With your event finally wrapped, it’s time to take a deep breath and long exhale of relief. Feeling better? Wonderful.
Time to get back to work. The work of learning the effectiveness of your event.
You’ve got to strike while the experience is fresh in their heads. Now is the time to get feedback, and ensure attendees will come to your next event. (And the one after that, and the one after that ... )
It’s not uncommon to think of a post-event survey as the culmination of a one-time event. It is that, of course—but it’s also so much more.
Want to Know What Your Attendees Really Thought? Ask Them
A post-event survey can provide valuable insights about your event and is one of the tools available to analyze your event's success. By asking event attendees what they thought, you can gather a significant amount of feedback and insights that will not only help you evaluate your event but will help you better plan future offerings. And yes, feedback and event evaluation can sting (no one is exempt from a disgruntled attendee) but they are necessary to learn and improve.
When crafting your survey, post-event questions should align with your mainstage content outline. This is a check to see if your content landed with your attendees the way you intended for it to. If the content didn’t resonate or wasn’t clear, you need the post-event survey to identify exactly what messages you need to refine. A general question asking if content was clear is OK, but a detailed question asking whether or not someone understands the specific product components you highlighted is far better. If they say “no,” ask, “why not?” Information is power.
The goal of your survey should be to obtain honest and authentic feedback on various elements of your event.
Post-Event Surveys Point Forward, They Don’t Just Look Back
If written effectively, your survey should pinpoint product needs, content appetites and learning objectives for the next year.
The event should not stand alone, but be looked at as one moment on an attendee journey. Your event is just one component of your overall marketing strategy—a unique opportunity hear directly from your target audience. As such, the post-event survey should identify the trajectory for post-event communications to sustain and drive engagement on content year-round. The responses on your survey should paint a very clear picture for engagement communications on what content your audience wants or needs more of.
In other words:
1. Was the content relevant to your audience?
A Mix of Questions Provides the Most Insight
Attendees are inundated with surveys from every portion of their lives—make your questions count. Focus your questions on the core content or actions you are seeking to drive through attendance. Ask for feedback and tell your audience that what they say matters (i.e., you’re listening).
Surveys should not be too long, can be done with pen and paper, online or shared as part of an event app. Post-event survey questions can take various forms, including:
- Yes/No questions—for absolute answers, and can preface open-ended questions to help qualify the responses;
- Open-ended questions—these types let the attendee express themselves in a qualitative way; and,
- NPS questions—the net promoter score (NPS) is an industry standard, and great way to pinpoint future brand advocates.
A mix is best, but no matter what your questions should center on your event and overall business objectives.
2. Were you able to convey the content in a clear and articulate way?
K-I-S-S & Laser-Focused for Survey Success
If it’s a user conference or product launch, ask questions about the product or services you were training on. The goal is to uncover what content hit home and what content attendees still need more information about.
Whether or not someone liked the food on-site likely won’t impact their decision to buy products or services from your organization. Do you know what will? The content onsite. Your survey questions should be laser-focused on the content that was presented and the connections people made with your organization.
3. Was there any content your attendees wished they had heard on site?
4. Were they able to meet with someone on site to answer any specific questions they had?
5. Given a list of products or services highlighted on site, can your attendees articulate the value each one brings to their organization? Which products or services need more clarity?
Gather Event Attendee Feedback (And Use It!)
Now that you have an idea what to ask in your post-event survey, it’s important to make time to gather feedback that will inform you exactly what attendees loved about your event and what you can do to make it even better next time.
Communication is key to keeping attendees engaged before, during and after your event. Find out what engagement communications ITA Group experts are excited about to connect with attendees in meaningful ways.