Successfully Gather Feedback after an Event
Imagine yourself sitting with all your workers in the back of a ballroom, having just finished a sales meeting you put on for a large corporate client of yours. You are happy with how the event turned out, and are relieved to check another one off the list. A few weeks later, you meet with the executives of the company, and they ask what you are going to do differently next year. You don’t have an answer for that because you thought the event went incredibly well.
While your event may have surpassed your expectations, you should always take into consideration the feedback of attendees. Surveys give attendees the opportunity to evaluate various aspects of your events such as breakout sessions, accommodations, speakers, seminar topics, as well as their overall experience with the event. This feedback allows your company to constantly improve and give the attendees the best experience possible.
In the event planning field, events are only successful if the attendees say so
The benefits of gathering feedback on your event include:
- You can use the information you gather to use when planning future events
- The ability to respond to a negative outcomes
- The ability to announce the success of your event with confidence
So how do you find out what the attendees thought of the event? Simply ask. More often than not, if there is an easy and simple way to provide feedback, the attendees will give their honest opinion. To get these opinions, you must make it easy and simple for the attendees to give their opinion. In addition to simplicity, timing is also critical. A common mistake a lot of event planners and managers will make is sending out surveys too late, via email or direct mail, and getting frustrated when they cannot evaluate an event’s success weeks or months after the event happens. Sending out a survey too late makes it not relevant anymore, and you will likely not hear back from many people.
I have found that the best way to gather feedback is by using surveys. At events that Sonburst plans and producces, we will provide attendees with surveys before the event starts, so they fill them out as the event goes. This has been incredibly effective thus far, and has provided us with a lot of feedback that we have been able to use for planning the next year’s event. At first we started leaving paper surveys on every table, allowing attendees to fill out the survey as the event went on. However, the process of getting the surveys in a database was time-consuming and took us away from doing other things. To address this problem, we integrated the surveys into a mobile app that we use for clients’ events. The attendees fill out the surveys on the app, and it automatically ties into a database of feedback that we can search, download and share.
In conclusion, gathering feedback from your event attendees will help you assess the success of your event, as well as plan for events in the future.
Have you used event feedback to your advantage? How has it helped your business? Tell us in the comments below!