Mastering Post-Event Surveys: A Comprehensive Guide

You just hosted your event (congratulations!), and now you want to see into the minds of your attendees, speakers, and sponsors to know if you nailed it. Post-event surveys play a key role in the success of the events you host, as the feedback you collect gives you much-needed insight into all of your participants’ experiences, giving you the data you need to improve.

This post will cover everything you need to know about post-event surveys: why you need them, important factors to consider upfront, how to create them, and how to collect the exact data you need from your audience. 

event survey

How to Create Post-Event Surveys

One of the first things to decide when planning a post-event survey is your choice of tool. Many survey tools such as Typeform, Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, and Tally Forms exist; hence, you must identify your goals and decide what tool can help you meet them. 

When choosing a survey tool for your event, consider factors such as pricing, team size, frequency of surveys, integration, and analytics. If you run a small team and want to create simple forms, free tools like Google Forms and Tally Forms will cater to your needs. On the other hand, Typeform and SurveyMonkey are widely adopted alternatives with a range of features that are especially useful for deeper insights. If you are a Guidebook customer, you can easily build surveys within your event app at no extra cost. 

Factors to Consider

Ready to create your surveys? Here are the key factors to consider for maximum results.

  1. Goals: What do you hope to achieve by performing a post-event survey?
  2. Timing: This is crucial, as wrong timing can reduce the number of responses you get. Understand your audience’s availability at different times of the day and week and how long they need to reflect on their experience and complete the survey.
  3. Distribution platform: Email is the most common way to collect post-event feedback. However, if you have an event app – you can send a push notification out to your users and ask them to complete the survey on their mobile device. 
  4. Survey design: Are you expecting your audience to complete this form on mobile or desktop? Generally, mobile forms should have fewer questions and/or fewer open-ended questions. On desktop, you will likely get a lower completion rate, but you should be able to ask more questions and gather more detail. 
  5. Survey questions: An event app survey has many question types, from simple open-ended questions requiring short or long responses to multiple-choice, single-select, ratings, and even document upload. Ask direct questions instead of leading ones for unbiased results. Be specific and concise, order the questions well, and avoid confusing jargon or mutually inclusive single-select choices.

Using email for survey distribution is affordable, convenient, and offers a large reach. However, it tends to have high abandonment rates, a lack of personalized questions, and respondent bias. Therefore, Guidebook customers use Push Notifications to get people straight to their app to complete the form to mitigate these cons. For any communications asking for survey completion, be sure to personalize the message, keep surveys short, send reminders, and offer incentives. Read this guide to learn how to create elegant forms for your survey.

event survey with guidebook

What to Include in the Survey

Now that you understand enough to create your post-event survey, you’re probably still having difficulty deciding what to ask. Here’s a list of things to include in your survey. Remember that the exact questions and their wording should be tailored to your event.

Demographic and attendee information

Questions like name, email, age, country, city, gender, and occupation help gather demographic data, although you might have to make them optional in some instances. With quantitative and qualitative analysis insights, you can identify trends and patterns and compare how different demographics respond to a question. This can help you better plan/personalize future events.

Overall event experience 

Questions in this category typically take the form of ratings or multi-choice responses. You can ask about the following: 

  • Satisfaction with the event content/material, speakers, planning, and organization.
  • Likelihood of attending future events and the reason for their choice.
  • Also, an optional question allows them to leave additional notes on their experience.

Specific feedback

Feedback questions are often the last set of questions in the survey. The previous questions helped the respondents reflect on their experiences enough to give feedback on what they liked or missed. Here, you can ask them for projections on how the event organizers could have done better and to make suggestions on ways to improve to meet their expectations at future events. Be as concise as possible to make the most of these questions.

event management platform

Event Management Platforms

If this is not your first rodeo, then chances are you may already have an event management platform for planning and organizing your event. This will help you easily manage your bookings, reservations, and other aspects of the event. Most event management platforms support integrations with surveys, making it seamless to collect even pre-event feedback that can improve your event planning. 

On the other hand, if you don’t have an event management platform or are looking to build a no-code event app, you can book a demo with Guidebook to get started.

Social Media and Websites

As noted before, email survey distribution is effective but can result in low responses. In light of that, measures like embedding the survey form on your event website so users can fill it out right after the event can boost the numbers. You can also use social media to share survey links and deadline reminders. This way, attendees will remember or find what they missed in their inbox when they come across the post and can easily follow the link immediately to complete the survey.

survey responses

Incorporating Feedback into Future Events

You have concluded your post-event survey and analyzed the data. Now, how do you use that to improve future events? We have put together a list to get you started.

    1. Group the feedback. Different attendees might have similar feedback on your event. Categorizing similar feedback gives you a higher-level overview of what you must do.
    2. Prioritize feedback categories based on how much impact the result of addressing them can have on your attendee experience.
    3. Create and commit to an actionable plan starting from the feedback at the top of the priority list.
  • Review other data sources to confirm or challenge the anecdotal feedback from your surveys. For example, Guidebook apps have a metrics panel that allows you to see which sessions or speakers were most popular. Be sure to include that data in your planning for future events, too. 
  1. Be transparent and communicate with attendees as you make feedback-based changes to your event processes. This shows your commitment to creating good event experiences for your customers and could improve their perception of your brand – and help you gather more feedback in the future.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You are well on your way to the mastery of post-event surveys. As you plan your next event, ensure you review pre-event considerations like survey integrations with your event platform. Take the time to understand your goal for the feedback and curate the proper set of questions that will help you achieve them. 

The feedback loop never ends as long as you host events, so always collect post-event surveys to make improvements and watch your event numbers soar. Need a guide for your event? Here’s one crafted just for you.

 

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