We’ve already detailed the importance of sending your event attendees a post-event email. Branded events are designed to promote positive feelings among your consumers and maintain those feelings, along with loyalty, long after the event has ended. With a clear focus on maintaining and nurturing that positivity, follow-up emails exist as an opportunity for attendees to share their opinions and feel valued by your brand.
While the email serves as the vessel to your attendees, the survey is the real shining star. Surveys provide honest answers about your event straight from those who were chosen to experience it. A strong survey has:
- An incentive to fill out the form like being entered into a giveaway
- 10-20, multiple choice questions, with the option to elaborate as attendees see fit
- A rating scale of 3-5 experiences from the event that you consider to be the most valuable
- A section to detail any elements attendees would like to see changed for next year
The objective of a post-event survey is to determine whether the efforts put into your event met expectations. The most important information collected from post-event surveys is whether attendees found value in the event, whether it was worth their time and financial investment, and whether they would come again.
Here are six questions all event marketers should include in their next post-event survey:
1. “Was the event better, worse, or about what you expected?”
This question seems brutal, but it’s important to understand how attendees’ feelings walking into your event compared to their feelings walking out. High expectations are awesome - it means that consumers have positive attributions associated with your brand and expect the best. However, if you don’t meet those high expectations, the experience is tainted. Low expectations aren’t so bad either, as there’s a greater chance of a “better” experience.
2. “Do you plan on engaging with our brand in the future? Why or why not?”
While you might expect a snafu to create negative associations with your brand among attendees, people are remarkably forgiving. In that same vein, a great experience at your event doesn’t always mean consumers will suddenly drop their habits to incorporate you. Like any question, look for patterns in answers and pay close attention to the “why or why not” portion of the question.
3. “Compared to other similar events you have attended, how does this event compare?”
It’s important to know where you stack up against the competition, so include space for attendees to elaborate on the similarities and differences they’ve observed or experienced. You can even take this question a step further and provide examples of events you’d compare yours to or ask for side by side comparisons of specific components such as food, space, entertainment, bathrooms, etc.
4. “Do you have any suggestions on how to make this event even better?”
The way this question is framed allows you to ask what was missing from the attendee experience while still framing the overall experience as a success. This is important not only to you as the brand, but makes the person on the other end of the screen feel comfortable enough to provide honest feedback.
5. “What was your favorite or most memorable moment?”
You can either position this as a list that attendees choose from or keep it open-ended (but still a required question to answer) to consider any elements you might have missed when compiling your list. What attendees walked away thinking about is going to be their strongest emotion when reflecting on the event. Consider bringing back the most popular answers to any future gatherings and possibly eliminating those that didn’t receive much praise.
6. “Any additional feedback or comments?”
Always close your survey with an open-ended question. This allows attendees to bring up any points they had hoped to mention previously, but were unable to. Even if the response is nothing more than, “Had a great time!” it’s worth hearing. Positive and negative sentiment in this space should be weighted even more than the rest of the survey, because this is the parting message the attendee is leaving you with and is most likely to represent their overall feeling.
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