How to Tell if Your Rotaract Event was Successful Print
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Written by Corina Mihaela Paraschiv   
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 23:25


Should you ask participants in your events whether they liked the event you organized?
Should you inquire to your Rotaractors whether their experience in the club is positive?

Of course, without knowing if people enjoy the experience in an event you organize gives you little chances of addressing issues or improving if you haven't been up to the task.  But research shows there are times when it's appropriate to ask, and others when it is not beneficial to do so.  Let's zoom in on the question.


When People Liked your Event

Positive word of mouth occrs when asked, and it is often cognitive.  This means that people generally do not talk of a positive experience out of the blue, bringing up the topic themselves.  If colleagues at work were to ask them, for instance, what they did last night, then they would provide a favorable mention about the great Rotaract fundraiser they've attended.  On average though, people only tell 3 people about their positive experiences (as opposed to 10 people on average for a bad experience). 

Still, that positive word of mouth is not neglectable for your club.  Here's why : In 1984, researcher Cialdini has shown that when someone would say something like "I love Rotaract", or when they'd recommend it to a friend, their behaviour (attending Rotaract or Rotaract events) tended to be consistent with what they said. So getting someone to talk positively about you may not get a lot of people aware of what you are doing, but it will at the very least make them a little bit more loyal (not just in their belief or attitude, but also in their actions) towards the club.



When People did Not Like your Event

Negative word of mouth has a greater impact on your reputation than positive word of mouth.  Sad, but true.  As we've mentioned before a negative experience will be told to 10 people on average compared to 3 people for good experiences (to coworkers, family members, friends, etc.).  The content will be much more emotional and unlike the positive word of mouth, it does not need to be prompted to be shared -- people who are not satisfied with something will typically blur it out voluntarly without waiting to be asked by their friends on what they did last night.  This tends to happen very close to the time the event took place. As time goes by, the feelings get a bit less harsh and the person will talk less about it -- so if somethign bad did happen, don't worry, the emotions get less aggressive as you let the dust settle.



Should You Ask?

Well yes, and no.  You can ask a general question to get feedback, no harm in that.  However, Moore and Fitzsimons' did a research in 2008 which showed the following:

  • When people had a bad experience and they were asked to write it down in a very detailed fashion, and when they were later interviewed about, the experience had become less negative over time.  This means that if you did not get the results you expected with a project, getting people to provide detailed feedback can be an effective way to make the experience a little better even though you cannot go back in time and fix things.
  • When people had a great experience and they were asked to provide detailed feedback and were later interviewed, their satisfaction and enthusiasm had decreased considerably.  But then how do you know what you did right?  It's ok to ask people to point out three things they loved about an event, for instance, but if you go beyond that in the amount of detail you prompt them to give, the experience will be diminished in the process.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 February 2009 19:21 )