Following a successful first ever IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) held in Malaysia, herewith the report of “Evaluation study of the 2018 IFLA Congress in Kuala Lumpur
An online survey was held among the attendees of the 2018 IFLA Congress after the conference in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). The response rate
was 35.4%. This survey is the twelfth in a row: similar surveys were held after the IFLA Congresses in Wroclaw in Poland, in Columbus (OH),
USA, in Cape Town, South Africa (2015), in Lyon (2014), Singapore (2013), Helsinki (2012), in Puerto Rico (2011), in Gothenburg (2010), in
Milan (2009), in Quebec (2008) and in Durban (2007). Where relevant, the results of this survey are compared to the results of the conferences
since 2008. The main results are:
• The Kuala Lumpur Congress was judged positively by a large majority of the respondents: 93.7% of the respondents judged the 2018 IFLA
Congress in Kuala Lumpur overall good or somewhat good, while 1.1% judged the conference overall poor or somewhat poor. In comparison
to the earlier conferences, the overall positive judgement is the highest ever measured.
• The Net Promoter Score is a measure for client satisfaction. For the Kuala Lumpur Congress, 11% of the respondents can be seen as
detractors, while 58.9% of the respondents can be seen as active promoters, resulting in a Net Promotor Score of 47.9%. The Net Promotor
score is included in the surveys since 2016. This is the highest score measured so far.
• The pattern of attendance of the various programme items at the Kuala Lumpur conference was rather similar to the other conferences. For
the parallel sessions – the core of the conference programme – attendance and ratings were in line with the earlier conferences.
• Most preconference services are rated well. Three preconference services score however moderately well: hotel booking via the congress
website, confirmation of the accommodation and the Session Planner.
• A number of on-site services scored this year very well with regard to the information desk, the volunteers, the self-printing terminals for the
congress badge and the signs for direction and information. The IFLA Congress app also scores well with a good to poor ratio of 25.5. The
lowest scores are given for the airport arrivals desk (one unsatisfied respondent to 4.6 satisfied respondents) and for the food services (one
unsatisfied respondent to 5.7 satisfied respondents).
• With regard to the on-site communications, the Facebook page of the conference was accessed by 52.6% of the respondents and rated
positively by 81.6% of its users. The Facebook page during the conference was not the only channel for ongoing news about the conference:
19.9% got their ongoing news from Twitter and 34.6% by other means (in comparison to 42.4% by Facebook).
• The benefits of the IFLA Congresses to exhibitors are considerable: 44.1% of the respondents have budgetary responsibility within their
organisation. Also the host country of an IFLA conference benefits: 41.1% of the respondents extended their visit to Malaysia for the
purposes of tourism, resulting in an estimated 2119 holiday days spent in Malaysia as a result of the IFLA conference.
• With 12 successive evaluation surveys carried out directly after the annual IFLA Congresses a number of constant factors in IFLA
conferences can be described:
o Factors in attending: There are 3 main reasons for attending the IFLA Congress for the delegates (1) networking opportunities (2)
professional development (3) activities within the IFLA (respondents who are active in IFLA).
o Steady state: The IFLA conferences appear to be in a ‘steady state’ with regard to the composition of its attendees. The age distribution
and the gender distribution of the attendees, their positions in the library world and their role in IFLA show a fairly constant battering
over the years. This ‘steady state’ is also visible in the distribution of first-time visitors and repeat visitors. Each year, similar percentages
of first-time visitors and of second/multiple time attend the conference.
o Programme: The exhibition, the opening session, the parallel sessions and the social events are the most frequently attended programme
items over the years. The other programme items are less frequently attended, but all programme items were seen as important by those