Survey questions at an exhibition: 7 do’s and don’ts

Specific survey questions enable you to get to know your customers better. However, developing a good questionnaire is harder than it seems

Survey questions at an exhibition: 7 do’s and don’ts

An exhibition is a perfect occasion for market research. Exposers meet a lot of customers. By asking specific questions you will discover their needs. However, developing a good questionnaire is harder than it seems. That’s why we come up with 7 do’s and don’ts for the perfect survey.

Sales is a strange profession. You don’t need to come up with the best solution, to attract customers. Customers must feel you offer the best solution. For this, you must anticipate their needs. What are important values for them? What problems do they face? What ‘triggers’ them to purchase a product?

At an exhibition you meet many potential customers in a relatively short period of time. It’s a gold mine for valuable information for example about your products, organization and stand. As long as you don’t ask things, you won’t get an answer. How can you make sure your visitors fill out your survey?

Below you will find 7 tips for developing a good questionnaire.

1. Drawing up survey questions: What do you need to know?

Answering questions should only take a few minutes. Time is scarce and they probably prefer to do something else. For this reason this process should be simplified. Only ask what’s strictly necessary.

In advance you must determine what is essential information. A questionnaire should consist of max. 8 questions and should definitely include essential questions. The questionnaire should– preferably – fit on 1 page. A good reason for visitors to fill it out.

2. Ask short, specific questions

If a visitor is faced with long questions, he won’t probably read them. We recommend to ask short, specific, clear questions of max. 20 words allowing a short answer. Multiple-choice questions simplify the process for visitors. However, don’t give too much options, as most visitors will probably drop out. Also avoid answers which resemble each other. If people start doubting, they usually skip the question.

3. Add short instructions to the survey

You can either ask questions personally, or have visitors fill out a survey. If you prefer the last option, you should add a short instruction to avoid indistinctness.

Explain participants how they can answer questions and the number of answers they can choose from. Are they allowed to fill it out anonymously? Emphasize it, to convince doubting visitors.



4. Offer extra space for remarks and suggestions

Most visitors prefer closed, multiple-choice questions. You should, however, offer the possibility to add remarks, suggestions or additions. If people take time to write something down, it usually brings valuable information.

5. Start your questionnaire with opinions

Would you like to know where a visitor comes from and in which line of business he/she works? This shouldn’t be your first question, as visitors usually drop out. We recommend to start by asking their opinion. Everyone loves to be heard.

Ask important, essential questions at the end of the survey, or scan their badge if you use a digital questionnaire.

6. Test your survey questions

What might be completely clear to you, doesn’t have to be clear to people who fill out your questionnaire. For this reason, you should test your questions before asking them to visitors, to avoid indistinctness.

Also pay attention to one-sided, leading and too distinct questions. Over-simplified questions evoke new questions. In that case you’d better formulate it differently.

The order of questions is important as well. You can lead people (unconsciously) towards a certain direction, “forcing” them to give answers you’d like to hear. This might be good for your ego, but doesn’t bring objective information.

7. Reward visitors who fill out the questionnaire

A visitor will be more willing to fill out a questionnaire if he is rewarded. For this reason you should consider to give a reward to anyone filling out your survey. By rewarding them they will usually take more time to fill it out, which brings more and better information.

Survey questions at an exhibition, this is how it works!

Successful selling is all about getting to know your customers. If you know what inspires them and what’s important for them, you can better anticipate it. At an exhibition you meet a lot of customers in a relatively short period of time. A perfect occasion for market research.

Visitors don’t like filling out questionnaires, especially if it takes a lot of time or if they are complicated. Make use of the tips in this article, develop an effective questionnaire and get to know your customers better. It will be a positive contribution to your product and marketing.

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