the answer to. A huge mistake is wasting time with unnecessary questions. Don't shy away from difficult questions because you're afraid of criticism. Always include open-ended questions too, because then the feedback you receive is no longer based on your assumptions. Ask the open-ended questions first so that you get fresh answers instead of rushed ones at the end. The most helpful thing your feedback gives you is the negatives. Once you understand what went wrong, you will advance with a clearer idea of what your attendees need.  

Caroline Howard

Northern Virginia native turned southerner at The University of South Carolina. My skills include planning 4,000 attendee corporate events and then blogging about them. My friends always ask where I am, because when I'm not behind my laptop writing, I'm off exploring new places like Cuba and Spain.
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