Obtaining event feedback can be challenging 1. Filling out an extensive survey at an event takes time. Participants may not wish to allocate this time, especially if they have paid to attend the event. Sending an event feedback survey after the event may result in a relatively low return rate. I’ve often suspected that the most and least satisfied people may be the ones most likely to respond, resulting in not having responses from the majority of the attendees.
Event Feedback – Create a Word Cloud from the Responses
At many of my programs I now ask for just one word feedback. I distribute specially prepared business cards to all attendees which say “Please summarize this Education by Entertainment program in one word. Thank you!!! Dr. Ron Shapiro.” . I also distribute a pen if participants would not be likely to have one with them. Participants are asked to complete the cards and place them in a bowl as they leave the room. I find that I receive a high compliance rate, and no one has ever complained that writing one word took too much time. Displaying a sample Word Cloud (on an unrelated topic, such as describing a favorite food) and telling participants their responses will be used to build a Word Cloud describing the program might increase the response rate because Word Clouds are visual and fun.
After the program I type the one word comments into the Wordle™ tool, a program which displays them as a word cloud. A quick glance at the Wordle shows me what was most important to nearly all of the attendees and I am able to see if their summary matches my goals for the program. The event feedback word cloud can also be used as a marketing tool for future events.
1 I would like to thank Industrial Consultant Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.