On Saturday night we held an informal No Brand Con meeting to review the attendee surveys from 2009. I know it's been a while since the last con, but this is when we had time to actually sift through the feedback. As always though, this event is one that's occasionally just as entertaining as it is informative. We also decided to review surveys going all the way back to 2006 for comparison (since we had them there) to look how reviews had changed over the years.
Now don't get me wrong, a good chunk of the surveys included valuable feedback which we'll take to heart. Some of it was praise, but we also value the criticism too. This is how we learn, this is how we improve, and this is how we adapt to move forward. Our main focus is, and always has been, to provide the most positive experience for as many people as we can.
There are always bizarre conflicts in what people want which will never cease to amuse me. For instance, it seems no matter what we do with the dance, we will make SOMEONE unhappy. The Too Long/Too Short moment in the comic frame for today is taken from real surveys. I think at this point Katie has crafted the dance into something quite good, but the goal has changed from "make everyone happy" to "make the fewest people unhappy" which is a little disheartening. But even this is information we need to hear, as it helps us understand the interests of the congoers.
Well, the guy who complained there were too many people at the dance isn't one I'm going to worry about though... that's the kind of problem I'm okay with.
And then there are the not so helpful surveys.
By this I mean ones where the entire thing is just filled with "Your mom" jokes. Some were just random scribbles. I think one just said in giant letters "Oh god I'm on fire." I was actually surprised that we didn't run across one with a picture of male genitalia drawn on it. I honestly want to know what these people were thinking when they did this?
I guess when part of your attendee base includes teenagers, you get what you get.
...although I highly suspect Peso himself might have filled out some of those surveys.
In the end, the evening was productive. It's true that the two ends of the spectrum who fill these out are the completely satisfied and the severely unsatisfied, but the information on most of the surveys is invaluable to us.
Except that guy who wrote the "your mom" jokes. Those haven't been funny since 1993.