Conference evaluations. Love em or hate em, they’re not going away. But how important are they really? And could a different or additional approach be more helpful to meeting planners and presenters?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love feedback. It let’s me know what I did right; what I did wrong. What I could improve, what I need to remove. But sometimes you look at some of the comments and ask yourself was that person in the same room as everyone else? What the heck did I say or do that made this person wish I was dead?
As a conference presenter the best feedback I get is an email or call; one week, 1 month or 6 months later telling me what was implemented; how it worked and the result to the bottom line – which comes in the results of new products/programs, increased revenue, fewer accidents, less absenteeism and so much more.
Or how about this……..one year later someone comes to not only see you present again at an industry conference, but to tell you what has happened in one year as a result of your words.
The challenge with conference evaluations is they are compiled when emotions are taking over the mind; when people are feeling motivated and inspired to do great things as a result of a presenter’s words; or again wishing you dead. They’re not done when people have had time to truly process the presenter’s words. Sadly, too often they get back to their workplaces and the crisis du jour kills that excitement; and the presenter’s inspiring, motivating and life-changing words no longer matter.
One of the reasons I’ve transitioned to more experiential off-site learning versus classroom/conference room learning is I get my clients to implement in the now! Even if it’s a small implementation, there’s the beginning of momentum and impending measurement. Doing/experiencing has so much more impact than sitting and listening/taking notes. It gets people to move!
It’s easy to share an idea or a concept. There’s so much more power when you uncover an idea or concept on your own (with a little bit of prodding) and get to put it into play immediately without overthinking. Returning from a meeting, off-site team event or a conference knowing you’ve already implemented keeps the wheels in motion.
So while conference evals are nice………where’s the 3 month, 6 month conference evaluation? The one that let’s attendees share what was implemented and achieved as a result of the learning. The one that proves the ROI of your event and why people need to attend/return. The one that helps next year’s meeting planner or conference planning committee make better decisions on the types of learning and presenters that need to be offered. To me that would be a much better evaluation and provide ongoing value to meeting and conference attendees.
It’s Cafecito Time!
Ready for the most fun unique offsite experience to solve problems, build team & generate ideas faster? Try #CafecitoAdventures! Get in touch (text me – it’s faster 203.470.3388) and let’s talk about solving some problems, ideating, and stretching your team’s imagination to get them (more) excited about their work!