Multi-session learning experiences are single events designed to include multiple topics with multiple facilitators that may take place over multiple days (e.g., conferences and meetings, sales training, leadership development). Before this year, multi-session or multi-track events were almost always conducted in-person. In our current reality of pandemics and quarantines, many companies have transitioned their events, including multi-session, to a virtual format. But is the online format for these types of events effective? How can their effectiveness be measured?
Organizers need to actively collect feedback from attendees so that they can ensure that these events continue to meet their goals and objectives. The following recommendations are the top five best practices for organizers to evaluate a multi-session event.
1-Make it easy for your attendees to provide feedback
In a virtual multi-session event, you want to give your attendees multiple ways to provide you with feedback, so they don’t get frustrated and give up. This might mean having a single repository where all your session evaluation surveys are stored and easily accessible. The ease of use offered by a single system can greatly improve response rates on session evaluations and increase efficiency for administrators who are responsible for managing the feedback process.
Metrics That Matter (MTM) allows you to set up a single homepage that lists all your sessions. Attendees can visit the homepage whenever they are ready to evaluate; you can configure email reminders before, during, and after your event to easily lead attendees back to the homepage experience. Facilitators can also use a session-specific QR code or survey URL (both available in MTM) that they can share at the end of their session for learners to provide real-time feedback.
2-Group your sessions logically
When you’re setting up your multi-session event, you need to group your sessions in a way that makes sense to your attendees so they can easily locate them when they’re ready to provide feedback. MTM allows you to group your sessions to customize the experience to meet your needs. If you’re lucky enough to be presenting an in-person experience, group your sessions by day; if your event is virtual, it may make more sense to group sessions based on the track or topic.
3-Ask the right questions
Feedback is important, but you don’t want to bring on survey fatigue by asking too many questions. Only ask the critical questions that can help demonstrate you’re meeting your goals. Keep the questions repeatable and straightforward so that you can compare results from session to session. If you need results on how the experience was for your attendees as a whole, MTM offers an overall conference survey functionality. This way, you can get results on the overarching experience while also capturing feedback on individual sessions themselves. Explorance experts can also provide additional guidance on ensuring you’re asking the right questions.
4-Know what you want to do with the feedback
Asking the right questions means knowing what you want to do with the answers. This does not mean having a plan of action that you’re going to implement, regardless of the feedback. Just the opposite: if you know you need to decide on inviting each facilitator back to present, make sure you have questions about their performance in your survey. Know what decisions you will need to make after the event, so you can equip yourself with the data to help you make and communicate those decisions.
5-Let attendees know that their feedback matters
Feedback is never made in a vacuum. Any survey respondent is always more likely to provide feedback if they know their feedback matters. Include results from the survey in your follow-up communications with attendees. Even if you don’t have specific actions to talk about yet, you can demonstrate that their feedback was heard and valued. Then, when you’re planning for next time, make sure you highlight the changes you made based on their feedback so you can keep the process going!
Employee Journey Analytics•Learning measurement•Metrics That Matter•