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You are all set. The questions in your research questionnaire look just fine and there are enough of them so all is well but is it?

What happens when your intended respondent receives the questionnaire? What will their reaction be and will they even complete the set of questions for you?

Having helped a number of students with thinking about their questionnaires and having received a number of questionnaires (not just from students) there are some key areas that are worthy of some extra time before you even approach your respondents.

Be On Time

For me there is nothing worse than agreeing to answer a survey and then finding after 10 minutes or so that I have absolutely no idea how much more time will be involved. It is so frustrating and at this point I may well just decide not to bother completing it.

Now there will be people that say” it’ll only take 10 minutes” and if that is the case then great but if you know it is more likely to take 25 minutes then just say so.

I can then decide if I want to spend that much of my time working for you (which is effectively what I would be doing).

Far too many people choose a short time scale in the hope that once started people will carry on and continue.

I would prefer you tell me the accurate timescale so I know what I have signed up for.

Why Me?

Why have you sent this questionnaire to me? Am I really the respondent that you want? Will I actually help your overall research findings?

If you are looking at just event planners then don’t send your questionnaires to event suppliers.

Whilst it is obvious there can be a tendency to approach as many people as possible to ensure you obtain that all important number of responses that you need. But, could that mean your research is not as strong as it could be?

Just be really clear on why you are sending the questionnaire to the people you are. The more you focus on this aspect, the better your results will be.

In My Shoes

My life as a busy event professional is just that. It is busy.

So here my advice is to think about how you can make the life of your target respondent less stressed especially as you are in effect asking them for a favour.

Just make sure all the links (where applicable) work. Ask yourself is there any ambiguity in your questions. Have you written a short introductory paragraph explaining the value of your research and why you need my help?

But, above all remember that I need to know when you need the responses back by, so please don’t give another urgent deadline to comply with.

Three Top Tips

Be honest about the time your questionnaire will take to complete.

Send your questionnaires only to your target group.

Don’t give the busy event professional another urgent deadline.


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