Surveying your event attendees after the show is an invaluable tool for gathering feedback and insights that you can use to improve your future tradeshows and conferences. With the right approach, post-event surveys can provide a wealth of actionable information that you can use to focus on areas of opportunity and measure success – but they’re only effective if done correctly!
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of seven essential tips for conducting successful post-event surveys. Whether you are assessing response rate, appropriately timing questions, or incentivizing participation, these are surefire methods to get the data you need from your guests to perpetually sharpen up your approaches. Read on for more details.
1. Determine Your Goals
Before designing your post-event survey, you must determine what you want to learn from it. Defining clear goals and objectives is essential to ensure that the survey is tailored and specific enough to generate meaningful data which can be used for evaluation purposes. Consider asking yourself questions such as: Are you trying to improve the overall experience, assess ROI, or measure satisfaction levels?
Establishing a goal will help guide the overall design of your post-event survey, allowing you to tailor questions accordingly, which leads us to the next tip.
2. Ask Relevant Questions
Asking relevant questions is essential for designing an effective post-event survey. The survey should be tailored to the event and goals you have established; it should also consider any feedback from previous surveys or similar events. Ensure that each question is relevant to the objectives of your survey and allows for an accurate assessment of the event’s success.
Ensure to include clear and concise questions, as this can result in clarity and may limit participants from providing accurate answers. Rather than asking generic questions, such as “What did you think about the event?” focus on more specific topics related to your event, such as “How satisfied were you with the registration process for the event?” Invitees are more likely to provide detailed responses if they feel their opinions are being taken seriously and that their answers will help shape future events.
3. Use Multiple Response Formats
Using different response formats for your post-event survey can help ensure that the data gathered is comprehensive and accurate. It is essential to create questions that use multiple response formats, such as checkboxes, scales, and text boxes; this allows for various answers and deeper insights into event attendees’ opinions.
Asking participants to rate their experience on a scale from one to five or having them identify their opinion as yes/no answers are helpful ways to gain quick yet meaningful responses. A mix of quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (written) answers can provide a more holistic view of how satisfied or dissatisfied attendees were with the event. Incorporating multiple response types will also make the survey easier for participants to complete, helping you get more completed surveys, and leading to better results overall.
4. Make It Short and Sweet
It’s crucial to keep post-event surveys short and sweet while gathering the necessary information. Nobody likes filling out long, tedious surveys, so keep them as brief and concise as possible to get the most responses.
Ask only questions relevant to your objective and provide meaningful answers—eliminating unnecessary or redundant questions will make for a shorter survey. If there are multiple questions on the same topic, consider combining them into one question with multiple parts. Keeping in mind your desired response rate, aim for a survey length that isn’t too short but also not overly long; somewhere around five to seven minutes is typically ideal for keeping it manageable yet effective.
5. Include Visual Elements
Adding visual elements to post-event surveys can make them more engaging and enjoyable and help better communicate your message. Graphic elements such as charts, graphs, or images can break up long blocks of text into smaller, easier-to-digest chunks. They can also provide an opportunity for respondents to get creative in their answers if they are given the option.
Not only can visuals make it easier and more interesting for respondents to complete the survey, but they can also give you access to deeper insights—for instance, allowing respondents to draw on a graph or map could give you valuable insight into their opinions that may not have been accessible through a traditional multiple-choice question. Incorporating visuals into your post-event surveys will make them look more professional and inviting to potential respondents.
6. Incentivize Responses
Offering incentives or rewards to encourage responses to post-event surveys can be a great way to boost response rates, particularly for those who are less invested in the event or may have had less time to respond. Offering a discount on future tickets, swag, or even just an entry into a prize draw can help you get more answers and data from your participants.
Of course, incentivizing responses can also create a bit of bias in terms of who responds–those offering the incentive may be more likely to get responses from people hoping for the reward rather than those who genuinely have feedback about the event itself. To combat this, you could consider providing incentives for quality over quantity—for instance, by offering prizes specifically for the respondents who provide the most detailed feedback or offering additional prizes if the survey is completed within a specific timeframe.
7. Follow-up Effectively
Following up effectively after conducting post-event surveys is essential for gathering valuable feedback from participants. By following up, you can thank people for their participation and also provide them with additional resources, such as handouts from speakers or contact information, should they need further assistance after completing the survey. This will show professionalism while helping serve customers better in subsequent events.
Furthermore, sending out a follow-up message allows you to analyze further the data collected during the survey if needed – doing so will help capture any key takeaways that might have been missed in the initial results. With this knowledge in hand, event organizers can better develop ideas for future events and act on any identified areas of improvement. Ultimately, event organizers can use the data gathered to make more informed decisions and improve their events moving forward by taking the time to follow up effectively after conducting a post-event survey.
Overall, conducting a post-event survey can be a great way to get feedback from attendees, gain insights into your performance, and help you make improvements for future events. The most important thing is to ensure that you’re asking the right questions and using the best response formats for your survey. If done properly, you can use your post-event survey to uncover valuable data about your event and the attendees’ experience.
By understanding how effective the event was and what people enjoyed or disliked about it, you can move towards improving your processes and providing an unbeatable customer experience. With this knowledge, you’ll have what you need to create better events next time!