Getting bad feedback

After your event one of the problems is knowing how you did. I say problems, because this is actually a lot harder than you think.

The problem is simple – most people will not tell you directly if there is something they didn’t like. Instead they will keep it to themselves, or bitch to thier friends, or just not come back. And then you may think everything went great simply because you didn’t hear otherwise.

So firstly, go out of your way to hear bad feedback. Ask people regularly for feedback and always think about what you could improve.

And secondly, don’t boast about how well it went unless you are really sure. There is nothing worse that seeing an event organiser tweet about how they “nailed it” when you know a bunch of attendees went to the pub afterwards and complained about certain elements.

Of course, you may listen carefully to someone’s bad feedback and decide it isn’t relevant. Maybe they want something specific and you are aiming for a different type of event, for instance. How you deal with the feedback you get is a different issue. But always do your best to listen.

ps. And also, real listening often involves a long conversation to get to the real root of the problem and will probably bring up some complex issues with several subtleties. Twitter is not a suitable medium for this. Few electronic chats are. But that’s a topic for a different post.

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