I always find it incredible how delegate evaluations are often not thought of until the very end of an event. That piece of paper with feedback questions (always paper!) is handed out to the delegates just as they are putting on their coats.
Events and meetings cost money. We all know that. So the question about whether your delegates were engaged is a pretty vital one. It is far too important to wait until the end of the meeting to find out.
Trust me, apply my 5 tips at your next event and you will see the difference. Delegate evaluation isn’t just a bolt-on to an event, but the thread that runs all the way through it, and the key to measuring its success!
1. Use your eyes
Channel your inner casino pit boss and scan the room. No special equipment needed here, just your eyes. Are the delegates watching, listening, and taking part in the event? Are they actively participating?
2. Provide some light relief
Nobody wants to be talked ‘at’ for long periods of time. Heavy topics need to be followed by a bit of light relief – TV producers call it light and shade. Create space for delegates to reflect and talk about what they have just heard. Provide refreshments. Look for ways to interact with your audience – stand up/sit down, vote, poll, ask questions. Make it interesting, and when you can, personal.
3. Know your audience
Pre-meeting polls and advance submission questions (to be asked at the meeting) are brilliant ways to help find out what your audience wants to gain from the meeting. If you can’t ask for such information beforehand, then try to gather it as early in the meeting as you can, and then throughout. If necessary, adapt the programme to demonstrate how you will help your audience to achieve their learning objectives.
4. Directly appeal to your audience’s personal interests and goals
The topic itself may be interesting, but you need to help your audience understand that it is also important and relevant to them personally. If they pay attention to this event, they will have a useful tool that they can take with them, and which could lead to organisational and personal success.
5. Don’t forget to ask your audience what they think!
Here’s an idea – try asking for their opinions, and not by thrusting a piece of paper towards them as they are leaving! Today, there are absolutely no excuses for using a paper-based approach to evaluations. In our experience, the best delegate evaluations are thought through in advance, linked to the key outcomes expected from the event, and shared and requested from delegates while the meeting is in progress.
Any more questions?
We can make this all so easy for you. We can help you design the right agenda, engage your audience pre-event, manage the event’s interactivity, and maximise the value of your post-event delegate evaluations. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1442 461 575 to learn more.