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Events Surveys that Contribute to Success

Surveys are an indispensable tool when participating in or planning an event, tradeshows, or seminar. They help you collect meaningful information before, during and after the event. When used correctly, surveys can help assure your event is a success by enabling you to gauge expectations, understand participant reaction during the event, and measure the effectiveness of your message long after the event is over. With eSurveysPro, gathering and analyzing information before, during, and after an event is fast, effective, and affordable. Overtime, eSurveysPro helps you understand how your events are meeting your target markets expectations, giving you the data you need to maximize your return on investment for all your event activities.

Rule 1: Ask your audience what they want before the event.

When planning an event, or your participation in someone else's event, you need to consider what the event participants expects from the event in order to provide the content that best appeals to their needs. Far too often, event planners focus on what they want to say rather than what the audience wants to know. This assumption often results in an event that can be best characterized as a "near-miss" rather than a "direct hit". Attendees of events that do not measure-up to their pre-event expectations will generally never comeback. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your event, and meet the attendees' expectations, you need to ask them what they want and then deliver it.

The best way to know what event attendees want is to simply send them a pre-event survey. If you were going to buy a new car, you would research the vehicles you are interested in, then make your final decision based upon the factors that are important to you. The process is also similar when planning an event as you should research your audience to determine their needs and what is important to them. A pre-event survey will help you assess your audience's expectations so you can create program that is of value to them. Here are some examples of pre-event questions:

  • Do you prefer a morning, afternoon, or evening event?
  • Would you like to receive a confirmed attendee list before the event?
  • How far are you willing to travel to an event?
  • Which of these topics interest you most?
  • Please list suggested speakers you would like to hear speak at the next event.

Encourage suggestions for event content and speakers. Ask your audience what interests them then plan your event calendar and schedule speakers for the upcoming months. Occasionally a respondent may actually provide you with a speaker's contact information, or offer their assistance as a volunteer, which can be a real bonus. Don't be afraid to ask your audience, as people are usually willing to offer their input, especially if it is designed to benefit them in the end.

Ask specifics on event logistics - i.e. venue choices, travel issues, event time, etc. Although you cannot accommodate everyone's preferences, it may be helpful to determine what the majority of your attendees prefer, then coordinate your event to meet those needs.

Measure your marketing efforts. Ask how attendees heard about your event, whether it was through an invitation, media, word of mouth, etc. This information can be useful to determine what area you need to target in future promotions and which event topics are most likely to be attended.

Rule 2: Keep your attendees engaged during the event.

Once your event is underway, you need to create a level of excitement and interest among the attendees. Other than handing out expensive giveaways or turning your presentation into a game show, it is often hard to keep attendees engaged once an event is underway and they are bombarded with information. One way to encourage participation and keep attendees involved and interested during the event is to have them complete a survey and then share the results with them before the end of the event.

Use a survey to collect information in your booth. Set-up a kiosk or computer station to collect contact information as attendees visit your booth or exhibit. The novelty of completing an electronic form will make your booth stand out from the crowd and enable your support team back at headquarters to prepare and send follow-up information to the your prospects before the show is over.

Conduct a short survey or quick poll during your event. Create a survey and use a kiosk or computer stations in the event area to have participants complete during the day. Many event organizers have a network of workstations available for participants to check email or surf the web, these environments are often set-up with a designated home page that is ideal for conducting a survey during the event. Use the survey to ask attendees about issues pertaining to the event topic, industry, or their interests. Event surveys are a good way to stir up dialog between individuals, especially if your survey results were surprising or controversial. You can then share the results before the next keynote presentation. When attendees see the results, they will become more engaged in the event because they have contributed to the quality of the event.

Share results of a previously conducted survey at your event. Create a "buzz" of excitement for your upcoming event by surveying your attendees beforehand, making them aware that the results will be given at the upcoming event. As the event nears, their anticipation will grow as they look forward to hearing the survey results. And as a value-add, you may want to create handouts of the survey results for distribution and discussion during the event.

Rule 3: Ask attendees for their feedback after the event.

Receiving feedback on your event is critical in determining whether it was successful or not. Conduct a post-event survey and ask your audience what they thought about the overall event, the content, the speakers, and the facilities. This information gives you a chance to tweak future events to meet the ever-changing needs of your audience. Here are some samples of post-event questions:

  1. How did you hear about this event?
  2. How do you rate the event location?
  3. How do you rate the content that was presented?
  4. Please rate the quality of the speaker's performance.
  5. Would you be interested in volunteering at our next event?
  6. Please list any other comments or suggestions about the event.

Determine logistical successes or failures. Find out if the attendees liked or disliked any aspect of the event venue including location, parking, commuting issues, etc. If it is decided to have another event at the same venue in the future, the event planner will be aware of issues previously addressed by your attendees so the arrangements can be adjusted accordingly.

Query on the content, speakers, and quality of presentation. Give your respondents an opportunity to rate various aspects of your presentation, booth, or speakers. Ask respondents to measure the value of the information presented and whether or not it was presented effectively. Did your attendee get something out of the event? Was it worthwhile? This feedback is essential when determining the success or failure of the event.

Offer an opportunity to give feedback. Provide a verbose text area in your survey where your attendees may voice their opinions, and give suggestions to improve future events. Here you will find out more details about your attendee's experience, whether it was good or bad. Consider asking your respondent to provide contact information such as their name, email address, or telephone number so that you can follow-up with them directly.

Conclusion

Keep the communication lines open with your event audience by finding out what they need, encouraging their participation, and gathering their feedback. eSurveysPro gives you the tools you need to survey your event attendees and get the results quickly so you can take appropriate action. With eSurveysPro you can survey event participants easily during each phase of the event process, determine the strong and weak points of your event planning and execution, and you will have the data you nee to make improvements that will ensure the success of your event programs.




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