PtG Article 07.05.2018

Participants give massive backing to Play the Game 2017

Two in three participants at Play the Game 2017 give the top rate ”Very good” after the conference experience in Eindhoven. The internal evaluation is now accessible.

After Play the Game celebrated its 10th international conference and its 20th anniversary in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, by end November 2017, a big portion of the 449 participants sent an extra gift.

In an anonymous survey distributed by mail in the week after the conference, 97% of the respondents find the conference ”good” or ”very good” – and for the first time in the 12 years Play the Game has conducted these surveys, the top rate reaches 67%.

It must be noted, though, that the response rate has fallen from 53% to 43% since a similar survey after the 2015 conference, so Play the Game’s international director, Jens Sejer Andersen, takes a measured approach to the new figures:

”In essence, the feedback is just as positive as it has always been, and it is very rewarding to know that we are able to keep such a level of satisfaction,” he says.

”A number of challenges remain, like the gender imbalance, the geographical diversity, and the feeling among many that we are overloading the programme. These are issues we have to continue to work with, but there is no easy fix to these challenges.”

New insight and better networking facilities

The survey results further show that 88% of the respondents found that the conference added to their daily work daily work either to a high extent or to some extent, much like in 2015. A similar number of respondents (87%) find that the conference offers ‘new insight’ to journalists, academics and sports leaders in world sport.

Compared to Play the Game 2015, the 2017 conference was more successful in facilitating networking between the participants. In 2017, 129 out of 159 of participants (81%) believe there was either ‘plenty’ or ‘enough’ time, up from 65% in 2015. The themes anti-doping and governance were the best rated among the main conference themes and while the content across the 12 plenary and 28 parallel sessions was rated well, the overall results and comments from the respondents show that the programme was probably squeezed to a maximum yet with a high standard maintained in the many sessions.

Nevertheless, 92% of respondents state that they would attend another Play the Game conference in the future.

Play the Game is currently exploring the proposals that have come in for hosting Play the Game 2019 and the host of the 11th Play the Game conference will be announced within the coming months.

More information


Read the full evaluation of Play the Game 2017

Visit the conference webpage where you can find:

Selected statements from the survey

  • "Brilliantly organized, nice range of viewpoints"
  • "Excellent content and speakers - fascinating in every sense of the word. Again, there were one or two sessions that literally made my jaw drop."
  • "I think it was a wonderful opportunity. However, I believe that the presence, participation and recognition of the work of other continents other than European should be diversified."
  • "In general I found it very problem oriented/negative. To me so many smart and involved people can come up with many possible solutions to those problems but that didn't seem to be the focus of the conference."
  • "The best of the 4 conferences I have attended: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017"
  • “Next to getting married and having my children, this conference is the best thing that's happened to me”.