Evaluation of LIFT06: can we measure the impact of conferences?

April 27, 2006 at 7:16 pm 1 comment

I’ve just finished a very interesting project – the evaluation of the impact of the LIFT06 conference that took place in Geneva in February 2006. In a true open source spirit, the evaluation report is available for everyone to consult. With this evaluation, we tried to go beyond the standard assessment of reactions to a conference. We looked at changes to knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. Using a triangulation approach combining quantitative and qualitative research methods, I believe we could identify the influence of LIFT06 on these above variables. We were aware of the limitations to the evaluation given that it was a punctual evaluation and based largely on self-assessment of attitudinal and behavioural changes, which I explain here in the report.

What sort of changes could we identify?

Changes to awareness and attitudes: Through and online survey, the majority of attendees (82%) agreed that LIFT06 provided them with interesting information on the usage of emerging technologies and 70% agreed that LIFT06 influenced what they thought about the subject. This quote taken from an attendee’s blog illustrates this point:

“And just think; if I had never gone to Lift06 I would not be feeling anything like this strongly about the issue”

Changes to Behavior: Evaluations of conferences are rarely able to show a direct relation between the event and changes in behaviour of attendees. With LIFT06, some attendees indicated a change in behaviour, such as starting a blog or getting a new partnership. another key objective of LIFT06 was to “connect” people – 94% of attendees reported that they met new people at LIFT06.

Entry filed under: Conference / event evaluation, PR evaluation, Training evaluation.

Online Surveys and Best Practices Training and innovative evaluation

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