Attached is a copy of a survey done in 2017 of the Indianapolis Section. We received 66 responses to a survey sent by email to 585 section members. The report lists rankings by all respondents, respondents who hold ASQ certifications, and respondents who do not hold ASQ certifications.
In this and other surveys we have learned that topic is a very important factor in people's intention to attend, however convenience (of location, date, time, etc.) also plays an important role.
Some caution is required, however, in interpreting these responses. This survey represents a "self-selected" sample. Each respondent chose to be included in the sample. We do not really know what motivates people to participate or not. One factor that seems to have an influence is recent participation in other section activities. I think it would be safe to assume that people who regularly attend section meetings are over-represented in the sample and those who do not regularly attend, or never attend, are under-represented. One strong indicator of this is that 60% of survey respondents report holding ASQ certifications, while the proportion for all section members, indeed all ASQ members, is closer to 40%.
With participation in section activities hovering between 5% and 10% of members, it is vitally important for sections to offer opportunities for participation by a broader range of members. This can be done by rotating meeting locations, varying day of the week, varying format (e.g. social and networking activities in addition to "dinner meetings"), and offering opportunities to participate remotely via the internet.
I would expect it's also impacted by what types of organizations are prevalent in the geographic area and local ASQ membership. For example, in areas where there are a lot of medical device companies the topics of interest are perhaps going to be different than if there were not.
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