So much work goes into planning and executing a successful event. With all the effort of finding venues, marketing the event, collecting RSVPs, managing event logistics and putting out fires during the event itself, all you want to do after the last attendee leaves is finally get some rest – but don’t stop just yet! Just after your event is the perfect time to evaluate your success and shortcomings, and make adjustments for the next event.
One excellent way to approach a post-event evaluation is to ask your attendees, and the easiest way to collect feedback is a simple post-event survey. With the help of a post-event survey, you can figure out whether your attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors liked the event arrangements made by you or not. Important questions of the survey, like – ‘Did the event meet your objectives’, ‘Will you participate in the event again’, should be asked first.
It is recommended to send your post-event survey just after the event is over as it will increase the participation rate. Let’s discuss some sample questions that you should include in your next post-event survey.
Ask your attendees to rate the location, the parking, the onsite registration and other location-specific issues. It’s impossible to test drive the flow of the venue until all your guests show up, and if you’re considering hosting the event at the same place next year, you’ll want to correct any logistical annoyances that you may not have noticed. It’s a must to include logistic questions in your post-event survey.
In your next post-event survey, don’t miss to ask your attendees to rate the content that was presented and the quality of the speaker’s performance. Find out if they got something valuable out of the event. All this information will help you measure attendee engagement, gauge how likely they are to come back next year, and identify where you need to make tweaks. Maybe next time, you could even do a pre-event survey and find out what topics your audience wants you to cover. The pre-event survey could include questions about the attendees’ preferences regarding the timing and length of the sessions, room set-up, previous sessions they want to be repeated, etc. You could also ask the attendees about the top challenges and opportunities they face at their jobs.
The post-event survey must ask attendees whether they found value in the event or whether they would participate in the event again. Also, find out whether they would recommend this event to a friend or colleague. When you report on the effectiveness of your event, being able to show high marks in these categories will be a strong justification to continue the event, and maybe even an increased budget for next year!
Optimise at Every Opportunity
Whilst you have their attention, ask your attendees if they’d like to receive your newsletter, and keep them engaged as you build momentum for the next event. Don’t forget to include an open response box so your attendees can share any general thoughts or suggestions – you never know where the next great idea is going to come from! You could ask them to suggest key topics or issues that they would like to see covered and any speakers they would particularly like to hear from in the next event.
Every data point you collect is a chance to show your attendees that you’re listening to their feedback and paying attention. Your audience will notice when you take their advice, and appreciate it, especially if you can do something about the parking next year! These questions play a vital part in post-event surveys and hence, should not be missed.
Pro Tip: If you ask “Would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague,” take the list of people who respond “Yes” and send them a specialised email next year asking for referrals. “Dear John, we’re very excited about this year’s conference, and hope you’ll help us spread the word…” By targeting an engaged audience with this reasonable request, our clients see up to a 40% increase in the size of their marketing database.