To determine the right questions to measure meeting effectiveness, we did a deep dive into our meeting survey response databases containing thousands of different post-meeting evaluation surveys. Our goal was to learn which meeting evaluation survey topics and questions were used most often by a large, representative sampling of thousands of post-meeting surveys conducted by our licensees and service providers’ client organizations in order to build a normative database to use for analysis.
We wanted to isolate the essential questions meeting owners and professionals ask when seeking attendees’ average ratings about meeting performance and effectiveness on a given survey. Then statistical analyses were conducted to determine any correlation overlap or other issues. We found that the post-event survey questions below, when used in combination, best reflect a meeting’s effectiveness. They should always be used together.
We call this six-question set the Event Performance Indices, or EPI:
• How satisfied are you with the meeting’s overall value in helping you improve your on-the-job effectiveness?
• How satisfied are you that the meeting was well worth the investment?
• How satisfied are you with the overall meeting experience?
• How satisfied are you that the meeting was motivating to you personally?
• How satisfied are you with the quality of the education sessions at the meeting?
• How satisfied are you with the quality of the networking opportunities at the meeting?
The EPI normative database contains ratings on these questions from all the individual meetings in which they were used, the number of attendees for each meeting, and each meeting’s total cost.
The indices can be used to compare the results of various meetings as long as you follow two basic rules:
1. Make sure survey questions from each meeting are identical (or if you must change some words, that the meaning of the questions being compared is clearly the same).
2. Use the same answer scale.
Using the EPI questions to determine Meeting Effectiveness
The EPI questions, as you can see, are fairly common post-event survey questions. The power of using them is that, based on our analysis, they represent the most important questions you can ask to get a basic overall understanding of a meeting’s effectiveness on each dimension, and for an overall EPI score for the meeting when averaged together. Below is a sample EPI report.