Now more than ever, your feedback regarding meetings/conferences/seminars, whether online or in person, is critical. Unfortunately, many good suggestions get buried underneath harsh criticism (or you may just be too hesitant to share) and meeting planners are less likely to pay attention… or they simply won’t know how you feel!
If we don’t speak up about areas that are in need of improvement… nobody will know how to fix them. On the same token, if we don’t speak up about areas that were awesome, we won’t know if we should continue to incorporate them.
Here are a few tips on how to craft a helpful, constructive review that may have a higher chance of being noticed and acted upon:
  • Provide useful feedback and include possible suggestions (vs. just complaining). For example, “The parking fee per day was too high. Perhaps next time consider a different hotel or locate an alternative parking area. You could offer a courtesy shuttle and have it sponsored by an exhibitor.”
  • Be specific. Explain what areas you really feel need improvement and which areas you really feel were great – directly and specifically. General statements can be lost in translation and real change isn’t likely.
  • Proofread your review for spelling and grammatical errors. We naturally take people more seriously when we feel they took the time to accurately formulate and organize their thoughts.
  • Discuss all the aspects that affected your experience. State how you feel about many areas that go into putting on a successful meeting, including organization, scientific content, scheduling, location, and more.
  • Use the “management sandwich”. Hide a complaint between two compliments. “I loved the lecture content. The sessions started too early and went too long. The speakers were very engaging.” It’s hard for anyone to hear criticism… so make sure you don’t get “blocked” by only bringing up the bad… be sure to point out the areas of good too!
Is there a meeting/event you’ve recently been a part of? Tell us how it was and start helping our profession grow in a positive direction!