|Dear Meeting Guru,
"How can we evaluate a large meeting
event that a team of 25 people helped plan? We want positive and
Meetings are about pleasing two groups, the attendees and the
people hosting the meeting. To find out if your meeting was successful you’ll
need to consult both groups. Attendees will tell you if they’ve benefited
from the meeting, while stakeholders will tell you whether you’ve accomplished
the goals for the event.
Ask attendees to fill out anonymous paper surveys after the event or at certain
points throughout the event. Ask specific questions like, “What would
you change for next time?” and “What did you like best and why?”
to generate positive and negative feedback. Ask for specific examples of problems
or successes and suggestions for how things could be done better.
You can also create online surveys, but if people can’t complete them
until they get back to their offices, the details of the meeting may not be
fresh in their minds or they may forget to fill out the survey.
When you plan the event, ask management and planning team members to list
their goals for it. The goals will depend on the purpose of the meeting,
but a couple of examples are:
||generating awareness and media interest for a company, product
||providing the tools and space for attendees to make a decision or share
ideas and experiences about a specific topic.
You could also create some more specific goals, such as hosting over 200 attendees,
building a relationship with a specific group, etc.
Ask for anonymous feedback about these goals through a survey or hold a meeting
to discuss the positive and negative outcomes of the event and decide if the
event goals were met.
As U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once said,
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard
work, learning from failure.” You are wise to want to hear people’s
feedback about your meeting event. Gathering comments may seem like a lot of
extra work after all the effort you’ve put into planning and actually
putting on the event, but this extra step will help make your next meeting event
even more successful.
Until next time
may good meeting karma always be with you.