Use Paper Survey AND Mobile Internet Survey to Get the Most from Conference Speaker Evaluations!
Everything has a "hybrid" version these days! Hybrid vehicles use more than one source of power, hybrid dog breeds are all the rage (such as the goldendoodle), and hybrid golf clubs combine the distance of a wood with the accuracy of an iron. The idea of a hybrid is to capture the "best of both worlds" to improve a product's performance or a consumer's experience.
Now, consider a hybrid conference session evaluation:
• A simple, easy to use paper evaluation form the attendees can fill out before leaving the session room while the details of the session are fresh in their mind.
• An online evaluation optimized for mobile devices that allows your attendees to rate the session on their phone or tablet. This option allows the evaluation to be done at the conference, but also allows for a later response.
By having both paper and online rating options, your session evaluations provide the best of both worlds! For the 50-75% of Americans who have a smart phone or a tablet, you have increased their incentive to respond by making the evaluation easier to complete and technologically interesting. For those not equipped with a mobile device, or for those attendees concerned about responding electronically, you have provided an easy way for them to respond on paper.
Know Your Audience!
It is probably not prudent to assume that all of the attendees at your conference can or will want to rate a session online. I recently read a blog post regarding a conference evaluation survey that was done online, using a QR code to allow quick access to the evaluation survey. The conference manager printed the QR code in the program book and on various signs around the conference site. He assumed that the technology was familiar to everyone, and so little explanation was given, and no alternative to the QR code URL was offered. Needless to say, the conference evaluation was a dismal failure! It is definitely important to be aware of the demographics of your attendees and create a conference evaluation methodology that will best fit your organization's unique group.
Not every attendee will have a smart phone or tablet and be able to utilize the mobile version of your session or speaker evaluation, but for those folks who have the technology at hand, the hybrid evaluation will simplify the process.
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