Hey there, fellow event planners and facilitators! Today, let’s dive into something that often gets overlooked but is crucial for the success of any large group event: measuring the impact of our facilitation efforts. When we invest time, resources, and energy into organizing conferences or events, it’s essential to ask ourselves, “Are we really making a difference?” Let’s explore some practical, “low bar” measurements that can help us gauge the effectiveness of our facilitation and ensure we’re getting the most bang for our buck!

1. The “Low Bar” Measurement Approach: Setting Realistic Goals

When I think about assessing the impact of large group facilitation, I like to start with what I call “low bar” measurements. These are simple, yet powerful metrics that can justify the time and money spent on an event. Consider questions like:

  • Will this event help retain at least one employee?
  • Can it ignite at least 100 new connections or relationships?
  • Is it possible to generate 3 months’ worth of content for our social media from this event?

While these may seem like modest goals, they provide a tangible way to evaluate our efforts. Remember, a well-designed and facilitated event should ideally exceed these benchmarks, but meeting them already spells success.

2. The Cost of Not Investing in Expert Facilitation

Think about the investment you’re making when you gather a large group. Calculate the average hourly wage of every employee involved, then multiply it by the number of hours the event lasts. This figure represents a significant investment. Not bringing in an expert facilitator to guide this process is akin to leaving this investment to chance. Expert facilitation can dramatically amplify the return on this investment, making it a wise choice for any event.

The math on this is actually a big reason I created my Connected Conference offering.

3. Beyond “Liking It”: Measuring Impact Effectively

When collecting feedback, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on whether attendees “liked” the event. However, this approach only scratches the surface of measuring the true impact of facilitation. More importantly, focus your questions on the impact, such as:

  • Did you make at least one meaningful new connection?
  • What actionable insights did you gain from this event?

These impact-focused questions provide more valuable data than generic inquiries like “How did you like the keynote speaker?”

Here’s a pro tip: towards the end of your event, put up a QR code linking to a survey and play some music for a few minutes. This tactic can increase response rates significantly.

4. Feedback Surveys: A Goldmine for Follow-Up Content

A well-crafted feedback survey is more than just a tool for gathering opinions; it’s a treasure trove for follow-up content. Treat your surveys like a research project about your audience. Find out:

  • What mattered most to attendees?
  • Who do they want to hear from in the future?
  • What were the highlights, lowlights, and key insights?

This information not only helps in fine-tuning future events but also offers a wealth of creative opportunities for engaging follow-up content. By sharing these insights, you keep the conversation going long after the event has ended, combating the “curve of forgetting” and keeping your audience engaged and informed.

To wrap up, measuring the impact of large group facilitation is all about setting realistic goals, understanding the value of expert guidance, focusing on meaningful metrics, and leveraging feedback for continuous engagement. By adopting these strategies, we can ensure that our events not only meet but exceed expectations, delivering real value to our attendees and our organizations.

Stay tuned for more insights and tips on successful event facilitation and making connection easy. Until next time, keep creating conversations that matter!