Events don’t end when the screen goes blank, the presenter unplugs the laptop and Elvis has left the building. The oft-neglected next step – post-event analysis – should demand the same amount of attention as the tedious, down-to-the-last-detail pre-event planning.
After all, it is this analysis that lets you know how you did in meeting your goals, how the event performed in meeting participants’ goals, and how partners such as ABC Signup, the venue, etc. held up to their end of the bargain.
Consider a two-pronged approach to ensure that “getting the event done” isn’t the only standard for success.
First, review your “internal” event goals. Did you meet targets for attendance, fundraising, etc.? Were expenses in line with your budget? Was the timing of communications effective? Did logistics work out as planned, and if not, what worked, what didn’t and what could be done differently? Ask the same question of your vendors, including, if applicable, ABC Signup.
Second, evaluate the event from the eyes of the customer.
If available, use custom-tailored evaluations – such as those offered by ABC Signup (hyperlink to a screen shot of an ABC-backed evaluation form) – or create your own tool with a priority on convenience. Ask what makes the most sense for your event, and do so soon after the event is completed. Typically, you will want feedback on the following:
- The facilities
- The relevance and value of the subject matter
- The presenter
- The overall event organization
- What participants liked
- What could be improved
Remember to prioritize what you want to know and try to keep your evaluation to a realistic scale, finding a balance between getting as much feedback as possible without asking for so much that participants don’t participate. A rule of thumb is to present it as a reasonable size such as “one page,” “10 questions” or “two minutes,” and keep to those limits.
If you aren’t getting enough participation in these evaluations, consider using an incentive such as a giveaway drawing awarded to one lucky participant who completes the survey.
Also, don’t forget in your post-event evaluation to thank the participant for their feedback. Acknowledging that you value their opinion – and want to improve your offering – is not only sound business but improves your chances of repeat business.