Monday, March 1, 2010

Rich Kaarlgard Recap

With the Rich Kaarlgard program behind us, I thought I'd share some patron feedback as well as my own thoughts about the program. We will begin using this platform to share the feedback from past engagements rather than take up precious stage time during each program moving forward.

Patron Ratings of the Program (1 Low / 5 High):

Overall Enjoyment 3.9

Lecture 3.8

Q&A Segment 3.8

Lighting 4.1

Acoustics 4.3

76% of patrons polled rated the event "money well spent" and 79% said that Mr. Kaarlgard met their expectations.

From my own standpoint, Mr. Kaarlgard was clearly not our "best" speaker ever, but far from our worst (that distinction goes to Richard Dreyfuss). The Economy continues to be a topic that resonates with patrons, but we've had challenges in finding speakers who are both entertaining/captivating and strong in content.

I enjoyed the lecture portion of the evening and Kaarlgard's comparison of the 1970's recession and the one we find ourselves into today. I also found it interesting that he "blamed" the media for much of the nation's poor "consumer confidence" scores even though he represents one of the periodicals creating the problem. Anything to sell a magazine I guess. :)
We did receive numerous complaints about the parking situation as the program was held on the President's Day Holiday. We apologize for the inconvenience and will do our best to stay away from the national holidays in the future. With that said, we are at the mercy of the Sacramento Convention Center and are only able to choose from dates not reserved by the California Musical Theater, Sacramento Opera, and Sacramento Ballet.

Individual patron feedback was consistent Mr. Kaarlgard's collective scores. Many found his talk full of interesting numbers and comparisons while a few found it disjointed and unorganized. The Q&A portion received many comments most sharing that Kaarlgard did not answer the question(s); speaking in generalities and "above the trees".

Kaarlgard was the first speaker of the season that touched a few of our patrons' political nerves. Right leaning patrons enjoyed his candor and intellect while a few "blue" patrons were somewhat put off by Kaarlgard's comments. For the record, this type of feedback is almost unavoidable as we cannot program full seasons with speakers who have not political insight (left or right).

A few Patron Comments:

"Richard's talk was very interesting all the way through. He's well informed and gave great insights on a lot of different issues. I'd say this ranked at close to the top of speakers you've had in the last couple seasons."

"He was too political. Strictly from the FOX news talking points. It would have been more interesting to talk about the current economic situation vs historical situation without his personal political jabs thrown in."

"Karlgaard gave simplistic answers to complex questions--saying short sellers were totally responsible for the the collapse of banks, for instance--and managed to insult anyone even slightly to the left. I attend this series to listen and learn from people who think differently. Instead, all I heard last night was partisan rhetoric."

"Richard Karlgaard was one of my all time favorites. He gave our economy a historical perspective that was understandable and comprehensive. What an intelligent man. I was so impressed! "

As always, we appreciate the time and consideration those give us in taking our speaker feedback survey each month. We hope this blog will give you some more insight on the collective feedback of the patron group as a whole and give you a forum to continue the "water cooler" dialogue after each of our programs.

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