A few weeks back you may have seen that we sent round a survey to all you delightful beings that attended March of the Droids this year. To those that responded; Thank you, hopefully it wasn’t too long and you could do it whilst making a coffee. The intention behind the survey was to try and improve our little event for you all. It is important to us to know what people found worked well, and possibly even more so, what didn’t.

It has been an incredibly long time (~15 years?) since I last made a survey and tried to analyse the response. This could, and likely will, be all over the place. However, there are some points made by people that I want to address, and also I want the data, where appropriate, to be visible.

I’ve tried to categorise as much as possible here and I will deal with comments at the end.

Location

Being in Edinburgh saw us move to the furthest north we have been. This was always going to be a potential issue but we are nomadic and the idea has always been to try and move around so we can meet new people and hopefully keep those who have been before. Whilst it may not always work, we felt Edinburgh was a special place.
Your responses show a bit of a mix:

Out of the 7 people, or 6 if we exclude the person who didn’t know they were answering a survey about March of the Droids, who responded that didn’t attend, 4 of those were due to location.

Out of those who did attend the feedback on Edinburgh itself were mostly positive. Generally it was a nice city, but a bit out of the way. Personally I travelled from the Southampton so I feel your pain.

We also asked you where you would like to see it next year and put this over a map generalised map of where 90% of our attendees come from. Basically this excludes the handful in Scotland or Northern Ireland. The yellow points map where you want us to go.
Visitor choices vs Visitor Location

There is a slight bias for some of these as people put their home-town, but most of these tend to lay within the core demographics region. We will be looking somewhere in the red and will be using your answers to guide us when checking out costs for a venue, as well as transportation links, hotel costs, and what else may be going on in a certain time-frame in that location.

Aside from those mapped, we have people ask for non specific locations such as the pub, by the seaside, south east England, or the Midlands. A couple also wanted us to go back to Edinburgh or Glasgow. Unfortunately I don’t think we will for 2017, but don’t rule it out for some point in the future.

Venue

Location aside, we also care about what you thought of the venue. There’s not much to say here aside from comments about the Code Kitchen and Main Event not being in the same place, and WiFi being a bit of an issue at the Code Kitchen.

The big thing here for us relates to the stands we have had in previous years. In Bournemouth especially this is something we felt really added to the event. It turns out the majority (71.4%) want to see this as well. We’ll work on this.

Strangely, this has been the second time we have set up in a church.

Main Event

Right, our main event, and traditionally, our only event. As mentioned in our previous post we had many hiccups, setbacks and additions to planning this year. So having read your comments and feedback we hope to concentrate on a few areas going forward that seem to echo your thoughts.
We’re planning ahead for next year earlier; more experienced and, hopefully, better equipped.

This year we managed to bag an Android legend, Steve Kondik, to start our talks off. Steve was joined by Honor, Skyscanner, XDA/Matthew Brack and Mario Vivani from Amazon. Your views lean towards the talks being a little to dev heavy, and perhaps a tad too long, and we’re listening. We fully intend to try and bring back a more mixed speaker lineup for 2017 that doesn’t bore some of you or go over your heads.

We know there is a mix of interest in Android based interest levels in amongst you; ranging from consumer to professional developers. However, just over 50% of our audience is made up by enthusiasts. We want to try appeal to every one of you with our speakers, so we will be trying to focus in future on that with more diversity. We will talk a bit more about this further down.

The brilliant people at Three very nicely provided food and drinks for the day. Everyone seemed happy with that and we will continue to try and provide the best we can in that area. Our budget doesn’t always allow for a big spread but we like to keep you all fed and filled up. Irn Bru for everyone!

Until this year our events were hosted by our beloved James Bricknell, who unfortunately for us has moved to America with his lovely wife. In the build up to the event Matteo Doni joined the team and agreed to take on the hosting duties. Matteo handled the hosting duties with his own style and took the reigns well we felt. However, we did get a few responses saying Skyscanner and Matteo hosting conflicted. This wasn’t intended; Matteo had to step in as the Skyscanner speaker due to a colleague unable to attend. We are taking on your feedback in regards to this. Unforeseen circumstances often cause the day’s events to scramble together, but we do try our best to make sure there is a fair representation to all of our guests.

Code Kitchen

The Code Kitchen was something new to all of us and in all honesty we weren’t sure exactly how the day would go. Having been there on the day, and read your comments I can only agree. The day wasn’t planned rigidly enough and no clear goals were laid down for those attending. Sadly we are not in a position to test things like WiFi beforehand and have to trust the venue when they tell us they have these things in place. Mistakes were also made regarding getting information out to attendees prior to the event regarding what equipment they would need to participate.
Even with the shortcomings I do feel that the Code Kitchen has great scope moving forward, we just need to dedicate someone to oversee the full day and ensure both the structure and the resources are in place with a clear mandate for the organisers to make things a success.

You

We felt it important to get more of an idea on what are audience are so that we can try and adjust the type of content in future.

How would you classify yourself?

One of our comments puts this pretty well:“I think in order for MotD to continue to improve there needs a direct alignment with the type of individuals that attend. We’re looking at predominantly enthusiasts and bloggers, with some devs included as well.”
I agree. That’s why we wanted to know how people class themselves. This way we can try and target our content a bit more in future.

The same trend is also shown when we look at the style of content. 62% of found the content geared too much towards developers, compared to the 29% of people who would actually classify themselves as developers this shows we need to find a better balance for 2017.

And the content?

Other comments

We left an open feedback for at the end which has come out with some points we want to address:

“Not enough doughnuts” and “Not enough free Irn Bru”
We agree. Bring some more please.

“More interaction in the hall, missed the tables around the hall for in between talks.”
Totally agree, and you’re not alone.

“More competitions”
Heh…

“Gary didn’t dance enough!”
I’m okay with that.

And then the big one.

“I don’t agree with organisers winning competitions, smacks of cheating. While I understand you are both enthusiasts too, becoming an organiser means you step away from the competitions. The blog needs to be updated in a more timely fashion in the weeks before the event.”
This one has lead to much discussion from the team. We can see your point; The March of the Droids team have been entered into the prize draw every year. Just like you we pay for our tickets and just like you that puts us in the raffle. When we first started I don’t think this was an issue as we had spoken to or knew most of the attendees. They seemed okay with this.

Up until this year nobody on the team has won anything from the raffle. Everyone being okay could likely be because we have never won. Gary being the one of first if not the first, person drawn in Edinburgh could easily been seen as cheating (It wasn’t, he just got lucky).

We don’t get paid to run the event, nor do we get given all the sweet loot. Often times it is our tickets that help round of the sales so things can get paid for.

Whilst we have come up with no formal reply, please know that nothing untoward was going on. We are discussing what we will do in the future.

I haven’t included every comment or statistic in here from the survey. Quite frankly that would be pretty tedious.

We’re going to be posting soon looking towards next year.