Meetings

Daily Buzz: Don’t Ask the Wrong Postconference Survey Questions

By / Feb 25, 2019 (Marco Rosario Venturini Autieri/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images Plus)

Postconference surveys are an easy way to get attendee feedback, but asking leading questions will skew the results. Also: Take the first steps toward a diverse board.

Asking attendees for meeting feedback can be a great way to gain insight into what went well and what  needs improvement moving forward. But how you word survey questions can have a big influence on the answers your receive.

“The motto ‘there are no bad questions’ does not apply to surveys,” says Rachel Grate in a post on the Eventbrite blog. “The wrong way can confuse and annoy attendees—and ultimately lead to them giving up on your survey. It can also affect the accuracy of the answers you get. If you’re getting biased answers—and making critical changes to your events as a result—it could seriously undermine the success of your future events.”

When crafting survey questions, it’s important not to ask any leading or loaded questions. That is, don’t assume anything about attendees’ experience. Ask questions in a way that lets them be honest.

“You’re not trying to convince attendees to say they liked your event,” Grate says. “You’re an earnest event creator looking for authentic input. So don’t ‘lead the witness’ by trying to put words in attendees’ mouths.”

Gate also recommends keeping surveys as concise as possible and avoiding personal questions, which might make them think twice about submitting the questionnaire. “People are less likely to answer questions that feel encroaching or threatening,” she says. “Instead, ask questions that give you precise information without being creepy.”

The First Steps to a Diverse Board

Establishing a diverse board is no easy feat—and probably not possible until your board is ready to dive headfirst into the initiative.

“Lack of diversity is just a presenting symptom—the part of the iceberg that shows above water, signaling much deeper systemic and structural issues that need to be understood and addressed before organizations can tackle board diversity in a meaningful and authentic way,” says Rick Moyers in a post for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

So, how do you know if your board is ready to talk about diversity?

For one, multiple members should understand the importance behind it and be willing to help other members through the process. “One champion won’t be enough,” Moyer says. “Board sentiment can shift depending on who shows up for the meeting, and it’s unfair to ask a single board member to bear a disproportionate share of responsibility to move these conversations forward—particularly if that board member is a person of color.”

Other Links of Note

How can storytelling drive action for your nonprofit? Socialbrite explains why organizations should tell more stories.

The nonprofit sector is growing. Nonprofit Hub breaks down what growth means for your organization.

Using Pinterest in your social strategy? The HubSpot blog outlines how to use the platform for success.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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