WARNING: Fasten your seatbelts, because I’m about to fly off the handle a bit!
The Subjective Catastrophe
Event organizers get themselves in HUGE trouble because they’re subjective in how they plan and execute their events.
According to Princeton University’s WordNet definition, a subjective person uses “judgment based on individual personal impressions and feelings and opinions rather than external facts.” Mix in a subjective event organizer mindset with some ego and you have the perfect mix for disaster. Trust me, it’s not pretty and I’ve seen many completely avoidable event catastrophes, all a result of people being stupidly subjective.
"I Know Better Than Everybody Else!"
Here’s the typical scenario . . . An event organizer becomes hell-bent on running an event THEIR way (also known as Captain Ahab Syndrome). The end result is that they adopt a mindset of knowing better than their own event attendees. Please heed the following. It doesn’t matter how noble or great YOU think your event is, if people don’t share those same beliefs – or worst, don’t care – your event will flop, GUARANTEED!
Event organizers (of the subjective type) empathically state, “It’s my event and I’ll run it as I please.” That is true, but it’s not worth trying to reason them. My only question is, “What happens when your event crashes and burns?” Usually it’s someone else’s fault and it turns into a finger pointing contest. Even worse is the following statement, “People who didn’t show up to our event don’t know what they’re missing – they’re idiots!” Any event organizer who considers those that didn't attend their event in such poor regard, is an idiot! People didn't attend, because the "idiot" event organizer failed to give the consumer a compelling reason to attend.
Fear not, there is hope! Here is what you can do to prevent yourself from falling into the subjective mindset trap . . .
Check Your Ego and Get Some Negative Feedback
A well thought out event survey (or pre even survey) is massively beneficial in keeping your event planning and promotions objective. The caveat is that you have to truly embrace the survey results. One of the single best event survey questions to ask your event attendees is “what DIDN’T you like about the event?” Yet, when I propose the previous event survey question to organizers, they refuse to use it. They believe if you ask a seemingly negative question their event will be cast in a bad light. I’d argue they don’t ask the questions because their ego can’t handle the feedback.
The truth is if you ask the question from above, you’re going to have to put on some ego armor. BUT, if you integrate the negative attendee feedback, you’re left which a significantly more marketable event. Some might ask, “why not ask what people liked about my event?” Because if you only focus on the positive and don’t correct the negative, you’ll never improve your event. When you do ask the "negative" question, you'll find people are unbelievably cordal and appreciative with their feedback.
Event Survey Questions
Below is a series of links to additional event survey questions and ideas. Integrate the advice below and let me know how you make out.
Want to get more info on event surveys? Check out the articles below:
- A Great Event Survey Question - When Disaster Strikes
- Two Amazingly Powerful Event Survey Questions
- Create a Better Event with Patron Feedback
- Leading People to Provide Event Feedback
- Event Marketing Research - Know Your Target Market!
- Event Marketing: Multiple Ways to Engage Your List
- A Negative Question to Create a Better Event
- The Event Promotion System
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