Measuring Meeting Effectiveness 2: Mid-Course Corrections

On-site MeetingRecently, we took a look at Measuring Meeting Effectiveness and focused on how event planners can adapt the Kirkpatrick model used by training and development professionals. While Kirkpatrick is an excellent model, particularly with its emphasis on Level 4 evaluations that measure impact on the business, post-meeting evaluations - if used in isolation - are a missed opportunity. They are like driving while looking in the rearview mirror.

How often have you read comments on post meeting evaluations and thought, "If only someone had spoken up during the meeting, we could have fixed this?" I made that observation years ago when I was delivering management development programs and modified the way in which I approached evaluations. Instead of collecting feedback at the end of the meeting or team building session, specific feedback is collected at pivotal checkpoints throughout the meeting. I have carried these practices forward into team building and event planning. Here is how it works?

  1. Crowdsource content and identify attendee preferences through participant profiles and learning styles surveys.
  2. Collect impromptu feedback throughout the meeting through a Twitter hashtag or a mobile event app that makes it possible to communicate with event organizers and speakers. 
  3. Have someone monitor the feedback. Make adjustments as the meeting unfolds.
  4. At the end of the first morning, distribute a short feedback form. You can do this manually or through the use of an app. Questions my company, Executive Oasis International, uses at this checkpoint include:
    • What would you like your facilitator (or speaker) to start, stop and continue doing in order to meet your expectations?
    • Do you have any questions for the facilitator that you have not had a chance to ask or that have not been answered to your satisfaction?
    • What improvements do we need to make to ensure that the rest of the meeting (or conference) surpasses your expectations?
    It would also be a good idea to include questions about sound quality and volume, visibility of visuals, satisfaction with food and beverage and comfort with temperature levels.
  5. Review the feedback with the group immediately after lunch, let the group know what modifications you are making based on feedback. For small groups, facilitate a brief conversation and get the group involved in generating solutions. 
  6. Collect feedback again at the end of Day 1 and review it with the group the next morning. Focus on the following:
    • Are there any exercises or concepts for which you don’t get the point?
    • Which strategies will be most useful for you and your team when you return to work?
    • Which strategies and tips are not relevant to you and your organization?
  7. For-3 day meetings or events, repeat the process at the end of Day 2.
  8. Follow the Kirkpatrick model and complete 3 or 4 levels of evaluation as appropriate. Questions you may want to add to your end of meeting reaction surveys include:
    • The most valuable insights, ideas or concepts you picked up from this meeting (or conference)?
    • One thing you plan to do differently as the result of attending this conference?
    • One specific way that we can improve the session the next time we offer it?

While a manual process may work for small meetings, large meetings and conferences may want to take advantage of a mobile event app to manage the process. The Cvent Event Blog has recently launched Mobile Posts by CrowdCompass (Cvent's mobile event app solution), which provides insights into the basics and benefits of having a custom-built mobile app for your event.

To learn more about the value for measuring the effectiveness of meetings, read Economic Indicators Underscore Corporate Events R.O.I. Importance and Event Planning: Proving Your Value to Senior Management.

Photo Credit: Executive Osis International

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