The E-Team leaders have spent the past week or two going over the details of the evaluations from Extravaganza 2016 in Anaheim. I wanted to follow up with what we learned from this year’s evals.
First, thank you very much to those who took the time to fill out the evaluation forms. The full evaluation report is (10 point font, Ariel) 46 pages long. That’s a ton of data. And we’re grateful. We’ve gone over every numerical answer, and every comment.
225 of you filled out the evaluation form, which represents a 33% return rate, which is a fantastic rate of return for an event like ours. It reminds all of us that people who participate in the Extravaganza really care about this event. It is important, and people want to see it continue to get better and better. It reminds us that tending the E is a trust that we take very seriously.
Looking at the results, clearly we had a great event together in Anaheim. I’ll summarize some of the data:
- One of the key questions we look at is the first question asked: Would you recommend the Extravaganza to a friend? There are two ways that we examine this data.
- The answers to this question form what’s called a “Net Promoter Score,” (NPS) which is a way to evaluate how people feel about this event. A NPS can range from -100 to +100. Anything above zero is considered good. Above 50 is considered excellent and above 70 is unbelievable. The E this year scored 77. We’re very, very happy with this score!
- The other way is to look at the average score on a scale of 1-10. Ext16’s average score on this question was 9.34, which is the highest score we’ve ever had.
Clearly, this was a great event! Thank you to all of you who were a part of it, and helped make it that way!
- Another very important question for us is “Was this event worth the money spent?” We know that this is a big investment for many, and the E team works hard to make sure that there is good value. Again, in 2016, we scored the highest in our history on this question. The average response was 9.45. We’re glad that people felt this event was financially “worth it.”
- All of the other major program areas were also evaluated, and we were very grateful for very good scores across the board. Another score that really stood out was the score for how well the Hyatt in Anaheim worked. Here, we also received the highest score on this question in our history. The Hyatt scored 9.4. And we agree. Our experience there was very, very good. We’re actually in conversation with them about bringing the E back there again at some point in the future.
- The last numerical question is also one that we look at. It is “I will be back next year.” 173 responded: “Count me in!” 48 said “I might take a year or two off” and 4 said “No chance.” Of those 4, 3 indicated it was because of scheduling conflicts, or “I’m having a baby right before that.” We’ll accept that excuse!
The comments are always the most interesting parts of the evaluations to read. And again, we’re grateful for the time people took to share their thoughts. Some general themes emerged that were very helpful for the planning team to be made aware of.
- People generally loved our worship and general sessions. We live right in the middle of the “music” opinions. Some people really love hymns. Some like contemporary worship music, and some really love camp-type songs. Likewise, some people liked the various version of the creed, the prayers and the words of institution…other people, not so much. We tried for a variety this year and it appears that generally that was effective, though some people clearly wanted more of one of the other styles. We’ll keep working on balancing the desires for the familiar and the new, the contemporary and the traditional.
- Workshops were well received. As always, we have some that were stronger than others. Some comments were made that some of the workshop descriptions really didn’t align with what actually happened in the workshops. We’ll continue to work at this to help workshop leaders accurately describe what participants will experience.Our philosophy of workshops is simple: We hope to present the best, cutting edge thinking on children, youth and family ministry as possible. We also hope to continue to raise up new leadership for the mission of the church. And so we are willing to give people, some of whom are doing workshops for the very first time, an opportunity to lead. And we pass along the evaluations and feedback for them so that they can grow in their leadership.
- People loved Anna Madsen. That was clear. There were many positive comments on her presentation.
- Some people didn’t like that the E fell over Super Bowl weekend. I get that. When we negotiate, we give the hotels a “window” of weekend between Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, and President’s weekend (not including the weekends.) Then we work to find the weekend that gives the best prices and the most value. We too would prefer that it were not Super Bowl weekend, (it winds up being a 6 hour time-suck in our schedule) but sometimes it makes too much financial sense to do it then. Next year, we’re not over Super Bowl weekend.
- The issue of race and ethnicity continues to come up in evaluations. Some people thought that we had made good progress in increasing the level of diversity in the event, and others thought we have a long way to go. 11.2% of Extravaganza registrants self-identified as people of color, which is a dramatic increase from previous years. And the Network is working to increase the diversity of its leadership among all of our teams. And we’ve made some progress in this.Please know that this is an area of growth that the Network is committed to, and that we continue to make progress.
- It was mentioned, and we know, that the way the Exhibit space is laid out wasn’t ideal. But it’s the best we could do given the hotel’s space constraints. We’ve already made it clear with the Hyatt that if we’re back there, we’d need a different space configuration to make the exhibit space flow better.
- Even though it’s not directly “E” related, lots of people were very excited about the new MartinsList.org. So are we!
Those were the general themes we heard. Of course, there was much, much more. And as I said, we will go over and learn from every comment.
Thanks again for your willingness to share your thoughts, feelings and ideas about the E. And thanks for caring about this event, and ultimately this community, gathered together in the name of Jesus Christ.
I am grateful for your patience as we have worked out our housing crunch. As I’ve said, “it’s a great problem…but still a problem.” I’m sorry that we weren’t able to get you into the Hyatt Regency. We overflowed our original contracted number of rooms and because of a large, city wide convention that is in town while we are, the hotel was not able to give us more rooms. In fact we checked the hotels around the Hyatt and they were all sold out. But I think we have a solution that will work well.
You will be housed for the Extravaganza at the newly renovated “Hyatt House” hotel. For more information on the hotel, please go to: http://cypressanaheim.house.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-cypressanaheim-house/index.jsp?null.
There is a little bit of “bad news” and a lot of “good news.”
The bad news:
The hotel is approximately a 15 minute drive away from the Hyatt.
The good news:
- They matched the Hyatt rate of $129
- The hotel provides a complimentary full breakfast daily (that looks really good…I may just cruise over there to eat with you!)
- They are providing transportation back and forth (including renting a coach bus to make the runs)
- The rooms are “suite” rooms that have kitchenettes.
While I know that it’s always preferable to be in the hotel where the event is hosted, this is our best possible solution. Our Hospitality Team will be working on ways to make all of you feel as connected as possible to the event.
What we need you to do now:
If you received the e-mail with this same information on it, you need to do nothing. You have a reservation. If you did not receive an email, then let me know. Email me at email@example.com and give me your name, arrival and departure dates, and roommate (if any.) If you have a reservation, and for some reason you no longer need it, please let me know as soon as possible.
I’m copying here the tentative shuttle schedule, just so you have it. It may change slightly. If so, we will note that.
Thanks again for your patience! We’re excited for the Extravaganza and hope that you are too!
(We will also have our Hospitality Team mini van ‘on call’ in case of last minute transportation needs.)
|Thursday||11:30am||From Hyatt House to Hyatt||ICC participants||Hyatt House Shuttle|
|Thursday||9:30pm||From Hyatt to Hyatt House||ICC participants & early arrivers||Hyatt House Shuttle|
|Friday||8:15am||From Hyatt House to Hyatt||ICC participants||Hyatt House Shuttle|
|Friday||11:15am||From Hyatt House to Hyatt||General Participants||Hyatt House Shuttle|
|Friday||6:15pm||From Hyatt House to Hyatt||General Participants||Coach Bus|
|Friday||10:30pm||From Hyatt to Hyatt House||General Participants||Coach Bus (or 2)|
|Saturday||8:10am||From Hyatt House to Hyatt||General Participants||Coach Bus (2)|
|Saturday||10:00pm||From Hyatt to Hyatt House||General Participants||Coach Bus (2)|
|Sunday||8:10am||From Hyatt House to Hyatt||General Participants||Coach Bus (2)|
|Sunday||10:00pm||From Hyatt to Hyatt House||General Participants||Coach Bus (2)|
|Monday||12:00pm||From Hyatt to Hyatt House||Participants who are staying over||Hyatt House Shuttle|
It’s a great problem! But it’s still a little bit of a problem. We’re approaching “crunch-zone” for housing at the Hyatt in Anaheim for the Extravaganza. I’m hearing from some folks in the last day or two who are having difficulty booking rooms at the hotel.
When we sign a contract with the hotel, they give us a certain number of rooms for each night, and we guarantee the hotel a certain number of rooms sold. The hotel gives us a certain number of rooms with a king bed, and a certain number with 2 double beds.
We still haven’t gone over our number of rooms available for each night. However, some folks are having trouble because of requesting a certain kind of room. (For example, you might be planning on staying 5 nights. However if you request a room with a king bed, and there are no king beds available for one of those 5 nights, then the reservation won’t work.)
Normally, if we hear about these glitches, we can call the hotel and they can adjust our inventory for us with no problem.
The folks we work with at the hotel are “off” through Christmas, and so we will be on the phone with them on Wednesday the 26th to see what we need to adjust. In the meantime, if you’re having trouble booking a room, please be patient. We’ll get it all figured out next week or for certain, right after New Year’s.