Convincing attendees to fill out your meeting evaluation forms is always a chore, but have you considered a nice, juicy carrot?

MHA Communications, a prepaid phone card marketer based in Highland Park, Ill., has created a survey incentive that's hard to resist. Attendees receive a phone card good for, let's say, 20 minutes of free phone time that is activated if they respond to a prerecorded survey. Users answer the survey questions by pressing the touch-tone buttons on the phone or, if the question can't be designed in a multiple-choice format, by having the system record their answers.

American Express is using the market research cards for the first time in June as part of its sponsorship of the Dallas Market Center. The 3,500 attendees of Silk 99, buyers of artificial silk plants, will be given a prepaid phone card when they register at the Market Center. And if they decide to take the bait, they will be asked questions that will allow American Express to better understand how customers feel about its programs.

The cost of a typical program is about $6 per card, says Aric March, president of MHA, and includes about six survey questions (surveys can be longer but response rates begin to drop); tabulated results, supplied by MHA on a daily or weekly basis; and, of course, the cards themselves. Minimum order is 1,000 cards. For more information, contact MHA at (847) 831-5091.