Thank you for your support of our second Fall Festival in Savannah, GA. Feedback through an online survey was solicited from all those who participated and your comments and suggestions will again be taken into account as we roll out future Fall Festivals.
So how did we do? Here’s what you said…
The first big question was not on the survey, and it was voted on by your attendance. Would the District come out again for another Festival in a coastal city? After all, it wasn’t that different from Charleston. Or had the novelty worn off?
Well registrations were good – 304 for Savannah versus 318 for Charleston. When you compare this to the District’s first convention after we formed and our second full-contest convention, these numbers look great.
So what are the details?
Only one overall survey was run based on last years finding that there was no discernible difference in perspective between the participant as performer versus attendee. The total number responding was 88 compared to last year’s 31 to the Performer survey and 36 to the Attendee.
Let’s address the last, and overriding question, first–Would participants attend another same-concept Fall Festival? The answer is again a resounding yes with 90% agreeing as compared to 91% of attendees last year. This affirms the concept remains sound, and we have a green light to continue planning this type of activity for the foreseeable future.
Last year’s problem with the quality and value of the meals seems to be resolved. Attendees registered a 74% satisfaction level with the catering Saturday night versus the 54% level of dissatisfaction last year.
One comment said “Again very reasonable, very good food and very good venue. It is nice to have dinner and then be there for the show.”
This good feeling about meal quality was also reflected in the ratings for the President’s Circle BBQ 83% and the Riverboat Cruise 95%. As to the type of dinner that was preferred, the ‘plated meal with limited selection’ was the top choice with ‘buffet-style’ a close second, a reversal in the rankings from last year. The “eat on my own” choice was again a distant fourth.
Another aspect I should point out is the number of meal and tour activities the District ran increased from one (the dinner-show) in Charleston to four in Savannah (the cruise, BBQ, trolley tour and dinner-show). While these aren’t universally attended (nor should they be — a fully inclusive event allows for choice to do other things), it is now shown that they are accepted and expected as part of the Festival experience by a significant portion of attendees. The trick is knowing how to plan them so they are scaleable with the demand.
We succeeded in each of these in Savannah and plan a similar slate of activities in Asheville.
As for the show itself, the entertainment value got high marks: 99% were satisfied with the variety of performers on the show, matching last year’s rating. As for show length, 76.1% thought it was just right, versus last year’s 82.4% of attendees and 66.7% of performers. As to starting it earlier, say during dessert, again it was a resounding ‘No” by 87%, compared to last year’s 76% of attendees and 55% of performers. One comment said:”Singing against meals being served and eaten has never worked!”
Ironically, an area that changed significantly in the survey was “How did you hear about the Festival?” Promotion emails as the source dropped by 21%, despite the fact that twice as many emails were sent this year. Also surprising was an increase by nearly 10 percentage points for the web site being the source of information. One explanation is that the Constant Contact emails, with their high-quality finish, branding and seamless linkage to the Constant Contact reservation system were interpreted by receivers to be District web-site products. The promotional video again got high marks with 99% versus last year’s 97% effectiveness rating from attendees and 100% from performers. Those areas that were performed by volunteers also received stellar ratings. The registration process for the convention got a 92% approval rating versus 91% last year. The satisfaction with the availability and cost of hotels however dropped to 72% versus 91% last year. Satisfaction with the sound system for contest also dropped considerably to 43% versus last year’s 91% by performers and 100% by attendees. This dissatisfaction tracked with the use of the Elk’s Lodge as a contest venue, which came in at 50% versus the 91% approval for last year’s church.
While on the subject of the contest, Larry Reinhart and his team did an awesome job given the constraints. The overall pacing of the contest received 95% and the use of the audience to judge the entertainment scored 96%. The Afterglow at the lodge (note this was not a C&J activity) scored 79%, the same score as by attendees in Charleston last year. The sound system, however, had a 58% dissatisfaction level.
Receiving the highest marks across the board were those statements relating to Saturdays coaching, both by the judging staff and District resources.
Satisfaction with the program and coaches was a whopping 100%.
One comment said “Absolutely awesome. We had Gary Plaag for presentation and he is outstanding. We’re looking forward to seeing him for coaching in HU ’16 again”.
New this year was an offering of classes. These had satisfaction ratings ranging from 95% for “Be the Best Singer you Can Be” to 71% for “AHSOW”.
‘Barbershop in the Park’ again received a strong endorsement with 94% saying we should do it again as compared to 97% last year. “Fun for the quartet” received the highest mark of 93% (88% last year).
Finally, there was some concern about designing a ‘traveling convention’ with venues and lodging at different locations. While this was not considered ideal, it was tolerated fairly well, but we did see some erosion in support. Attendees agreed 79% that they are “OK with a little travel” compared to 88% last year. They are almost equally disposed to having everything under one roof with 80% this year as compared to 76% of attendees last year.
One comment said “May not always [need to] be in a touristy/destination. Could also be at sites with art centers/museums, great parks or sports venues, etc.”
The complete results are presented here. All are from the SurveyMonkey software that the District subscribes to. The surveys over the two years were virtually identical allowing for data comparison to view trends. The Summaries are exports to excel and the results are aggregated and highlighted in yellow with dissatisfied and very dissatisfied show as Dissatisfied and the others, including neutral, shown as Satisfied. The Summary scores from last year in Charleston are shown in pink.
Thank you for participating in the survey and for reviewing its results. If anyone would like access to the survey raw data, please let me know.