Conducting a survey? Take a handful of hardcopies to coffee break!

I’m currently running an information needs survey with my library users. But this post isn’t really about that – it’s about getting people to respond to your surveys.

I’ve found that by far the most successful way to get people to fill in the survey is to take a handful of paper copies and a bunch of pens to coffee break.

I don’t know why I’m surprised about this. When I was conducting research for my MA dissertation, I found approaching people the most successful recruitment method. I guess what surprised me was the different reaction I got when approaching people at coffee break compared to other times of the day.

Perhaps it’s the happy feeling that a cup of coffee (or tea) has, or perhaps it’s the camaraderie we have in the common room at coffee time that does it? Whatever the cause, it’s useful to know!