Thank you to everyone who participated in our first end of year BioBuzz member survey. We’ve gone through the survey in detail and are using all of your feedback and suggestions to help us improve and expand the BioBuzz group this coming year. I’ve summarized some of the survey results and feedback below for everyone to view and comment on.
Congratulations also to the following BioBuzzers on winning the drawing for the $15 Starbucks gift card for participating in the survey!
• Susan Foertsch, Business Development at ImQuest BioSciences
• Alex Laufer, Lab Manager at J. Craig Venter Institute
• Jason Rifken, Owner of Equilibrium
• Kenny Yeh, Principal Scientist at Midwest Research Institute
• Zain Bengali, Scientist at Intrexon
Before I begin, I’d like to say that this survey was very fundamental and therefore the results and/or analysis should not be held to the same scientific or professional standard that most of our group may be used to. That being said, I was pleased with the feedback and the valuable information that we learned through the results.
Starting logically with the question of, “How have people found out about the BioBuzz events?”; the survey results showed that most people hear about the events from three main sources. First, at 38.2% was friends or colleagues spreading the word and recommending BioBuzz, followed by an email announcement from us, a sponsor or partner at 26.4%, and then through LinkedIn which accounted for 17.6%. Word of mouth still seems to be the best way to get the buzz out, so keep spreading the word. We have tried to be considerate with our email invitations and announcements by limiting them to no more than once per week whenever possible. This wasn’t in the survey, however; I would love to know how many emails is too much for you to receive from us. Please share if you don’t mind, otherwise I’ll include it next year. I hope that with word of mouth and our growing LinkedIn group it will become easier to scale back our email invitations even more.
When it comes to the actual BioBuzz events themselves, once people came out to an event almost everyone has been interested in attending again (95%). In fact, in regards to the number of events that respondents have attended over the past two years; 17.6% have been to over six (6) events, 35.2% have been to between three and five (3-5) events, and 26% have been to at least two (2). I’m glad to see that so many people keep coming back each and every month. Truth be told, I don’t think we really needed a survey to tell us that; especially after seeing the crowds of around 100 that came out to the last two events.
One important factor we wanted to learn about our members was why people attend, and keep attending the BioBuzz events. Our survey produced the following as the top four most important reasons that members attend, and they were pretty much in line with our initial thoughts. The top four reasons that people attend were;
1. To Socialize
2. Interest in Sponsor
3. Networking for clients/customers
4. Networking for job opportunities
Since socializing and interest in our Sponsors were clearly at the top of the list, we’re going to do our best to add a few additional social events to the schedule in 2012, and will work to engage more sponsors who are of interest to you so that we can continue to bring something valuable to the group. On the topic of socializing, 70% responded with interest in other social events similar to the Movie Night. When asked about what other events members would be interested in; “Networking or Career Seminars” actually got the highest response, followed by “Brunch or Lunch Networking Events” and then “Charity Events”. The good news is that we have plans to include all of these in our plans for this year (more info to follow in the near future). Having another Movie Night also got great response so that too is something we’ll bring back this year. The other suggestions for a Nationals Game, Capitals Game, and Bowling Night scored right in the middle for level of interest, and another suggestion was submitted for a happy hour at the Science Club in DC. We’ll try to implement as many of these suggestions as possible, but I can definitely tell you that the Charity Event and Brunch/Lunch events will part of the program this year.
As we start moving through a new year and exploring how we can grow the group, we were very interested to see what additional services/benefits members would have interest in adding to BioBuzz? We found that of the categories we provided, there was a positive degree of interest in each one listed below. I am pleased to announce that we intend to implement most of these for the group throughout the year, starting in February with the launch of a BioBuzz website. We may need some help and additional ideas on implementing the others so please give us your suggestions and help where you can.
Below are the results, listed in order of interest level.
1. Job opening announcements
2. A BioBuzz Website
3. Personal & Corporate press announcements
4. Additional sponsorship opportunities
5. Preferred provider discounts and/or services
Other suggestions that came in were to share an informal survey or feedback from sponsors as to how an event met their expectations and what benefits they saw from sponsoring, as well as providing presentation and speaking opportunities to our members. Please let us know if these last two, or others, would also be of interest to you.
Overall, it was a very informative survey that shed some valuable light into the group for us. It’s nice to see that so many people are engaged in the group and have some good ideas for the coming year. Please keep the feedback and suggestions coming in all year long. We want the group to grow in a way that continues to keep true to what our members are after, and we can’t do that without you letting us know. Feel free to contact me directly or submit suggestions and topics to the group to comment on in the LinkedIn group.
Thanks again, and I’ll see you all at the February BioBuzz!