It’s the best. We must do better.

“It is the best. Period.” That comment kind of stopped us in our tracks.

Robert Scoble knows his way around tech conferences. A former tech evangelist at Microsoft and journalist at Fast Company, he’s now an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UploadVr, where he produces some of the most exciting VR-related content around. He’s a bit of a super influencer. “If the tech community were a country, Scoble would be its ambassador,” say VentureBeat.

So when he said that Collision, our US event, was the best he’s been to, we couldn’t quite believe it. In a post-event Facebook post, Robert said that Collision was “amazing”. “This is the first conference I will book for 2017,” he said.

It’s great to hear nice things about the events we put on. Here in our Dublin HQ we tend to not focus on the positives of our conferences. We don’t think that mindset is conducive to improving the experiences we bring to those who attend our events.

After an event, one of the first things we’ll do is ask our attendees what they liked, what they didn’t like and how our events could be better.

Going through the results of our Collision startup survey, it seems that a lot of our startups had a good time, just like Robert.

It’s great to hear that 84 percent had a good or very good Collision experience and we were blown away that 89 percent would recommend Collision to a colleague or friend.

Attending any conference is all about the connections you make. Sixty-three percent of our Collision startups had an investor visit their booth, while almost half had a member of the media stop by. Seventy-one percent said that taking an exhibiting booth was either beneficial or very beneficial.

5 November 2015; Attendees and mentors taking part in the Mentor Hours, during Day 3 of the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin, Ireland. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit Mentor Hours at Web Summit 2015

There was also great feedback, beyond the exhibiting startup experience, for our Office Hours and Mentor Hours where hundreds of startups met investors and other influencers for curated sessions.

We carry these surveys out to find out how we can improve. Our events aren’t perfect, we know that, and we use feedback we get from our startups to try to make them better. We’ve been working on feedback from Web Summit 2015 to make sure 2016 is as great an event we know it can be.

We’re obsessed with details, so even when two percent of our startups said Collision was hard to navigate, we want to know why.

What we love to hear is this sort of thing from Branch Metrics, who have been at both Web Summit and Collision: “The connections we make are enough ROI on their own.”

Or this tweet from startup Arcade City from Collision.

While it’s great to hear about the things you’re doing right, we almost prefer learning about how we can improve. Almost.

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