Close the loop!

If your association does a call for presentations for any of your events, do you provide feedback to those submitters whose presentations were not accepted? Or do you simply send a generic “Thanks for applying but your presentation was not accepted” note? If you’re not providing feedback on WHY the presentation was rejected, you’re missing an opportunity to educate your audience and help them improve their submissions next time.

I recently served in a volunteer capacity evaluating submissions for a technology conference. There were over 200 submissions received, with fewer than 60 sessions being selected. Several times the committee agreed that a particular session would be more appropriate for a different conference hosted by the same association. But when I inquired if this feedback would be shared with the applicants who were being rejected, I was told no.

I understand it takes more time and effort to explain why a session proposal was rejected, as compared to just sending a generic rejection letter. But providing no feedback at all simply frustrates the submitter (“What was wrong with my application?”) and your organization is missing a tremendous opportunity to help improve applications over time.

Close the loop! Help educate your submitters!

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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