More feedback – qualitative comments

Nick has already posted about feedback from the conference, and I’m here to add some more on that topic.  Now I for one love seeing statistics such as those Nick mentioned. Seeing that the majority of respondents enjoyed the conference, felt that the range of presentations was good and that they would attend future events, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside – it means we did okay for our first conference!  However the other part of my brain says “that’s all well and good but what does it really mean?”  So I’ve chosen to look at the comments and qualitative feedback we got from the respondents and, having not been able to attend the conference myself, I’ve also solicited comments from colleagues who did attend, which I’ll try and factor into this post a little as well.

Comments from feedback forms

Please click on image to enlarge.
Image created using ABCya.com

As you can see from the word cloud above, most of the comments received were very positive and included words like interesting and inspirational.  However rather than simply telling you all the positives and what we, apparently, got right I’m going to highlight some of the more constructive comments and leave them here for posterity. The reason for this is partly so that we can learn from the areas needing improvement for future conferences, but we’re choosing to share it with everyone via the blog so that other people can learn as well!

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A quick look at feedback

We received 36 evaluation forms at the end of the conference, asking attendees to rate us in seven areas and provide general feedback. The feedback was very positive! This is very encouraging for us, and we’re delighted people were happy with the day.

Here’s an overview of the ratings received for our seven areas (click to enlarge):

Feedback score graph

You can (possibly) see from this that the majority of the scores we received were 5s – top marks! The only area that saw a mark of 3 – several, in fact – was networking opportunities. This is doubtless due in part to the majority of the attendees being University of Northampton staff, but in future conferences we will have to consider how to improve networking opportunities for our visitors from other institutions.

Several fours for suitability of venue and quality of facilities may reflect the variable wi-fi reception some attendees encountered on the day – despite the general satisfaction of the scores, it’s obviously important for attendees and the conference itself that lines of social communication are as open as possible, and this has been duly noted.

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