Following the 2015 CSGN Forum, a short survey was sent out to delegates to gain feedback on how they found the event. This information is used to help us continue to develop future events. We have been very encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve been receiving informally, and so we were pleased to see that the survey feedback echoes much of what we were being told.
We have compiled a brief report that provides an overview of the results.
More information about the 2015 CSGN Forum can be found along with our videos of the keynote speaker presentations.
CSGN Forum 2015 Feedback Survey Results
The 2015 CSGN Forum took place this year on 3rd June. It was the 5th Forum and like previous events was free to attend. The location was the Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh and it was the second time it has been held at this venue.
A total of 225 people attended and were sent a follow-up email requesting delegates to provide their feedback regarding the event using an online survey form. The text below summarises the findings from this survey.
Background and Administration
A total of 75 people answered the survey, a positive a response rate of well over one-third of all attendees. This indicates the high level of interest people have in green infrastructure.
The majority of people (9 out of 10) had positive experiences in terms of the pre-event booking and also registering. This is similar to last year. This tells us that the online administration is performing well. Also similar to last year, just one respondent was less than satisfied with the registration form. A supplementary answer revealed that that person’s organisation might restrict access to Eventbright (the online booking system).
A total of 36 respondents answered the supplementary question, ‘How could we improve this?’. This is 5 times as many as last year, so the respondents certainly engaged with this question.
Several respondents used this section to state that they found navigation to the venue difficult and said they would have appreciated extra signage and directions – particularly from the car park to the entrance. It was reported that GPS devices took some people to the other side of the campus and two people independently followed a google maps link and went to the EICC in the city centre.
[CSGNT note: We have raised this with the venue as on the day construction work also rendered some parking areas out of use and added to the confusion for those arriving by car]
Despite good bus links from the city centre, a few other respondents were disappointed regarding the apparent lack of accessibility of the site in terms of public transport and active travel, these people would have preferred a city centre venue.
Presentations, Content and Activities
Delegates valued this year’s presentations: The Opening Address by Bridget Campbell, was well-received by delegates. Many observed her support of the CSGN’s aims and activities. There was great interest in Tom Armour’s presentation with several respondents impressed by Arup’s ‘inspirational’ and ‘pragmatic’ approach. Respondents found Howard Neukrug’s presentation of great value and informative. Words used to describe the content focused on the practical approach to engage with the issues and fund solutions. Many respondents commented on the perceptive, accessible and candid observations of Sir Harry Burns and his demonstration of the strong links between the environment and quality of health and wellbeing. Julia Thift’s presentation was thought to be well constructed, informative, and relevant to the ‘day jobs’ of many respondents.
Of the 63 people who provided additional responses, many used the words ‘practical’ and ‘informative’. Other words included variants on inspirational and inspiring.
Regarding the workshops before and after lunch, there was some variety in the comments. Some of the more critical observations focussed upon the opening presentations taking too much of the allotted time, with a feeling that this hampered the effectiveness of the workshop/discussion element of the session to deal with the topic successfully. Other participants did not think that the room layout and style of workshop encouraged participation. Another respondent noted the lack of time to get people from break-out sessions to the plenary.
However, the majority of respondents did think the presentations were worthwhile and relevant to their interests. Comments focussed on the practical insight provided by the presenters.
A total of 59 respondents (8 out of 10 in the survey sample) voted in the Ideas Fund item. It was noted that several people had to leave early for transport and other issues.
There were some criticisms; some respondents thought it took too much time from the day. Others thought the pressurised format was a bit harsh - especially on the losing contenders. However, as with previous years, most respondents thought this was an interesting, engaging and exciting item to have in the day.
In general, most comments were very positive. In particular, the venue and the quality and selection of key note speakers were valued highly.
Though the international perspectives offered by some of the presenters were recognised as being of inspirational value, some people suggested that a greater focus on what is happening in the CSGN area would have been beneficial.
There was also some criticism regarding the brief length of time allocated to the parallel sessions.
Other comments focussed on the value of networking time and some respondents would have liked more opportunity for this.
As regards what people would like to see included in our next CSGN Forum, just under half of the respondents expressed a view on this matter. There was a wide range of answers embracing the broad activities, themes and issues which the CSGN is interested in. For example, biodiversity, flood risk management, cycling strategy, rural development programmes, blue spaces, sustainability of green infrastructure, funding the CSGN, climate change adaptation, technology (eg gaming) and the green network, NPF priorities - what is being achieved, dealing with local barriers to delivering CSGN.
As regards specific to venues for future CSGN events, somewhere in a city accessible by train or bus was favoured by many. New locations suggested included teaching establishments such as the Glasgow Caledonian and the Strathclyde Universities and the Glasgow School of Arts.
A few other people thought it would be good to visit other areas of the CSGN such as Cumbernauld or Falkirk.
The CSGNT would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey and provide us with feedback. This information is incredibly useful to us as we plan for future events.