🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

post event survey questions

Post-Event Survey Questions to Ask Your Attendees – Tips and Tactics for Trailblazing Planners

Knowing the right post-event survey questions is crucial for understanding attendees' experiences and driving growth. A well-rounded mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions can provide valuable feedback for enhancing future events.

Why Post-Event Survey Questions are so Important

Have you ever organized an event that you thought was a huge success, only to be left wondering if your attendees felt the same way? 

This is a common challenge faced by event planners, but there is a solution

Post-event engagement is often overlooked, especially during happenings where so much is going on simultaneously. 

But post-event engagement is just as important as pre-event planning. It doesn’t end once the conference ends. 

In fact, it begins immediately following the conference with post-event survey questions, follow-up emails, developing an engaging online community, and so much more.

Surveys give attendees a voice to share what parts of the event resonated with them and what areas need improvement.

Some key benefits of conducting post-event surveys include:

  • Measuring event successSurveys help you evaluate which aspects of your event worked and which didn’t. You can identify strengths to highlight next time and weaknesses to improve.
  • Informing data-driven decisionsWith concrete data points on attendee satisfaction and event quality, you can make strategic, informed decisions about future events.
  • Enhancing the attendee experienceFeedback allows you to pinpoint specific issues and concerns. Addressing these improves overall attendee satisfaction.
  • Benchmarking eventsSurvey data can be compared across events to measure changes over time. This benchmarking helps assess the impact of changes you’ve made.
  • Providing attendees a voice. Everyone appreciates being heard. Surveys give attendees an opportunity to share their perspectives and feel valued.
  • In short, post-event surveys lead to actionable insights that allow event planners to improve in a targeted, meaningful way.

    The point of an event is usually to gather leads and to make new contacts.

    Even though your happening has concluded, you’re only halfway done as far as achieving your overall goals. 

    You’ve already gathered some great leads and made some great connections, but now you need to follow up on those relationships and nurture them into long-term partnerships. 

    This is where a comprehensive post-event strategy becomes critical.

    The key to successful post-event engagement lies in understanding how attendees perceive your brand, and how they view themselves within it.

    a screenshot of a computer screen showing a post event survey question with the words "rate your recent experience"

    You’ll want to ask questions to understand where they came from, why they attended, what they learned, and how they feel about your organization. 

    This information helps you identify opportunities for future growth and improve your overall customer experience.

    PRO TIP: Based on your goals from the Planning phase, pre-schedule a follow-up campaign including messages, upcoming conferences and happenings, and actions that build on your momentum and drive toward your desired results.

    Post-Event Survey Questions and Templates for Your Upcoming Event

    But what kinds of questions work and how do you even ask? The good news is we have that part figured out for you already!  

    Steal our templates gain valuable insights into your own attendee experience, identify areas for improvement, and drive future success!

    Post-Event Survey Questions
    Version 1

    Thank you for participating in [Event name]!

    How likely are you to recommend this conference to a friend or colleague?

    How satisfied are you with the quality of the networking opportunities?

    If you used the event app for the first time, how do you rate the experience?

    a person is filling out a post event questionnaire with a scale of 1 to 5

    Post-Event Survey Questions
    Version 2

    Thank you for participating in [Event name]!

    Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

    Post-Virtual Conference Speaker Survey

    Best Practices for Impactful Post-Event Surveys

    To ensure impactful post-event surveys, it’s essential to design effective surveys, balance quantitative and qualitative data, maintain respondent anonymity, and foster a continuous improvement mindset.

    Here are some overarching best practices to ensure your post-event surveys generate quality insights you can act on:

    Effective Survey Design

    Thoughtfully structure questions and answers to glean actionable data. Include a mix of quantitative ratings and qualitative commentary.

    Ask mostly close-ended then a few broad open-ended questions.

    Balance Quantitative and Qualitative

    Collect objective ratings data for quantifying satisfaction and identifying weak points. 

    Gather open-ended feedback for deeper insights into negatives and attendee suggestions.

    Ensure Anonymity

    Unless demographic info is needed, make participant responses anonymous to promote candid feedback. 

    Attendees may hold back if they think comments could jeopardize relationships.

    Encourage Detailed Responses

    For open-ended questions, provide examples of helpful responses. 

    Ask attendees to provide specific details and explanations, not just yes/no answers.

    Impartial Analysis and Interpretation

    Approach data without defensiveness or assumptions. Draw objective conclusions from the numbers and comments. 

    Resist the urge to justify or rationalize negative feedback.

    Cross-Functional Collaboration

    Share results across all teams involved in the event (marketing, logistics, program, etc.) and align on priorities and responsibilities for acting on insights.

    Communicate Findings Broadly

    Report beyond leadership to stakeholders like speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and partners. 

    Transparency helps them tailor participation to attendee needs.

    Continuous Improvement Mindset

    Regularly solicit post-event feedback to keep enhancing events over time. 

    Even successful events have room for improvement in the attendee experience.

    When to Administer Post-Event Surveys

    Timing is a key factor when distributing post-event surveys. You want to balance capturing feedback while the event is still fresh in people’s minds without waiting too long after the event concludes.

    Here are some best practices on when to send post-event surveys:

  • Right after the event ends. Send a brief 2-3 question survey immediately as the event wraps up. This captures top of mind feedback before attendees leave.
  • 24-72 hours after. Send a more comprehensive survey 1-3 days following the event. Attendees can provide thoughtful feedback but their memory is still fresh.
  • One week after. Wait a week to allow attendees to reflect on the full experience after returning home. This can elicit more constructive input.
  • With post-event deliverables. If you have post-event materials to send, include the survey in the same communication.
  • Ultimately the ideal timing depends on the event length, type, location and other factors. Test different time frames to see what works best for collecting the most insightful survey data.

    Continuous Improvement Mindset

    When looking to gather insightful feedback from event attendees, implementing a well-structured survey strategy is imperative. 

    This strategy should encompass a variety of question types, ensuring conciseness to avoid fatigue, and adopting measures to promote high response rates. 

    Here’s a breakdown of key considerations for crafting an effective feedback survey:

    • ✔️ Offer a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions. Blend both closed-ended and open-ended questions. 
      • ✔️ Quantitative questions using rating scales allow you to benchmark metrics.
      • ✔️ Qualitative questions give attendees a chance to elaborate on their experiences.
    • ✔️ Keep it brief. Long surveys lead to survey fatigue. Keep it focused on a core set of crucial questions that will guide future improvements.
    • ✔️ Make questions clear and specific. Avoid vague questions that elicit generic feedback. Ask about distinct aspects of the event.
    • ✔️ Ensure anonymity. Let respondents know their responses are anonymous so they can be open and honest.
    • ✔️ Send survey links promptly. Send the survey while the event experience is top of mind for maximum response rate and quality feedback.
    • ✔️ Follow up with non-respondents. Send email reminders or call key attendees who have not yet responded to encourage participation.
    • ✔️ Offer incentives. Consider rewards like gift cards, credits, or giveaways to increase response rates.
    • ✔️ Personalize outreach. Use individual attendee names in your follow-up communications for a more personal touch.

    How to Analyze and Apply Post-Event Survey Feedback

    You’ve put time into creating and distributing your event survey. 

    Now it’s time to dig into the results and extract key insights.

    With proper analysis, you can surface findings that will directly inform improvements for future events.

    Here is a process for analyzing post-event survey data:

    1. Review response rate.

    Calculate the percentage of attendees who completed the survey. Response rates over 30% are good, but higher is better. If response rate is low, revisit distribution methods.

    2. Clean the data.

    First, eliminate any incomplete or clearly invalid responses. Then correct any clear errors, such as incorrect ratings.

    3. Analyze quantitative data.

    For closed-ended rating scale questions, calculate averages. Also look at frequency distributions. Identify whether ratings skewed positive, negative or neutral.

    4. Analyze qualitative data.

    Review open-ended comments to identify common themes, both positive and negative. Look for recurring mentions of specific issues.

    5. Compare across attendee segments.

    Break down response data by attendee demographics or company to spot any notable variations across segments.

    6. Look at metrics over time.

    If possible, compare results to previous events to see changes in key metrics like satisfaction.

    7. Create summary reports.

    Pull together key data visualizations, tables, and feedback highlights into presentation slides and documents to share with stakeholders.

    8. Identify the biggest takeaways.

    Compile the most important positives to highlight and most pressing negatives requiring change into a shortlist of key takeaways.

    9. Brainstorm improvements.

    Have a group discussion to review survey findings and brainstorm ways to build on strengths and address weaknesses uncovered.

    10. Create an improvement plan.

    Detail the changes to implement, resources required, and metrics to track based on the survey analysis into a concrete post-event improvement plan.

    To ensure your time invested in surveys pays off, be sure to actively apply learnings rather than just collecting data. Some ways to take action on post-event survey feedback include:

  • Making logistical changes for the next event, like re-scheduling timings or changing venues
  • Modifying event programming based on session/speaker ratings
  • Following up to resolve individual attendee complaints
  • Adding more networking time based on feedback
  • Sending thank you notes to highly-rated speakers and suppliers
  • Updating marketing messages and materials to better reflect the event experience
  • Creating new educational content on gaps identified
  • Addressing areas of low attendee satisfaction through targeted improvements
  • The right post-event analysis turns survey data into insights that drive real improvement. 

    So be sure to complete the feedback loop by tying findings directly to actions that enhance your next event.

    Key Features to Look for in Post-Event Survey Software

    While you can use free survey tools like Google Forms, dedicated post-event survey software provides added functionality to streamline and enhance your survey process.

    Here are key features to look for:

    Event-Specific Templates

    Purpose-built post-event survey templates save time instead of starting from scratch. 

    Pre-loaded expert questions specific to conferences, webinars, trainings, and other events provide a jumping off point.

    Custom Branding

    Apply your logo, colors, fonts and other brand elements to surveys to maintain familiarity. 

    Branded surveys also tend to receive higher response rates.

    Question Library

    Access to an extensive library of professionally-written, pre-tested surveys questions customized for various events eliminates the need to write questions from scratch.

    Question Randomization

    Randomizing the order of questions avoids bias from question order. 

    It also ensures different respondents don’t see the exact same survey.

    Logic Branching

    Branching allows you to set rules to skip to or display certain questions based on previous responses. 

    This creates more personalized survey paths.

    Anonymous Link Collection

    Collect anonymous survey responses by generating non attributable survey links. This allows you to track overall response rates while protecting respondent privacy.

    Partial/Incomplete Response Tracking

    See which surveys were started but not finished. Follow up specifically with incomplete responders to gather more data.

    Real-Time Response Viewing

    View results as they come in versus waiting until the survey closes. Monitoring early data can help identify emerging trends.

    Automated Reminders

    Schedule automatic reminder emails to be sent to non-responders at a certain number of days after survey distribution.

    Survey Cut-Off Date

    Automatically close the survey and stop sending reminders after a set date to avoid annoying people with too many follow-ups after the event.

    Data Filters and Comparisons

    Filter survey data by respondent attributes or companies to enable comparisons across segments. Identify different experiences or needs.

    Integrations with Registration/Email Platforms

    Extract registration data and connect attendee details to survey responses. Send survey invites directly through your email platform.

    Dedicated survey software scales your feedback collecting process while providing richer features to glean more insights. 

    The right technology handles the heavy-lifting so you can focus on using data to drive event improvements.

    Post-Event Survey Mistakes to Avoid

    While post-event surveys provide valuable insights, they must be executed carefully to yield useful results. 

    Avoid these common mistakes:

    Not Giving Enough Context

    Remind respondents about specifics of the event experience so they can provide relevant, thoughtful feedback. Give brief background on the event, date, location, and other context.

    Asking Overly Long Surveys

    Resist the urge to include too many questions. Event fatigue means attendees won’t complete an overly long survey. Keep it to 20 questions or less.

    Sticking to a Single Survey Method

    Don’t rely solely on post-event emails. Collecting feedback on-site or by phone/text allows you to reach attendees with varying preferences.

    Using Leading or Biased Questions

    Ask neutral questions focused on facts vs. emotions. Leading or biased questions encourage certain responses skewing data.

    Inflexible Rating Scales

    Use scales with enough range so respondents can properly differentiate ratings. Avoid scales without a middle neutral option.

    Waiting Too Long to Survey

    Delaying more than 1-2 weeks means memories fade resulting in less useful feedback. Move quickly before momentum is lost.

    Not Sending Follow-Up Reminders

    With busy schedules, attendees may not complete surveys right away. Politely follow-up with non-responders to increase response rate.

    Failing to Test Survey Beforehand

    Proofread carefully and test your survey on a small group first. Check for unclear wording, technical glitches, unclear instructions, and other issues.

    Not Offering Anonymity

    If respondents fear their criticism will be identified, they will be less open. Always communicate anonymity.

    Analyzing Data Superficially

    Don’t just look at overall averages. Dive into differences across respondent segments, themes in comments, complaint frequency, etc. to extract key insights.

    Not Closing the Feedback Loop

    Don’t stop at gathering data. Attendees will become disillusioned if you ask their opinion but don’t actually apply feedback shared. Always act on survey findings.

    Avoiding these missteps helps ensure your post-event survey provides maximum value. It enables continuous improvement based on addressing attendee needs surfaced through feedback.

    It's Time to Start Planning Your Next Incredible Event!

    The event planning cycle is complete. 

    Now it’s time to start planning your next conference.

    The end of an event is just the beginning of another one. In fact, it’s the start of the next big thing!

  • What did you learn?
  • Did you find anything that didn’t work well?
  • How can you make sure that doesn’t happen again?
  • What services and content would enhance the audience experience next time? 
  • Remember that no matter what type of happening you’re planning, you won’t always hit every goal. 

    Don’t let that discourage you. Just because you weren’t able to hit all of your goals this time doesn’t mean you failed. Learn from past conferences. Celebrate the successes!

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    Putting on a successful event is a monumental task! Look at what you accomplished and use audience feedback to inform your plans moving forward.

    Let us Help You Make a Gigantic Impact

    At We & Goliath, we have partnered with hundreds of incredible organizers to create world-class virtual and hybrid events that have impacted people all over the world. Organizing a full-scale virtual or hybrid conference is overwhelmingly easy with the right team. Leave the stress to us, so you can focus on what you do best.

    Contact We & Goliath today for your free consultation.

    Together, We’re Virtually Unstoppable.

    We & Goliath

    We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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