These general information facts on event surveys and the below sample of a
survey is provided by GMMG Events Research Department, Camp Douglas, WI.
GMMG specializes in services to the nonprofit sector and to businesses
wishing to conduct business with nonprofit organizations. GMMG has a
comprehensive database with name, address, assets, income, type
organization, and activity information on 1.4 million nonprofit
organizations. Their main activity is custom event exit, mail-out, or
telemarketing surveys and general marketing research. They conduct
internal staff, board, or volunteer relations surveys as well as event
patron, volunteer, membership, customer service, or community satisfaction
telemarketing sampling. GMMG also sells address labels and will search
download to a disk selected nonprofit organizations with complete asset,
income, type, and activity data. GMMG has forty-five pages of criteria
available for search and database selection. For information about contacting GMMG see the end of the article.
EVENT EXIT SURVEYS
You are welcome to copy and use any portion of the below sample of an event
survey. Every question would not be appropriate for every event. These
questions are provided for the purpose of stimulating development of
questions appropriate for your event.
If your budget can afford it, I recommend a "turn-key" survey from a
professional company. Otherwise, there are many ways to cut costs and
still have a viable and informative survey. I do not recommend an event
attempt to totally do their own survey unless they have a computer savvy
leader who has at least 200 supervisory hours and another 200 to 250
computer hours available to give to the project. Then you will still need
someone who understands statistics to format and evaluate the report.
Please note that some survey companies will only bid for a "turn-key"
survey. While others, like GMMG, offer various self-help cost savings
possibilities while maintaining the integrity of the survey. Areas that a
survey company normally will not out-source is the data entry into the
computer, data verification, and publication of graphs and a basic report.
Typically a company's fee is driven directly by the number of questions
and the number of completed survey instruments. For instance, fifteen
questions may bring the price down and 500 instruments would bring it back
up. The simpler the questions typically the less the fee will tend to be.
Additional fees could be transportation, lodging, food, and consultation.
Survey costs can range anywhere from $2,500 upwards to $25,000 depending on
a lot of variables.
When the budget is tight and a "turn-key" survey is not affordable the
biggest variable and most probable cost savings is labor. Therefore, a key
question becomes who is to obtain the labor for the survey? Options
include volunteers, low-cost labor, or labor obtained by the survey
company. Usually the survey company will not accept responsibility for the
labor force unless they, the labor company, is represented on-site, during
the survey. If the survey company is not to be on-site, then a dedicated
volunteer or staffer will need to be assigned as project or committee
chairperson. This person should be someone whose only job, during the
event, is to supervise the survey activities. This person will be
responsible to train, supervise, and follow through on labor coordination
and collection of data. The survey company will then train and coordinate
all efforts through this person.
When the event is to provide labor, then for a fee the survey company
usually will be willing to come to your location and directly train and
supervise the collection of data. Typically they will need be on site for
two to three days prior to the fair, the four days of the fair, and one day
following the event. An option would be to have the survey company
representative fly in to give orientation and training only.
(Remember - "The reason volunteers are not paid, is not because they are
worthless but because they are priceless.")
Summary of cost options. Here is a sample of a cost proposal recently used
by GMMG in a proposal to an event in California. Shown here are the
optional costs. These are based on the minimum and maximum involvement of
GMMG in a survey that included 250 completed survey instruments during the
four day event. As you can see, you can have major cost savings by keeping
most of the labor under your jurisdiction. Another major cost savings are
restricting GMMG's on site involvement.
GMMG Consulting Fee (not optional)
GMMG Fee for Data Entry and Report Production (not optional)
GMMG to be present during the Fair (optional):
Or, To Hire a local on-site Manager
(use volunteer/not needed if GMMG is present)
On site labor for data collection (could use volunteers):
Transportation estimated for GMMG to fly in:
Lodging for GMMG to be present during the Fair:
GMMG to present the report in person to December/January Board:
Transportation estimated for GMMG to fly in:
Printing 250 Survey Instruments $50
As you can seen the range for their survey is $2,500 upwards to as much as
$15,000 if they buy all the whistles and stops. It could even be more with
a deluxe package that included GMMG bringing professionally trained data
collection clerks from the home office.
SAMPLE OF AN EVENT EXIT SURVEY
The public is welcome to copy and use this instrument. However, it is not
likely that every question would be pertinent to every event. These are
samples of questions that have worked for various organizations.
For exit surveys - Departure date/time _________________
1. Is this your first visit to our annual event? __Yes __ No
2. What time did you arrive at the event today? ____ a.m. ____ p.m.
3. Which days of the event have you or will you attend?__ Thurs __ Fri __
Sat __ Sun __ Mon __ Tue __ Wed__ 2nd Thurs __ 2nd Fri __ 2nd Sat __ 2nd
4. Was there one specific activity at the event today that influenced your
decision to come? (Yes/No + explain).
5. Using a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being not important and 5 being very
important, how did the following activities influence your decision to come
to the event:
__ To see animals
__ To go on the midway
__ To eat different foods
__ To see Coliseum entertainment
__ To be with friends/family
__ Watching judging
__ To expose children to farm animals
__ To see commercial exhibits
__ To do people watching
6. How far in advance did you plan your trip to the
__ Within past week
__ Within past month
__ Within past 3 months
__ Within past 6 months
__ Six months or more
How did you find out about the Event?
__ Always knew
__ Area resident
8. Who made the decision to attend the Event today?
__ Joint decision
9. Was the event the primary destination for your trip from home?
(skip to question 10)
___ No (If not what was your destination ______________
10. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent, please
rate the following aspects of the Event, the . . .
__ Availability of parking
__ Ability to move around the grounds
__ Variety of Event entertainment
__ Number of restrooms at the Event
__ Cleanliness of Event restrooms
__ Event admission price
__ Ease of finding restrooms
__ Cleanliness of the Event grounds
__ Rides and games on the Midway
__ Food on the Midway
__ Food on Event grounds but not on Midway
__ The Auto Show
__ The Boat Show
__ Pig Races
__ Patio Stage Entertainment
11. Did you buy food at a Coliseum concession stand? (If this question is
used, it would probably be a good idea to get the food contractor's
__ No (skip to question 12)
__ Yes - using the same scale rate
__ The food
__ The selection
__ The staff
12. Do you feel the Event has a good selection of commercial exhibits?
__Yes (skip to question 13)
__ No - Please explain what you would like to see added
13. Overall, how would you describe your visit to the Event?
__ Very Good
14. Which gate did you use to enter the Event grounds?
____ Gate 1
____ Gate 2
____ Main Walk-in____ Midway Walk-in
____ Gate Zero
____ (list all other choices if any)
15. What is your zip code? _____________
16. What is your state and county of residence? __________________________.
17. Will you stay overnight in the area on this trip?
__ No (skip to question 18)
__ Yes _________ nights. (Answer 17a & b and do not answer 18 - skip to
17a. If 17 is yes - Type of overnight accommodations?
__ Bed & Breakfast
__ Other ______________________
17b. If 17 is yes - Think about you stay in the Beaumont area now. Please
estimate the dollars that you have already spent or plan to spend today on
________ Convenience Stores
________ Food and drink at area restaurants & bars
________ Other area entertainment admission fees.
________ Auto related
________ Souvenirs, gifts, and clothing
18. Please estimate the dollars that you have already spent at the event
today on . . .
_________________ Food and drink
_________________ Souvenirs, gifts, & clothing
_________________ Other Event purchases
19. Other spending in the (name the city, county, region) area relative to
your visiting the Event:
______________ Convenience stores
______________ Food and drink at area restaurants & bars
______________ Other area entertainment admission fees______________ Auto
related (gas, repairs, other parking)
______________ Souvenirs, gifts & clothing
20. What other (enter name of city, county or region) area activities will
you participate in while on this trip to the Event?
____ City Museum
____ Art Museum
____ List whatever
21. Are you . . .
__ With friends
__ With family
__ With an organized group
__ Other ______________________
22. How did you get to the Event today?
__ Personal Automobile
__ Public transportation
23. Including yourself, how many people are in your immediate party?
__________________. Of that number, how many are:
_____ Five years old or less.
_____ 6 - 11
_____ 12 - 20
_____ 21 - 39
_____ 40 - 59
_____ 60+24. Respondent's age: ________________.
25. How many members of your party are: ____ Male ____ Female
26. How many members of your party are:
_______ American Indian_______ Caucasian (non Hispanic)
_______ Other __________________
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