As meeting, event and insight gathering experts, we’ve helped clients craft a lot of surveys over our 23 years. Below are a few tips we’ve learned along the way that will help you maximize effectiveness and ultimately gain the insight you require out of your survey.
1. Consider the data you need
By far the most important part of creating the perfect survey for your event is thinking through what data you need to gather. If you don’t value the data you are collecting and it doesn’t help you to learn and improve, then the survey results aren’t going to have much of an impact. By starting at your end-point and working backwards, you ensure that you are building questions that will provide you with the information you’re looking for.
2. Make it intelligent
Tailor questions to respondents by using branching or ‘skip logic’, which leads users to the next question based on their previous answer. Using branching will help you get answers to specific questions from the particular groups you want to respond. Ask demographic questions so you can later slice and dice the data based on geography, gender, age, job role, years in the industry, and more.
3. Keep it concise
Respect your respondents’ time by limiting your survey to only vital questions. This will also lead to a higher response rate as more people are likely to complete shorter surveys.
4. Form your questions and scales appropriately
Provide an even number of choices on your ratings scale. For example, use a 1 – 4 scale or options such as strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. This eliminates a neutral option, so your data won’t be full of responses like “neither agree nor disagree”. Leave room for open-ended comments and for respondents to share more fun, qualitative information by utilizing optional free text boxes during your survey.
5. Make it accessible
The easier your survey is to find and use, the higher your response rate will be. Using a mobile event app to conduct your survey is a great way to go, as respondents can easily participate using the smartphone or tablet that is always with them.
Providing an incentive for participating in your survey never hurts when it comes to increasing your response rate. Consider rewarding those who complete your survey with an entry into a drawing for a fun prize with mass appeal.