Profiling questions are questions that you ask to get a better understanding of the composition of your audience. These questions can provide you with information on what ages are represented in the audience, where people live, their income, what car they drive, etc.
In short: profiling questions gather information that helps you better understand and gauge the results of the questions you ask during the event.
Using correlation you can better understand the relationship between the answers you get during the event and the different profiles of the people in your audience.
Too much is too much
It is important however not to ask too much. Even if you explain to the audience that you are asking a few profiling questions in order to correlate the replies and to better understand the results of upcoming questions, it is better to limit the number of profiling questions.
Otherwise your audience will quickly start to doubt the anonymity of your survey. Two things can happen in that scenario: either people will stop participating in the vote, or they will start giving the answers they believe you want to hear.
Therefore, if you really want honest and true results, it is a good practice to explain why you are asking these questions.
In this way, your audience will understand why it is a relevant question and they are not left feeling that you are trying to identify individual voting behavior.
What’s in it for your audience?
Profiling questions can produce relevant information not only for you, but also for the people in the audience. For example, people can really be interested in knowing how many men or women are present in the audience. A profiling question that is also valuable for the audience will likely get a decent response and will add value to the meeting.
In many cases they will appreciate what they learn from the questions, but limit the amount of questions and keep it reasonable.
So don’t necessarily assume your audience will be bored.