Event organizers are like busy bees jumping from one task to another.
Taking care of defining goals, establishing a budget, picking teams, choosing a venue, confirming sponsors and speakers are just a few of the things that need to be taken care of for the event to be picture perfect.
Ensuring that everyone has a great time, organization-wise, it’s a pressure that event planners feel on their shoulders all the time.
In a perfect world, we’d all be mind readers and wouldn’t assume or guess what the attendees need or want.
But in this one, we’re blessed with satisfaction surveys, a pretty handy method for gathering valuable feedback that can help us understand the event participants better.
The best part? We can collect feedback before, during, or after the event is over.
The event surveys can help you learn what your attendees expect from the event, how they felt during the event and whether the event met their expectations or not.
In this blog post, we’re covering the basics of event surveys and we give you simple but super effective event survey questions, plus bonus tips and tricks for conducting a useful survey.
Buckle in; we are starting.
What is an event survey?
Simply put, it’s a survey meant to gather feedback on the event’s overall quality and effectiveness.
Event feedback surveys can be conducted on different aspects of the event like organization, staff, or speakers.
All this information and precious insights can help you answer different dilemmas you might have about the event, like whether the attendees are satisfied with the speakers, was the location good, or was there enough staff to serve everyone?
Often, many of these problems can go unnoticed until the very beginning of the event.
So, the best practice is to ask for feedback from every event stakeholder and make sure you’re aware of every potential issue.
The data received from the event survey can be easily transformed into knowledge about the attendee’s satisfaction and expectations.
Use this data for your next strategy in order to create a positive event experience for your attendees in the future.
Importance of event feedback surveys
Event survey questions are specifically written to gather your targeted audience’s thoughts and opinions, that is, the audience that will, has, or is attending your event.
On that account, event feedback surveys are important for understanding what the event attendees like or don’t like about the event.
According to the Event Manager blog, 54% of event planners use surveys as a tool for measuring attendee satisfaction and overall event success.
If you’re still not among planners who use surveys, this is a good time to start.
Everyone has different impressions, expectations, and ideas when taking part in an event, so by asking concrete questions, you might stumble upon exciting suggestions which you can use in the event planning strategy for organizing a successful event.
Types of event surveys
As we explained earlier, event surveys are used to get feedback from all event participants and improve the organization of future events.
You can ask a question and start collecting feedback before you start organizing the event.
This when pre-event surveys come into play.
Pre-event surveys can give you important insight into many different aspects of an event organization like food choice, location, or keynote speakers.
You can post the event survey on social media or send it via email and start gathering feedback right away.
Here a few simple pre-event survey questions you can use to collect important insight from your audience.
How did you find out about this event?
By asking this question, you can learn where your audience is most concentrated and whether you may need better promotion and marketing for the event.
Do you have any food preferences that the event organizers need to know?
There is no event without food, and food preferences vary from one person to another.
As an event planner, gathering this information from your respondents is an essential part of the organization.
Ensure that you are aware of your attendees’ food needs to meet their expectations perfectly.
How do you feel about the location of the event?
Ensure that everyone who needs to be there can easily access the location by asking them this question in a pre-event survey.
Was the information about the event clear enough?
Did the audience understand the topic, time, and place of the event?
See If there is any unclear information that might confuse them and remove it on time, so they can be present hassle-free.
Another type of survey is the mid-event survey.
The mid-event survey is conducted during the event and can help you track the attendees’ satisfaction in real-time.
Some event planners avoid gathering feedback during the event, but this type of survey is great for collecting feedback while the experience is still “fresh.”
Here are a few examples you can include in your mid-event survey questions.
How would you rate the venue?
You can ask this question in a mid-event survey to find out what kind of a first impression you’ve made.
Are you satisfied with check-in?
The event management has to ensure that the check-in process is going smoothly and quickly.
Since the guests are the ones who go through the process, it’s best to ask them how satisfied they are with the check-in and get valuable feedback from their point of view.
How would you rate the audio?
Mid-event surveys are great tools for detecting potential issues that may arise during the event.
Asking for feedback can help you resolve these issues in time and provide everybody with a great experience.
The last type of event questionnaire is the post-event survey.
Post-event surveys are used for examining the attendees’ overall experience and gathering constructive feedback.
The post-event evaluations include questions that can give you a bigger picture of how the audience experienced the event.
Here are a few post-event survey questions you can ask the attendees after the event is over.
How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
The results that come from this common but fundamental question are called the net promoter score.
The NPS (net promoter score) is a method that will quickly and easily give you the results of measuring the level of attendees’ satisfaction.
Use this question to get a clear indication of the success of your event.
What did you like & dislike most about the event?
A specific and clear event survey question that will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of the event.
Your attendees might point out that they liked the venue but didn’t like the location.
That is something that you need to change when organizing future events.
Based on your experience this year, how likely are you to attend this event next year?
If somebody is satisfied with your work now, they will probably want to visit you again sometime soon.
A loyal audience is the best reward for all your hard work, and it’s in your best interest to embrace the positive sides and improve the negative ones.
4. More examples of event survey questions
In point three, we talked about the types of surveys regarding the time they are conducted.
In this section will give a more broad list of event survey questions that you can use to gather feedback from your audience about different key points of the event.
You can use different types of questions like open-ended questions if you want to give your audience a chance to express themselves in their way, simple questions with yes/no answers, or multiple-choice questions.
Here are examples of each question:
Yes/no event survey questions:
- Did the event staff manage to answer all of your questions about the event?
- Was the event staff-friendly enough?
- Was this your first time at one of our events?
- Would you consider the event “successful?” Why or why not?
- Did you participate in any of the after-conference activities?
- Do you think this event achieved its goals?
- Do you think there were networking opportunities?
Open-ended event survey questions:
- Why did you choose to attend this event?
- Why did you decide to participate in this event?
- Do you think this conference will have any effect on your future work?
- What is the key takeaway from this event?
- Did you encounter any technical difficulties during the virtual event?
Multiple-choice event survey questions:
- Which of the speakers do you think had the best presentation?
- What was the best part of the event?
- The material covered was relevant to my role.
- Would you say the event was too long, short, just about right?
5. Steps to run event survey during Covid-19
Covid-19 has caused unprecedented changes in almost all industries, especially those whose functioning depended on the physical presence of people.
Many industries, including the event planning industry, have turned to the increasing practice of information technology as a basic way of working.
Although computers and the Internet have greatly facilitated life during Covid-19, diagnosing potential customers’ issues has not been ruled out.
Thus, the practice of seeking feedback and conducting surveys remains valid during virtual events as well.
Here are some ways to conduct an online event survey and get the most out of your event attendees.
1. Choose the right responders
Define the people you need feedback from and prepare for each
Yes, this might require different questions or forms, but bear with me I can explain.
You know, it’s obvious that you will ask the attendees first right? But sometimes we neglect the importance of the feedbacks from voluntaries, other department teams, and the speakers. Think about approaching all of them, and even if you need to have a different process in place.
You might learn things from un-obvious places and help you get a better event next time.
2. Inform event attendees about the survey
Plan to mention the existence of a survey during the house-keeping part of the event. Just put it out-there don’t make it too mandatory so people feel you are desperate for feedback.
Also, tell your attendees how long it takes to fill your survey. Everybody wants to know how much time they will spend answering questions.
3. Incentivize surveys submission
Usually, before the Covid-19 crisis, the in-person events had this amazing technique to incentivize attendees to fill in a survey.
Luckily, the technology is so far ahead that some of the techniques can be used in the virtual world as well.
There are two types of incentives: monetary and non-monetary.
Monetary incentives come in a form of cash, gift cards, checks, or coupons, and non-monetary can be anything that you can’t assign a dollar value to.
Depending on your budget you can choose which one you’ll go for.
The simple execution of this incentive is : ‘to get a swag you needed to fill in a form‘.
In physical locations usually, the swag was distributed in an exit booth where people fill in a form and get their incentive. But, if you are not able to do this due to the online switch then you can probably do the same but with delivery costs in mind.
If your budget doesn’t allow every respondent to get a gift, then you can make a lottery out of it and award one lucky person.
Again, as mentioned above on each bigger break show the event attendees that you have a great post-event swag that they can get after they fill in a quick survey.
6. Tips to create a better event survey
- Add photos – Photos are a great way to make surveys more fun and get a higher response rate.
- Timing – If you chose to use the post-event survey, make sure to send the survey no later than 24 hours after the event is over.
- Mobile friendly – Make your online survey mobile-friendly so the attendees can quickly complete your survey, even on the go.
- Pay attention to the survey design – Customize your event survey template to resemble your brand and leave a positive impression.
- Say thank you. – Create a thank you page at the end of your survey. It’s an easy way to show appreciation to someone for taking the time to fill your survey.
- Promote your next event – Don’t miss out on the opportunity to promote your next event. This can be a chance for you to get information about your audience’s general interest in attending your future event.
7. What to do if they don’t respond?
The most straightforward answer would be to follow up with an additional request for filling the survey.
- Make sure that you are being polite and also include a call to action.
- If you are sending the survey via email, make sure that you have an attractive subject line.
- Always tell your respondents what their answers will be used for.
- Try to segment your audience and make the surveys personalized.
- Keep your survey short, think about the most important questions you want to ask the attendees and consider how much time it will take for someone to fill the form
Think about your goal.
What is it that you want to research?
Brainstorm the right questions or choose some of the questions from above.
Choose the right timing for your survey and start collecting feedback.
Here are additional 228 survey questions if you need inspiration.