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NERO Atlanta » Forum » Out of Game Whatnot » OOG NERO Things (Moderator: Knight of Evendarr) » How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.

Author Topic: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.  (Read 1750 times)

Offline Portia Kent

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How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« on: April 14, 2014, 10:47:43 PM »
Ok, so after an event youíre looking to give some input to the game on what your experience was like. You go to the NERO Atlanta site, pull up the Event Feedback form and set to work explaining how the weekend went for you. Itís your opinion so you shouldnít have to censor yourself, right?

On the flip side of the coin, you just ran an event that you spent weeks preparing for. You have worked your tookas off making the perfect text prop and devoted your precious downtime to writing letters, tags, BGA responses. You  spent weeks hunting for recipes that will work with the slew of dietary restrictions the players have and clipped coupons until your hands were covered in newsprint. You cut so many tags, your hands are cramped into a claw shape. So now that the event has passed itís time to read the feedbacks and see what people have to say for your massive efforts, right?

WellÖ yes and no.

Iíve been on both sides of the feedback equation and I assure you, feedback is not always an easy task for those writing or reading it. Heck, Iím sure that anyone who has ever been reviewed at their job can relate. Itís so easy to only see one side of the event as a player and itís just as easy to take it personally when you see negative responses to something you did as a staffer. In light of this, I thought I would share some tips for sending in and responding to issues via the event feedback forms.

Wait before you send it in: Right after an event, both the players and staff are often sleep-deprived and more prickly than usual. A poorly phrased criticism or badly worded legitimate complaint is easily taken the wrong way by anyone under these circumstances. Tempers can run high, especially if you had a negative event, but there is no reason to take your frustration out on the staffers. Chances are they know it didn't go over well and are already disheartened by that. So instead of firing off your verbal vindication right away, type it up and wait to send it in. Hold off until you've calmed down (at least 24 hours), read over it, make changes where you see youíre being overly emotional about things and *then* submit it. Taking a day or two before sending it in isnít going to cause any problems but waiting until you have a level head can save you and others a lot of grief.

Staffers Ė Consider waiting at least 24 hours after an event to read the feedbacks. Get some sleep, chillax and distance yourself from the stress and high emotions that come with working your ass off to facilitate players being entertained for three days. Those feedbacks arenít going anywhere and youíve earned a break.

Think before you speak: As players, sometimes, we forget how rough an event is on the staff. It happens. Even people who have been previously been on plot themselves can forget how soul-crushing a single negative comment can be after a weekend of running yourself ragged and stressing out over how things are going. The way you as a player say things is very important if you want to get people to listen. Just saying ďthat were-chicken plotline ****ing suckedĒ isnít going to do anything but make the plot person feel attacked. Instead try to think of a more tactful way to express yourself, perhaps ďI didnít enjoy my interaction with the were-chicken plot line this weekend.Ē A little tact goes a VERY long way.

The same thing goes for staff Ė Remember that the players are your customers. Even if they are being unreasonable, you are subject to a higher expectation of courteousy and professionalism. If you canít reply in a professional manner, ask someone else on staff to handle it.

Donít let a single moment ruin your perspective: Letís say you didnít get to participate in the were-chickens field battle because you found out you would be targeted by the were-chickens because you had a  were-worm transform and it was decided that it wasnít worth the risk. Thatís rough, but itís not the only thing that happened right? I mean, you got to go on the module to get the Mystic Mud of Noonah that would remove the curse of transformation from the townspeople who were currently laying eggs and trying to peck your friends to death. You also got to speak before the noble court and tell them about the bandits that you and your team took out. Thatís some pretty awesome stuff. Donít sell the good short just because you were frustrated by a single encounter.

Staff Ė Donít focus on the single negative comment or a single dissatisfied player. Take the whole of the feedback into consideration and accept the fact that not everything is going to appeal to everyone. If the majority of the players had a negative reaction to something, then you should consider adjusting it. Otherwise, just try to remember what individual people donít care for and avoid targeting them with it if possible. If the issue isnít a plot item, then just tuck it away for future consideration if it comes up again from other sources.

Remember you may not know everything: Often, plot can get frustrated because PCs hoard information like itís a pile of cash and theyíre Scrooge McDuck.  Or no one actually knows what is going on because it involves a long term storyline and the info hasnít been released yet. You might be frustrated with a delay on replies from a department of staffers. Before you race to deem something as a terrible story/methodology of management, stop and consider if maybe youíre just lacking information.

Staff Ė Before you get upset with a player over an issue brought up in their feedback take a step back and remember that you know way more about what is actually going on than they do. What seems like a common sense perspective to you may seem wildly outrageous to a player because they are not privy to some vital bit of information that you know. The same thing goes both ways; it is possible that the person who held your position previously was aware of something that you donít know. Rather than assuming a player is BSing you or trying to pull a ďmommy-daddyĒ move, ask other staffers if they are aware of the details of the given situation.

Donít just complain, try offer reasonable solutions: If there is a solution to the issues you are having that would improve the game as a whole; speak up! Your suggestions may not be implemented, but you can bet they will get discussed. This goes from plot lines to logistics, tavern and everything in-between. However, donít expect that just because you bring something up, it is going to change. Youíre one out ofÖ wellÖ a lot; what isnít working for you might be fantastic for the rest of the players. As a side note: itís ok to say in your feedback that you donít know how to fix something as long as you are honest about your understanding that it may be a problem without a solution.

Staff Ė Understand that sometimes we as players donít have the answers. People have long said that you shouldnít bring up an issue if you canít offer a solution, but some folks just donít have the right mindset to do so. If itís a legitimate point but they donít offer suggestions, discuss it and see if you can come up with something that works better.

Donít let the drama llama take over: Trust me; no one is intentionally going to try to ruin your event. Itís bad for business and when it comes down to it this is a business. NERO relies on repeat customers to bring in cash so they can continue to operate. Yeah, sometimes people have a personal beef with one another but if you want to avoid drama over an instance where you honestly think you are being unfairly targeted by a member of staff, *calmly* address it with them one on one. You can ask an intermediary to speak to the other person on your behalf if you absolutely cannot reason with them, but make sure that youíre not just gossiping and that you are asking a person who can be level headed about it for you. (Team leaders are a good person to look to in a situation like this.) If you donít get a satisfactory resolution by trying to handle it directly, you need to *privately* take it up with an owner. If the issue is with an owner, go to the other owner for that game if there is one or Ėas a last resort- National. Seriously though, talk to the other person directly; chances are there has been a miscommunication somewhere along the line and you can resolve the issue without involving others. The fewer people you involve, the less drama there will be over it.

Staff Ė This goes back to the whole being professional thing. Donít get offended if someone thinks youíre being unfair, try to figure out why and explain to them calmly and reasonably why you have handled things the way you have. If you take every complaint or unjustified suspicion of bias as a personal accusation against your character you are going to end up feeling like crap for no reason. Just be calm, be reasonable, and try to remedy the situation with the truth of why you are doing things the ways you are.

Put yourself in their shoes: You want to be shown respect, right? Well then you need to show it to others, even if you think they donít deserve it. We are all part of this community and with just a little effort to be nice we can make it so much better for everyone. (Cue the ďKumbayaĒ singers)  Ask yourself how you would feel if someone spoke to you the way you are about to speak to the individual or group you are addressing. If you would be offended (or if you know you have an unusual tolerance for frank discussion) then try to find a better way to express yourself.

Staff Ė Keep in mind that youíre held to a higher standard. You donít deserve abuse, and you shouldnít tolerate it, but you have to consider how you would feel as the customer if you were on the other end of this. What reaction would you expect from the customer service department of a business you frequent? What would you *reasonably* expect them to do if you were the one bringing up a concern?

If you get a response you need to listen: Actually listen; donít try to think about your reply while they are trying to explain their position. If someone has taken the time to contact to you, the least you can do is consider what they have to say. Ask yourself if it is possible that your initial reaction was unfair. Stop and think about all the previous points in this post, apply them to the situation, and *then* reply if it is necessary.

Staff Ė Same thing as the suggestions for the PCs.

And finallyÖ

Donít forget to mention all the awesome things: Seriously, a little praise can mean the world to someone who is reading a series of less than glowing reviews. By highlighting the things you liked you not only lift the spirits of the reader, you also help them understand what is working for the players. A 2011 study published in the Harvard Business Review Press  (ďThe Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement and Creativity at WorkĒ) found that ďthe negative effect of a setback at work on happiness was more than twice as strong as the positive effect of an event that signaled progress.Ē If you recognize the accomplishments as well as the areas which could use some improvement, you will find that people are much more receptive to what you have to say.

Staff Ė Donít forget to give one another feedback as well! If notice someone busting their butt to get stuff done, let them know. Sometimes the praise we receive from our peers carries more weight because they know what it takes to get this stuff done.

Ok, so thatís it. If anyone has other points to add, by all means chime in! (Just be sure to do so in a constructive manner. ;)  )

Offline Ami Aviel

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 03:24:46 AM »
I feel like this should be in the rule book. Well said!

Offline Shane Wiley

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 04:02:36 AM »
Some great points and very well thought out.
Baron Daimos Namyrien Marlowe D'Eit
Baron of Faradhen
Knight Eternal of the Former Knights D'Eit

Offline Xenael

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 08:09:46 AM »
Why am I worried about were-chickens now?

Offline moonseeker

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 11:07:31 AM »
I can't even say how much I love this.   :smitten:  This is a thing of Beauty.


PS Can I spread this all over the LARP community?  All credit will come back to you.
Speaker of the circle of Serenity, Everwood on Mischief Isle
Mistress of the Mystic Arts
Traveler from the Wood
Member of UhgOok Tribe, Half Orcs of Blackwell

Offline Portia Kent

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 12:12:08 PM »
Thanks guys! Go for it, Diana!

And we should *ALWAYS* fear the were-chickens. Always.
Portia Kent

Offline vmdelbridge

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 12:35:58 PM »
It's like Trevor always says/sings:

"I've got...two chickens to paralyze!"
Victoria Delbridge
NERO Atlanta Story
NERO National Story

Offline eldorn50

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 05:05:54 PM »
Sounds great, and this should apply to ALL Forums and conversations!!! :pals:

Offline Kylyn Elenath

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 06:14:27 PM »
Wonderfully written!
Actually, can we make this post sticky? I feel it would be a huge benefit and fantastic reminder.

Thanks for writing this Katie  :thumb:

~Lady Kylyn Elenath d'Eit
Barony of Martalya, County of Araman
Knight Protector of the Order d'Eit

Offline Jay Vasseur

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 10:02:02 PM »
Very well thought out Katie. I agree 1000%.

When Bill and I were running Nero Detroit we would beg for feedback. Especially what people didn't like, so long as it was put properly and not whining/ criticism.  You can't address it if you don't know about it. That being said, it's equally important to point out the good. Give credit where credit is due. Most players don't understand the amount of effort that goes into each event.  There's little worse then busting your butt and getting little to no feedback. It leaves you guessing as to how it was received. 

Player recognition as just as important. We used to have a feedback form on the forum so it was public. One of the questions was, "What was your favorite thing another PC did" (something to that effect) When someone had a great RP moment, etc. and was acknowledged for it after the event, it motivated them to strive to achieve that again.

All in all Katie, reading your post proves again that we have found a home in Atlanta.

Jay Vasseur

Offline Rileena

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 02:08:49 PM »
My first larp had this system where there was a reward for filling out the event feedback.. I can't remember exactly what (it was a million years ago) but some sort of numerical incentive. They also did rewards - everyone voted for their top 3 favourite mods and  the best three role-players - winners won a small number of the equivalent of build points.

Perhaps a competition for best role-players with a goblin point award would encourage people to get into and stay in character... and also fill out their feedback forms? :)

Offline Portia Kent

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 06:19:09 PM »
I believe you get goblin for filling out the feedback form. I could be wrong.
Portia Kent

Offline Uraak

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Re: How to Effectively Write and Review Event Feedback.
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 04:27:13 PM »
Will defiantly give my feed back at the end of the Event! :tan: 


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