Gather Feedback - The Best Event Survey Questions and Other Tips

Gathering feedback from event attendees is a vital part of the event itself. Surveys, polls, and questionnaires are some of the most powerful tools to assess your attendees’ event experiences… but only if you know how to conduct them. Read this article and learn how to build survey questions for an event and polls to entice attendees to participate. Also, understand which questions you should ask your attendees to empower you to optimize your strategies for events in the future.

Post-event survey question wrap-up – was it worth it?

You made the decision to host an event. Planning the event takes time, and you spend months seeing every detail on your event planning checklist: pre-event survey questions, venue, speakers, accommodations, sponsors, food and beverages, and more, until everything is done. 

The big day goes faster than expected, and you feel relieved as the last attendees leave. But do you feel satisfied? How do you know whether your event was successful? And, most importantly, how will you answer this question when your boss asks? 

If you’re in the habit of gathering data and have already sent out some post-event survey questions – great! You’re covered. But if your only proof of attendee satisfaction is a picture of people smiling, you’re in trouble.

Successful event management requires gathering feedback. 

Your subjective opinion is not enough to measure the success of an event. Of course, you can also count registrations and attendance, but do those metrics directly correlate to satisfaction? Instead, isn’t it more important to know whether your event attendees would participate again? 

The power of feedback is undeniable. Here’s why:

  • It helps you measure the satisfaction of your attendees.
  • Asking event survey questions for feedback shows attendees you value their opinions.
  • Feedback can help you improve your event strategy, showing you what worked and what didn’t.
  • Feedback is a reliable source of information for other event stakeholders and sponsors.
  • Feedback can alert you to market trends.

Event Survey questions you should ask

There are several post-event survey questions you should be asking, including:

  • How would you rate the event?
  • How would you rate the event location/date/venue/vendors/speakers/agenda/etc.
  • What did you like most / least about the event?
  • What would you like us to improve at the next event?
  • Would you happen to have any other suggestions for the event organizers?

You can also ask more specific event survey questions to gather feedback and help you measure attendee satisfaction, such as:

  • Activities: Often, event organizers experiment and introduce new breakout sessions, networking activities, gamification features, etc., and they need feedback to determine whether to incorporate them in future events.
    Example: Which activity on the agenda did you like the most? Which engagement tools did you use? Which tools didn’t you use?
  • Attendee ROI: Event organizers should gauge the perceived value of the event.
    Example: Was the event worth the price? Did the event help you expand your knowledge? Did you get what you came for?
  • Networking: If your event includes networking activities, you want to ensure participants are satisfied with the number and quality of their new contacts.
    Example: Was the networking activity satisfying? Did you manage to get the right connections? 
  • Mobile Event Apps: Many events use event apps to help participants find conference rooms, organize their schedules, connect with other attendees and sponsors, etc. It’s worthwhile to request feedback on the app. 
    Example: Was the app useful? Which features were missing, and which were the most useful? Was the app user-friendly?
  • Event Organization: It can be helpful to understand whether the attendees felt the event was well organized.
    Example: How would you rate (on a scale of 1-5, where 5 is the highest) how well organized the event was? How would you rate the event check-in/volunteers/etc.?
  • Future Agendas: Event participants can help you complete the “to-do” list for the next event.
    Example: What are your expectations for the next event? Was there anything missing from this event? What would you like us to improve at the next event? Which part(s) of the event would you hate to see changed?

How to gather post-event feedback

Unfortunately, just preparing the post-event survey questions isn’t enough. Whether your event is in-person or virtual, you need to make it easy and engaging to encourage people to make an effort and give you valuable information. Here are six best practices:

  • Number of questions: The number of questions you ask is important, and there’s a slight conflict: as an event organizer, you would probably like to ask 20+ questions, but there’s little chance your attendees will want to spend this much time on your survey. The fewer questions you ask, the greater the probability that attendees will answer them. According to SurveyMonkey, the median survey length is ten questions. Aim for somewhere between 3-12 questions. The more questions you add to the survey, the higher the abandon rate you’ll have for each survey.
  • Question format: Event organizers often prefer open-ended questions, but attendees don’t usually like them, as they’re harder to answer and require more time and effort. Ask event survey questions in various formats to make it more attractive. Add some yes/no questions, multiple choice questions, ranked choice questions, ratio-scale, etc.
  • Survey format: Which surveys are more effective: digital or analog? In the past, paper surveys were an effective way to solicit written feedback, but digital communication is increasing the popularity of virtual surveys. As McKinsey mentioned, virtual event survey questions are also a sustainable solution. Here are some advantages of virtual event survey questions:
    • Speed: virtual surveys are immediately accessible and can be promoted via multiple channels, including email, social media, websites, and mobile apps.
    • Analysis: Event planning and organizers can view real-time results and perform automated, detailed data analyses. 
    • Price: There are no paper or printing costs, and virtual surveys require fewer personnel resources. 
    • SecurityWith virtual surveys, you can control data access with a password and improve data security.
  • Survey Timing: Don’t wait! Ask attendees for feedback immediately after the event while the experience is still fresh in their minds. 
    Start sharing information about the survey on the last day of the event. You can send your post-event survey via email or mobile application or even share the survey link manually. Just choose a survey distribution method that makes the most sense for your event and is the easiest for attendees to access.
    Also, you can arrange a survey before the event. It won’t be feedback but may allow attendees to influence the agenda. For example, attendees can suggest speakers or entertainment or weigh in on whether they’d like to see business “speed dating” on the agenda. There are multiple possibilities. Some organizations use pre-event feedback polls to prepare suitable transportation, arrange hotel rooms, or learn about the type of music attendees would like to have. A survey in advance allows event organizers to meet attendees’ needs better.
  • Survey reminders: A perfectly prepared online survey with the ideal number of questions is a massive part of gathering feedback, but it’s not everything. You still have to convince the event attendees to participate.
    First, make good use of the tips above. They should work in your favor.
    Next, a powerful tactic is to send reminders. Let’s check the numbers, shall we? Compare two similar events in which event organizers used Eventory by 6Connex. The first one had 100 attendees. The organizers collected 749 ratings and comments. The second one, with 100 attendees, yielded 108 ratings and comments. The difference was that during (and after) the first event, attendees received a few reminders to complete a survey.
    The best and easiest way for attendees to give you feedback is to send a notification on the last day of the event and a couple of days after the event with a redirect straight to the survey.
  • Gifts: Attendees appreciate all kinds of awards and competitions. Offer an incentive to complete the survey; it doesn’t have to be significant. Even small gifts or swag bags such as pens, notebooks, lanyards, or mugs will convince attendees to participate. If you have the budget, you can also hold a lottery for those who completed the survey and give them a chance to win more valuable prizes such as gift cards. 

Wrap up - Learn More about our Event Technology

Event management requires continuous improvement. The more events you host, the more successful they’ll be if you follow your attendees’ feedback and advice. Apply our suggestions and share your results with us! If you are looking into a virtual event experience to incorporate into your next event, contact 6Connex to schedule a demo. From in-person, hybrid, virtual events, or webinars, choosing the right event management platform can help your event’s success. Request a demo today.

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