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Christian Retreats Network

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Worried About Your Event?

By Stephanie

Are you in the process of planning an event?  Are you afraid your ministry group may not like what you have lined up for their retreat? Whether you are a veteran planner or planning your first event, you will likely have some uncertainty about how well your plans will be received by your group. Planning and scheduling activities that everyone will love can be very stressful, but there are useful methods to help you determine the success of your event. Feedback from your group will assist in uncovering the strong aspects of your event and help identify the weak areas you may want to focus on going forward. Beneficial feedback also takes the guesswork out of the process and assists you as you prepare for future events.

A great tool for gathering feedback from your events is a survey.   Survey success can be measured by the volume of the surveys you receive back and the accuracy of the answers.  To increase both accuracy and volume, be mindful to set an appropriate length for your survey, make it easy to complete, keep it anonymous, and give your attendees advanced notice of the survey. By doing so, you will maximize the success of your survey responses and be on the path to planning a great future event!

Responding to a survey creates an outlet for attendees to have a voice in the process. However, if the survey is too long, even the most diligent person may get frustrated. Keep the survey short enough to complete on average within 5 minutes or to about 10 questions.  Although it may seem appealing to cram in as many questions as possible, respondents may simply neglect to provide feedback altogether if the survey is too long to respond to. Keeping the survey short is key and will result in more responses.

In addition to survey length, survey difficulty is important to consider. Keep the survey simple. Clear and concise questions that are easy to understand will result in more accurate responses. If your survey is ambiguous or difficult to process, guests may glaze over the questions without giving it much thought, which will result in less accurate feedback.

Less accurate feedback from your group is also a possibility if you request the respondent to identify him/herself during the survey process. Anonymity is essential. Survey responders will feel free to be more open and honest about their experiences if responses are made anonymous.

The final aspect to consider when setting up and distributing your survey is presenting the information ahead of time to your group. An advanced notice prepares group members to be thinking about their experience throughout the entire event. If they really enjoyed an aspect of your event, they may make a mental note to share their experience once they are able to complete their survey.

A survey is a great method for gathering feedback from your group, and can be an asset as you prepare for future events. Whether you are trying something new or continuing with activities that have flourished in the past, proper feedback from your attendees will put you in a much better position for a successful event moving forward!

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626