You put a lot of effort into organizing events you hope your attendees will remember for years to come. You want them to come back year after year. Not only that, but you want them to recommend your future events to people they know, too.
The question is, how do you make sure your attendees want to keep coming back? You may feel your latest event was incredible, and everything may have met your expectations. Now, what about your attendees? How do they think your event went — and did it meet their expectations? The only way you’re going to know the answer is to ask. And the best way to do that is with an event survey.
Why Should You Ask Event Attendees Event Survey Questions?
Whether you’re organizing an event with a few dozen attendees or thousands, pre and post-event surveys are invaluable tools. They can provide unique insights you might not otherwise be able to get.
Event organizers already have a lot on their plates. However, event surveys aren’t something you want to ignore. Here are a few of their most significant benefits:
Attendee Satisfaction Reveals Event Success
When you’re managing an event, you want to see high ticket sales and attendance rates. These figures alone don’t necessarily indicate success, though. You could sell out one year and sell hardly anything the next. Even if you thought everything went perfectly, your attendees might have a different opinion. Unless you ask, you’ll never know why or what went wrong.
No matter your opinion, you should always check in with your attendees. They may have enjoyed the event, too, but the simple act of asking shows that you care — which helps build trust. It also eliminates a lot of guesswork on your end when trying to figure out what did and didn’t work for them.
Constructive Feedback From Attendees Improves Future Events
Speaking of what didn’t work for event attendees, a post-event feedback survey provides a perfect tool for correcting issues and making things better in the future. After all, you want them to enjoy their experiences. Giving them what they want is one of the best ways to ensure this.
As hard as it might be to hear that your event-goers might not have been 100% satisfied with their experiences, ask them what they thought you could have done better. Things like long check-in lines during conferences, a lack of direction around an event venue, too few food options, or insufficient opportunities for engagement can all impact their opinions. With this type of information, you can brainstorm ways to make your next event even better. As a bonus, your previous attendees are likely to take note of the improvements you make, which can boost their satisfaction even more.
Event Feedback Can Help You Come up With New Ideas
In addition to highlighting areas for improvement, feedback from your attendees can also inspire unique and innovative solutions to make your events better. For instance, issues with your manual check-in process can lead you to a more seamless mobile check-in. Again, implementing ideas that improve the quality of your attendees’ experiences shows you’re listening and that you want to make each new event better than the last.
How To Get the Most Out of an Event Evaluation Survey
There’s more to an event evaluation survey than asking a bunch of random questions. While you want to gather as much vital data as possible, the information you seek to obtain should be relevant to your event and your goals. One of the last things you want is to drive attendees away from responding with a long-winded, multi-page survey.
To get the most out of your event evaluation survey, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
Ask a Variety of Questions
Open-ended in-person or virtual event survey questions allow your survey respondents to share their thoughts and ideas, including what, specifically, they liked most and what they think can use improvement. While the responses won’t give you any quantitative or statistical data to track, the information you learn is still just as crucial. It shows you what your event was like through the eyes of those attending the event rather than those organizing it.
Not all of your questions need to be open-ended, though. Yes/no questions can help you see what you did — and might not have gotten — right, if specific aspects of your event were engaging, or what barriers might have kept people from attending. Rating or scale questions see how well you did — or didn’t — do something, how likely attendees are to return next year, or gauge whether or not your event is improving over time. You may also choose to pair open-ended questions with these options if you want a more in-depth understanding of why your attendees responded the way they did.
Understand Your Target Audience
While you want as many attendees to respond to your survey as possible, not everyone will fall into the same category. The information you’ll want to collect from first-time event-goers may be slightly different from what you want to obtain from repeat attendees. For example, you might want to know why new attendees decided to register and what made your repeat attendees return. If you want feedback from sponsors, speakers, or vendors, you’ll want to ask them different sets of questions.
Understanding and segmenting your audience into separate categories will make sure that you get the best, most informative responses from all of your respondents. It’ll also keep survey recipients from getting questions they can’t answer.
Use Event Survey Tools to Be Efficient
With the right event survey tools, you can create effective and engaging pre and post-event surveys that will help you collect valuable data about your event. There are numerous platforms available, allowing you to find the one that fits your needs. Each one is different, featuring its strengths and weaknesses. Take some time to compare your options, keeping your goals and budget in mind, to ensure you find the best fit.
What Types of Pre-Event Survey Questions Should You Ask?
The words “event survey” often conjure up images of the questionnaires most event planners or marketers send out after an event ends. While post-event surveys are crucial — we’ll touch more on those in a bit — you don’t want to underestimate the importance of the pre-event survey.
As the name suggests, pre-event surveys are the ones you send out before your event begins. The questions help you learn more about your attendees. They’re also beneficial for discovering expectations and baseline attitudes. Here are a few questions you might consider asking attendees after they complete their registration:
Have You Ever Attended an Event Like This Before?
If you’ve hosted the same — or a similar — event in the past, this question helps you determine if you’re attracting repeat attendees. Building a base of loyal event-goers can indicate that you’re creating the types of events that people want to experience. The information may also come in handy when you’re looking to attract event sponsors.
What if you’re attracting a lot of new attendees but not many repeat ones? That kind of information may indicate that you need to increase or alter marketing strategies aimed at previous event-goers.
How Did You Find Out About This Event?
There’s a good chance you’re using multiple marketing strategies, including:
- Social media marketing
- Paid ads
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
While implementing several strategies can help you spread the word further, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.
Asking your attendees how they heard about your upcoming event can show you which efforts are the most effective. You can then devote more time and resources to the strategies that are producing results and eliminate or change the ones that aren’t.
What Are You Most Excited About For This Upcoming Event?
The answer to this question can provide you with a few insights:
- It allows you to gauge the excitement level surrounding specific speakers, activities, or other components of your upcoming event.
- It can help inform your ongoing marketing efforts.
- You can see where you need to focus your time and attention so that you’re able to fulfill your attendees’ expectations during the event.
You might also consider asking your attendees why they chose your event over similar events organized by your competitors. The answers may also give you some insight into what your attendees are looking forward to so that you can prepare accordingly.
What Types of Post-Event Survey Questions Should You Ask?
Your post-event survey is what allows you to evaluate how well you met your attendees’ expectations. You’ll also be able to assess the success of your event and begin brainstorming ways to improve in the future.
Be sure to send your post-event survey email promptly after your event ends — within 24 hours — so everything is still fresh in their minds. You might also consider including an incentive or embedding the first question into your email to encourage more people to respond.
Here are a few post-event survey questions for attendees you might ask.
What Would You Rate Your Event Experience?
One of the first things you’ll want to find out is what your attendees thought of their experience overall. It’s a great starting point, and it gets respondents thinking about everything they saw and did during the event. You might even use it as a jumping-off point to ask participants what they thought of various components of your event, such as a specific session, speakers, vendors, and food.
The responses to this question do a couple of things for you. First, they allow you to understand how successful your current event was. Second, it gives you data to compare to previous years’ events to see if you’re continuing to meet or exceed expectations.
Would You Recommend This Event to Someone Else? Why or Why Not?
Enjoying your event is one thing. Enjoying it enough to recommend it to family, friends, or colleagues is another. Given that word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective forms of marketing, recommendations can go a long way in attracting more attendees to future in-person or virtual events. The responses can also help you estimate your growth.
What Were Your Favorite Experiences at This Event?
With this question, you’ll be able to see what you got right. That way, you’ll know what to keep doing going forward. You can also compare the responses to the pre-event “what are you looking forward to most” question to determine if you delivered the types of experiences your attendees were hoping for.
How Could Your Experience Have Been Improved?
Asking an open-ended question like this provides insight into where you may have fallen short. You can narrow down which components of future events require more attention or different approaches. The question is also a great way to brainstorm ideas for specific improvements that you know will meet the needs and wants of your attendees.
How Would You Rate the Event Venue?
Where you hold your event can have a significant impact on attendee satisfaction. For instance, if it’s hard to access, fewer people may want to return in the future. The same goes for a venue that’s too small or generally unimpressive.
In addition to using a scale for survey respondents to rank their satisfaction, you could also include an optional follow-up question so they can elaborate. Their context can aid in the selection of a better venue next time.
Streamline Your Survey Creation Process With Event Marketing Software
When it comes to events, the opinions of your attendees are crucial. After all, the experiences you create are for them. Even if you thought everything went well, their thoughts and feelings are what ultimately determine your success.
While you could organize events without them, surveys — both pre and post-event — are vital components of the planning process. Without them, you wouldn’t know what you got right or what might need improving to ensure you continue to host the types of events that people want to experience.If you’re looking to streamline your event survey process, Events.com is here to help. With our event management software, you can more easily set up, organize, and manage various aspects of your events from one event app, which can help to ensure success now and in the future. For more information, or to schedule your free personalized demo, visit Events.com today!