Marketing

Introduction:

Every year the University of  Hertfordshire (UoH) hosts a conference for marketing professionals. The event is held at the de Havilliand campus and attracts approximately 100 attendees annually.  This gathering has not traditionally been monitored to determine attendee satisfaction or to determine the rate of return attendance.  To correct this oversight, a program will be developed to determine the rate of satisfaction for forum attendees and for those presenting at the forum.

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Objectives:

The primary objective of this study will be to determine the effectiveness of the program as it currently exists. A secondary objective will be to identify areas that require modification and the third objective will be to determine if presenters are satisfied with the quality of attendees and the opportunities to present to them.

A further goal of this project will be to evaluate the opportunities for growth of the forum. The study will use quantitative research to gather opinions from attendees. This form of market research is very commonly accepted as a means to determine client satisfaction.

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Research Design

This project will be via a questionnaire given to all conference attendees. A separate questionnaire will be developed for the presenters. The primary questionnaire will be comprised of 10 questions to which the respondent will be asked to give a numerical response between one and five. This numerical representation of satisfaction will then be averaged, with extremes taken into consideration, to determine an arithmetic mean.

In addition, we will have five questions requesting short answers. These purely subjective answers will be recorded as anecdotal responses and anecdotal evidence regarding satisfaction with the conference.

The secondary questionnaire will also consist of fifteen questions divided in the same manner. The subjective questions will be the same for both the questionnaires. The questions for the primary questionnaire will be as follows:

Please respond with a number between 1 and 5. 1 is the lowest/worst response and 5 is the highest/best.

1.       Did you enjoy the conference?

2.      Were the seminars useful to you?

3.      Did this conference assist you in furthering your career?

4.      Was the keynote speaker helpful?

5.      Was the meal served adequate?

6.      Was this seminar worth the cost of attendance?

7.      Was this a useful way to spend your day?

8.      Were the presenters helpful?

9.      Did you learn anything new at this conference?

10.  Given the chance, would you attend this conference again?

The subjective questions for both questionnaires would be:

1.      What improvements would you like to see made to the conference?

2.      What was the best part of the conference?

3.      What was the worst part of the conference?

4.      Were you satisfied with the opportunities provided at the conference?

5.      What should the conference committee know about your visit?

The secondary questionnaires would include the following questions:

1.      Did you enjoy the conference?

2.      Were the conference attendees of the quality you expected?

3.      Were the seminars useful to you?

4.      Did you enjoy the keynote speaker?

5.      Was the meal served adequate?

6.      Would you attend the conference again?

7.      Did the quality of materials provided today meet your expectations?

8.      Did you learn anything new at this conference?

9.      Was this a useful way to spend your day?

10.  Did you hire staff/find prospects today?

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Data collection – Methodology

This questionnaire will be given to every attendee at the conference prior to the last session of the day. We will offer a door prize to be mailed to the winner at a later date in an effort to encourage more people to respond to the questionnaire. To receive the prize, a respondent would have to list their name and address at the top of the questionnaire. This will also assist us in developing a mailing list for the conference next year.

We will have staff move through the crowd as they are leaving, reminding people to turn in their questionnaires via a drop box by the door or by handing them to conference staff. It is anticipated that by offering a random door prize in association with compliance in completing the questionnaire, we should be able to increase the return rate for the questionnaire.

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Sampling plan

As previously discussed, the intention will be reach 100 percent penetration with these questionnaires. We will have two different colors for the surveys so that we may quickly differentiate between presenters and attendees responses.

We will also consider the possibility of conducting a follow up survey via random sampling based on the attendance list. This survey would be conducted via telephone. The secondary survey would only be conducted if the primary survey has an inadequate response. If the secondary survey is necessary, the sampling member would be random, taking every third name on the attendance roster and rotating through the list until a sample of not less than 10 percent nor more than 20 percent is achieved.

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Data Analysis

Once the information is gathered, the first effort will be made to determine if there are consistent groupings of results or an outriders, which are indicative of an extremely dissatisfied (or satisfied) individual.  Once this analysis is complete, each individual question will be evaluated to find the mean and determine where that overall satisfaction levels falls on the continuum scale established in our questions.

For our purposes here, we will be looking at each of the questions individually and then will also be taking a combined average using all of the questions to determine the overall satisfaction with the event. In addition, we will be compiling a list of the anecdotal responses to the questionnaire. These responses will be listed, completely unedited, as feedback for the committee which puts the conference together. Obscene or threatening comments will be deleted as irrelevant.

The questionnaires from the presenters will be analyzed separately, using the same analysis method.

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Timetable and Budget

The initial budget for this project should be less than $250. We anticipate spending $100 to acquire two gift cards to be awarded to two randomly selected persons who return their questionnaires. The additional expenses will be used to develop and print the questionnaires and for computer analysis of the results.

Providing that we receive adequate response numbers from the questionnaires at the conference, it is anticipated that the research report can be delivered within two weeks after the end of the conference with the primary work being conducted the day of the conference.

If the questionnaires do not receive adequate response to provide the market report that we desire, the time table will be extended by two weeks and the budget will be doubled, as the project will suddenly have telephone expenses in addition to the previously outlined expenses.

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Personnel Involved

The personnel involved in this project will be the researcher and all members of the conference staff, who will be asked to remind attendees of the need for the return of questionnaires. Conference personnel will be asked to hand out the questionnaires as part of the attendees registration packet and to collect the questionnaires in the final moments of the conference. In addition, we will ask presenters to remind attendees throughout the conference that they need to turn in their questionnaires.

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Questionnaire

Please complete the following questionnaire and return to conference staff or place in the drop box near the exit. Two prize winners will be drawn at random from those who return the questionnaire.

 

The subjective questions for both questionnaires would be:

1.      What improvements would you like to see made to the conference?

2.      What was the best part of the conference?

3.      What was the worst part of the conference?

4.      Were you satisfied with the opportunities provided at the conference?

5.      What should the conference committee know about your visit?

 

 

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