Approximately ten days after the 2020 4th Congressional District Democratic Convention, the 4th Congressional District Democratic Executive Committee distributed a participant survey to all those who attended. This survey was intended to help better understand what worked well and what may need improvement.
It's difficult to know what the 2021 4th Congressional District Democratic Convention may look like, but many of the lessons learned will help guide the 4th Congressional District Democratic Executive Committee, regardless of the format of future conventions.
Survey participation, which peaked on May 28, 2020, was relatively minimal, but the feedback received was both promising and constructive. To summarize:
Question 1 – SUMMARY: 92% were able to participate in all or most parts of the convention.
Question 2 – SUMMARY: 89% had all or most of the information needed to fully participate.
Question 3 – SUMMARY: 24% of those responding said that they were quickly recognized, or had only a short wait. For 68% of those responding, recognition was not an issue (N/A).
Question 4 – SUMMARY: 93% said that the directions for participation were either clear or mostly clear.
Question 5 – SUMMARY: 96% of those reporting said that they could easily find delegate candidate information, or could find it with a little effort.
Question 6 – SUMMARY: 91% of those responding said that they were able to receive required voter credentials immediately, or with a bit of help.
Question 7 – SUMMARY: 84% of participants joined with a laptop or desktop computer.
Question 8 – SUMMARY: 31 respondents provided verbatim feedback. Key themes are set out below:
The majority of extended response comments received were positive. Numerous comments also noted aspects of the virtual convention that could be improved.
Several participants encountered issues with the Zoom Webinar format. Specifically, these participants indicated that there was insufficient opportunity for participant input. Some also expressed concern that the Zoom Webinar format permitted only select participants to control the proceedings.
Survey results also noted a need to better clarify voting procedures. Several respondents expressed a need for detailed instructions provided in advance.
Others survey respondents expressed frustration that responses to Zoom Chat inquiries were insufficient or delayed during the business of the convention.
Several survey respondents also indicated that the convention was “long on process.” Members of the 4th Congressional District Democratic Executive Committee previously expressed concern that this could be a source of frustration. In hindsight, the Executive Committee believes that publication and distribution of additional convention-related materials may alleviate process-oriented frustrations in the future. However, the Executive Committee remains mindful of the importance of providing real-time instruction, throughout the course of the convention. Regardless, the Executive Committee sympathizes with those who wish there was more time to discuss preparations for the general election in November.
A few respondents expressed frustration that they did not receive the post-convention survey sooner. The Executive Committee intends to take careful note of this frustration and understands that the sheer number of Zoom meetings and other virtual events can be overwhelming, particularly when participants are asked to provide feedback.
The 4th Congressional District Democratic Executive Committee would like to thank all those who took the time to offer feedback and greatly appreciates the patience of all those who attended the 2020 4th Congressional District Democratic Convention, particularly as we all negotiate the brave new "virtual" world.