Improve Event Feedback Usability with Likert Scale Scoring

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by Robb Sands
survey with pencil


We seek, and use, event feedback to assess how well we've done, what needs improvement, and then plan actions to better our future event success.

However, traditional text-based feedback has fatal flaws:
    -> is nearly impossible to group and summarise
    -> makes planning improvements challenging
    -> cannot be scored or compared to other events easily

Note: A Likert scale is simply asking a question and giving 5 options; strongly negative, moderately negative, neutral, moderately positive, strongly positive.

Switching from text-based to numeric-scoring solves these problems and provides managers with the ability to:
    -> quickly draw conclusions about each aspect of the event
    -> identify areas to improve before hosting the next event
    -> create benchmark scores for easy future comparisons

  spreadsheet with text survey answers

Overcome the problems of reporting on event success by implementing a Likert-based scoring system.

Move away from surveys with text-answers only to a numeric-based (Likert scale) system, so that you can manage your events in less time, with less effort and more effectively..

Traditionally, post-event feedback has been a text-based endeavour.  Attendees are given a sheet with a handful of questions and asked open ended questions where they can detail their satisfaction with various aspects of the event, such as the instructor, venue and amenities, amongst others.

Below is an example spreadsheet showing a summary of feedback from a few participants in a recent event:


  spreadsheet with text survey answers


While the information is important, and should be asked/recorded, it's quite difficult to find commonalities, overall satisfaction and success of the event.

Below is an example spreadsheet showing a summary of feedback from a few participants in a recent event, using Likert scale scoring

 spreadsheet with text survey answers

Likert scale scoring gives numeric representations of opinion so as to facilitate event feedback results management.


The Advantages of Numeric Scoring Become Clear as We Draw Conclusions About Satisfaction

Numeric scoring, as the primary measure of opinion about the event, gives us the ability to use simple maths to calculate and represent satisfaction (primarily sum and average is about all that is required).

There still should be additional sections in a survey, with text-based input allowed, so that we can get specific explanations about issues with any of the question items.  These qualitative approaches are important, but extremely difficult to group, hence the popularity of Likert scale scoring for most questions.

Here's the calculations performed on the scored survey:

spreadsheet with likert scoring averages

Easily determine the overall opinion regarding each question as well as a composite across the board.

Taking Further Steps

Using Likert scale scoring for event feedback surveys is a great first step to reducing the management overhead in summarising event performance.

One of the next steps is often to convert this Likert scale scoring into a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score, which is a weighted average.  

We'll cover CSI and more about managing event feedback, in future posts.

Look forward to future posts on CSI scoring and managing event feedback to further improve your event management.

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