Real-time feedback relies on effective reasoning – an immediate human emotional response to a given situation based on an individual’s perception of reality. This differs to reflective reasoning which is grounded in the activity of remembering the result of the activity. Reflective surveys do not capture the emotions of your event and often negatives are highlighted and positives downplayed as most attendees feel that they want to offer constructive criticism, rather than how you feel at a specific moment in time. It can also be more difficult to capture feedback from attendees once they have left your event.
The advantage of real-time feedback is that it can often capture the ‘buzz’ moments at your event, indicating the extent of the success of the experience you have designed. This post looks at ways in which feedback can be captured in real-time and offer event organizers an emotional reaction to the experience, rather than one based on memories. Events are emotive experiences and for feedback to be of real value an emotional response could underpin how you plan your next event and design the experience wave.
Real Time Sensory FeedbackSome event organizers have a lot of resources and can wheel out some fantastic technological innovations that record effective responses to an experience.
1.The Cup Cake MethodYou may have been to a retail outlet, gone through airport security or been to a hotel where an electronic smiley terminal was present to measure customer satisfaction. The terminals are a great way to measure customer satisfaction right after a service experience. The smiley faces attract attention. As a conference organizers you could create large speech bubble graphics – asking a question – above smiley terminals dotted around the venue and wait for instant feedback.
To inject more fun into the conference, you can use cup cakes. These popular tasty treats could be offered at a morning coffee break, again at lunch time and again at the afternoon break of a conference. Ask your caterer to create small cup cakes decorated with a range of smiley faces on them denoting different moods – very happy, happy, unhappy and very unhappy – under each speech bubble. Make sure you replace the speech bubbles each time you use the method so that you are not doubling up on your data. count the amount of cup cakes you put out so you can do the math and arrive at a reliable number of varied responses to your questions.
The polling method is becoming more and more popular at events, especially at conferences – through attendee engagement applications, such as speaker presentation apps and questionnaires embedded into event apps. You could also use interactive screens that are placed around your venue. These applications can provide immediate feedback based on particular moments in time of an event. But you need to be mindful of the time it’s going to take attendees to answer all the questions you really want to ask. It’s not a good idea to ask lots of questions, which could also distract attendees for far too long, so choose your moments. Coffee breaks, lunch time and even programming a 10 minute feedback session that incentivizes attendees to fill out the questionnaires would be a better strategy to get the responses you need for a good feedback sample.
3.The Post Card Method
I recently attended an event by an event technology supplier where they used a post card in a very creative way. The front of the post card was a graphic that had the company logo and a short marketing message on it. When I turned over the post card, it got very interesting. Firstly, where the stamp space appeared, they had put in their logo. On the left side of the post card was one very easy to answer question and space for 3 points ‘What 3 Things Did You Learn Today?’. This a great feedback because it gives an idea of the value attendees attach to the content of the event. Offer to post them the post cards after the event, and make sure you tell them their data is safe. Before you post the cards back, make an analysis if all the comments via learning themes and cross reference this with your event objectives to get a qualitative idea of how successful you programming of content was.