Your event is over and you thought it was great but what did your attendees think? Most organisers of events who are not professionals think that the event is over once the last guest leaves. Seasoned event professionals know that this is simply not the case. One of the often forgotten about parts of the event management process is the event evaluation. How else will you know that your event is a success without one? The number of guests in attendance is not always an indication of its success. Not if the purpose of the event was to change perceptions for example. If you had 1000 people attend your event to showcase your new brand and vision for your organisation, but only 20 people actually understood the new direction of your company, your event was not a success. Even if 1000 people had lots of fun.
Event evaluations are key to understanding if you met your event objectives and documenting lessons learnt to enable you to improve upon performance for your next event. They can also be used to convince stakeholders or sponsors that the event should be supported again. Results of your evaluation can also be used to generate extra PR for your event and improve engagement with your customer base.
Not sure how to conduct an event evaluation? Here are our top tips:
Do not wait until right before the event to work out the evaluation methods. You should plan the evaluation whilst you are planning the event.
Don’t just rely upon one method of evaluation. Combine a variety of different methods. Observations of the audience, feedback from the event staff, post event online surveys, media coverage etc. The more methods you utilise, the better the evaluation.
Social media can be a great source of feedback, good or bad. Ensure you create a unique hashtag and encourage attendees to use the hashtag. Post event, go through attendees feedback on social media and include in your overall event evaluation. This feedback could be invaluable.
4. Timing is everything
Don’t wait a week or two post the event to gather your feedback. Timing is everything and you need to strike whilst the iron is hot. Sending out an email on the day or the day after the event asking for attendees opinions is adequate. Alternatively you can use the tried and tested paper method at the event for instant feedback.
In order to achieve maximum response from respondents offer an incentive. This could be free tickets to another similar event you are hosting or a more leisurely prize like dinner for two in a top restaurant. Everyone likes to win something.
We recommend you ask no more than 10 questions and keep it simple. Multiple choice is always a good method, asking respondents to rate the level of service in each specific area with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent.
Ensure you tell your attendees they should expect evaluation surveys within the next 24 hours and you will be grateful if they can complete it. Ensure you highlight the importance of feedback and
how it can better the visitor experience of future events.
Alongside evaluating your attendees experience you should also create separate surveys for any speakers at the event as well as sponsors and event exhibitors. It is important that you understand how everyone experienced the event. Survey Monkey is a free and useful tool that can be used.
Should you want Alternative Events to plan and EVALUATE your next event please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 0121 6433603