Sunday, July 31, 2016

Anonymity vs. Tracking Responses

anonymous person

There is a lot to lose and a lot to gain by tracking responses. We have the ability to track responses—i.e., in a testing mode for continuing education, or to identify the winners in a product knowledge or trivia game.

In some applications tracking is necessary, or fun in a contest, and in others it is deadly. The difference between the two determines how candid and honest the responses will be. Neither is wrong; they are just very different.

A typical meeting process asks attendees for a few demographics such as identifying their job description, geographic location and number of years of service. The goal is to ask just enough to gain useful information without the attendees feeling that you are tracking them. The decision relates to your goals and how knowing if your culture is open and trusting.

If they are being tracked, or think they are, the responses will be different than when they are not. At an American auto manufacturing union meeting there was no trust that the responses were not being tracked. An attendee told me he believed that even the company paper and pencil surveys had special invisible identifying code numbers. At the meeting we asked the audience to exchange voting devices with each other and to sit with us watching the voting come in.

Here is another case in which a Fortune 500 client asked one question and launched a new product. At a meeting of their customers in Paris, a client was wondering about launching a new companion product to an existing device. They had not considered directly asking the question. It was not something they would ask face-to-face. If asked, their customers who were their guests at the event might not answer honestly. In addition, it would be rude to ask. We advised them that the Quick Tally ARS provided their clients with the ability to respond anonymously, truthfully and without any pressure. They asked one question and in less than one minute, a new product was launched.


With over 30 years of experience in helping clients achieve their meetings goals. I am passionate about the power of insight. If I can help your firm discover this power, please contact me.

Alan Warshaw
President
Quick Tally® Interactive Systems, Inc.
Direct Dial: 310.306.4930


About Me

After graduating from New York University with a degree in Communications, Alan attended the New School for Social Research, Graduate School at N.Y.U. and the Master’s Program in Cinema at U.C.L.A. Following his service in the U.S. Army, Alan was employed by Doyle, Dane and Burnbach Advertising Agency. He worked in the U.S. and Europe in the feature motion picture production business. He was employed by Quick Tally Interactive Systems for one year prior to acquiring the company. He has owned and run the company for almost three decades and has pioneered in the manufacturing of ARS equipment and providing interactive event services. In addition to US State and Federal Government Agencies, America's leading companies, associations and television networks, he has also worked for events clients in the EU, New Zealand, Hong Kong Thailand and Dubai.