Connections - Winter 2015 - (Page 30)

Good data is a good thing. Understanding what the data say, if anything, is even better. Most casual follow-up surveys (i.e., those where the survey is distributed to everyone, and some respond back, but most do not) have no real statistical validity. This is because only the folks who really have a strong opinion are the ones who respond. Those of us who don't have time or have no strong opinion- presumably a substantial portion-don't respond to such surveys. All of our data are missed. To be statistically valid, a survey has to be taken from a sufficient random sample drawn from the population. Inspiring History . . . Unforgettable Hospitality Historical Meetings Start Here. It's not a huge undertaking, just an extra step or two- but well worth it to provide good data. I've learned that presenting survey results-even statistically valid ones-to a committee can be a tricky business. I used to present the whole survey results, the numerical data and the comments, to groups all at once, but noticed something odd going on. The members of the committee would go right to the comments section like rubberneckers at a car wreck, overlooking the valid numbers, and honing in on some quirky comment. I've seen this happen even with groups of scientists and numbers people. I once managed an association that had an annual meeting of over 8,000. Our follow-up survey was thorough, and the numbers indicated that no one was interested in whether we offered a particular special amenity at the conference; however, one responder asked for it in the comments section. The board honed in on that one comment, and we ended up spending thousands of dollars for a couple of years providing the unused service until we finally discontinued it. Nowadays, I always provide the numerical data from a survey first without the comments attached. Later I provide the comments well after we've digested the numbers, and then only in compiled form (how many said this, and how many said that). The one-off comments then lose their undue attraction. Good data is a good thing. Understanding what the data say, if anything, is even better. Index of Advertisers/ ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT COMPANIES AMD Group �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12 www�boxwoodtech�com CONFERENCE AND CONVENTION CENTERS Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart �������������������Inside Front Cover www�AtlConventionCenter�com Macon - Bibb County CVB ������������������������������������������������������������������������28 www�maconga�org/meeting-planner 770-427-2500 646626_Hilton.indd 1 7/2/13 2:39 PM Thank you to the advertisers who helped make this publication possible! 30 Winter 15 CONFERENCE CENTERS Anderson Conference Center������������������������������������������� Inside Back Cover www�andersonconferencecenter�com CONVENTION & VISITOR BUREAUS Valdosta Lowndes CVB �����������������������������������������������������������������������������28 www�rainwaterconferencecenter�com Visit Savannah �������������������������������������������������������������� Outside Back Cover www�SavannahMeetings�com HOTELS & RESORTS Belmond Charleston Place������������������������������������������������������������������������27 www�CharlestonPlaceMeetings�com BEST WESTERN PLUS Cedar Bluff Inn �����������������������������������������������������16 www�bwcedarbluff�com Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center ��������������������������������� 30 www�atlantamarietta�hilton�com PRINTING & PUBLISHING Naylor Association Solutions ����������������������������������������������������������������������4 www�naylor�com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Winter 2015

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
Improve Outcomes with Data-Driven Decisions
Member Surveys: Getting Back to Basics
Your Data Tells You What Members Want; Use It
Hacking for Your Mission
GSAE Presents Annual Awards
GSAE events
Destination Planner: Meet Charleston
Choices: The Data Are In?
Index of Advertisers

Connections - Winter 2015