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

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

Pre - virtual event survey questions.

Pre-Virtual Event Survey Questions for Better Feedback

Unlock the secret to perfect attendee-aligned virtual events with our insider guide to crafting targeted pre-event surveys that deliver the rich insights needed to tailor superb experiences.
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Join the Virtual Event Revolution!

Let our crew of creative tech wizards cast an online engagement spell to mesmerize your audiences into a virtual frenzy! 

Anticipation hangs thick in the air as the clock ticks down to your virtual event kickoff.

Attendees flock to login links, digital swag bags prepped.

But despite meticulous planning, an uneasy doubt lingers鈥攚ill your programming actually align with attendee hopes?

Without a crystal ball, how can you confidently calibrate the event scale to match user needs?
The secret is simple: ask.Pre-event surveys supply the missing puzzle piece to perfect participant-centric programming.

Unlock rich insights into attendee incentives, interests and requirements using targeted questions.

Then artfully mold sessions, showcases and schedules to match.

Crafting smart surveys sidesteps assumption traps securing satisfied audiences eager to engage.

Read on to discover field-tested pre-event questions that deliver actionable intel to tailor successful virtual events.

Source: Typeform

What to Ask in a Pre-Event Survey

Surveys are a vital part of any successful virtual event.

Asking participants questions beforehand allows organizers to tailor the experience and set proper expectations.

But what exactly should you ask to get truly helpful feedback? Here are some of the most important pre-event survey questions to include.

Gauge Interest and Motivation

First and foremost, you’ll want to know why your attendees signed up and what they hope to get out of the event. Asking open-ended questions like:

  • What motivated you to register for this event?
  • What are your goals in attending?
  • What topics or issues do you want to hear more about?

Gives insight into interests and incentives. For recurring events, also ask:

  • If you’ve attended before, what made you want to return?
  • If this is your first time, what piqued your interest?

Seeing what attracts both new and returning guests helps focus programming.

Manage Expectations

Virtual events come with their own set of challenges.

Make sure to set realistic expectations around the format to avoid dissatisfaction. Ask:

  • How familiar are you with virtual events?
  • What do you see as the biggest advantages? Drawbacks?
  • How comfortable are you with the technology required?

Gauging familiarity and perceptions allows you to highlight advantages and proactively address potential weak spots.

Similarly, inquire about preferences via:

  • What is your ideal balance between structured content vs. networking?
  • What session length works best for you?
  • How much do you hope to interact with speakers/other attendees?

Managing expectations upfront prevents frustration later.

Gather Logistics and Requirements

You’ll also need some basic logistical details:

  • What devices will you use to participate?
  • What is your internet speed and reliability?
  • Are you planning to join all sessions or just selected ones?

Use this info to ensure accessibility and smooth streaming.

Additionally, ask:

  • Do you have any special needs or requirements?
  • Is this your first virtual event?

Accommodating disabilities and assisting newcomers reveals inclusiveness.

Leave Room for Open Feedback

Lastly, invite attendees to share anything else relevant with:

  • What else should we know to make this event valuable for you?

This gives participants a chance to raise previously unseen topics and needs organically. Demonstrating you care enough to ask goes a long way!

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Sample Questions for a Pre-Event Survey

While question categories are important for covering all your bases, the specific wording also matters.

Here are some sample pre-event survey questions you can reference or directly use while creating your own.

Interest and Motivation

  • What interested you most about this event? Why did you decide to attend?
  • Have you participated in one of our events before? If yes, what made you want to return? If no, how did you hear about us?
  • What are your personal or professional goals for attending this event? What do you hope to take away?
  • Is there a specific topic we’re covering that you’re most excited to learn more about?
  • How did you hear about this event? (Social media, referral, advertisement etc.)
  • On a scale of 1-10, how interested are you in the subject matter of this event?

Expectations and Preferences

  • How much experience do you have with virtual events? Is this your first time attending one online?
  • What do you see as the biggest advantages and potential drawbacks of virtual events compared to in-person?
  • What tools and technology will you be using to participate in sessions? How reliable is your internet connection? Do you anticipate any issues joining video streams?
  • What is your preferred session length for remaining engaged without fatigue (e.g. 45 mins, 60 mins, 90 mins, etc.)?
  • How important is networking with other attendees to you? Do you hope to make connections at this event?
  • Do you prefer presentations, panels, or workshops?
  • How long are you able to focus and remain engaged in a virtual session?
  • What tools do you find most effective for networking at virtual events?

Logistics and Requirements

  • What devices (computer, phone, tablet) will you use to access sessions?
  • Please rate the speed and reliability of your internet connectivity on a scale of 1-5.
  • Do you plan to attend all sessions or just selected ones? If only some, which topics interest you most?
  • Do you have any special accessibility needs or requirements (e.g. closed captioning, sign language interpretation, audio descriptions)? Please specify so we can accommodate.
  • Is there anything else we should know to ensure you have the best experience possible?
  • What time zone will you be participating from?
  • Will you need to step away during certain sessions? If so, which ones?
  • Do you anticipate any distractions or multitasking during the sessions?

Open Feedback

  • What other topics would you like to see covered or go more in-depth on?
  • Do you have any suggestions for how we can improve your event experience this year or next?
  • Are there any additional services or offerings we can provide to enhance your experience?
  • What suggestions do you have for social events or networking opportunities?
  • Are you satisfied with the registration process so far? Any recommended improvements?
  • What types of content keep you most engaged during long virtual sessions?
  • Which virtual event features are most important to you? Rank: chat, Q&A, polls, 1:1 video networking.
  • What incentives would make you more likely to actively participate during sessions?
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Tips for Effective Pre-Event Surveys

Now that you know what to ask, here are some best practices for executing surveys that deliver great intel.

Mind the Timing

When you field your questionnaire matters.
Too soon and details may be hazy. Too late and adaptations are limited.
Ideally, send pre-event surveys:

  • 1-2 weeks before one-day events
  • 1 month+ before multi-day conferences

This gives you time to implement feedback while details are still fresh for attendees.

Keep it Concise

Survey length impacts response rates. Stick to key questions concisely phrased to avoid overburdening participants.

General guidelines:

  • One day events: 10-15 questions
  • Multi-day conferences: 15-20 questions

Use rating scales verses long-form answers when possible for simpler analyzing too.

Make it Mobile Friendly

With multi-device usage surging, ensure your survey is mobile optimized. Key elements:

  • Minimal scrolling
  • Legible formatting
  • Touch-friendly response options

Test on both desktop and mobile to catch issues.

Follow Up

Even perfectly crafted surveys see drop off. Plan follow-up contacts to increase responses.

  • Send the initial survey invite 1-2 weeks before your event
  • Follow up 3-5 days pre-event reminding unresponsive registrants via email and text

Catching late responders right before the event means their feedback is still actionable.

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17 Odd but Effective Pre-Event Survey Questions

Want to mix it up a bit? Here are 17 thought-provoking pre-event survey questions that look beyond surface-level details:

  1. What’s your favorite animal? While a quirky icebreaker, this can reveal personality traits to consider when forming virtual breakout rooms. Match hunters with adventurers for lively debates!
  2. What historical figure would you want to meet at the event? This abstract query uncovers attendee interests allowing you to incorporate relevant themes. Frequent Marie Curie responses? Add science elements!
  3. What magical power would make your remote workday easier? Teleportation and time freezing are sure to come up, uncovering pain points like commutes and distractions. Use this input to maximize productivity and accessibility.
  4. What is your favorite motivational quote? People’s inspirations say a lot about what messaging will resonate with them best. Are attendees moved by practicality or passion? Tailor communications accordingly.
  5. What is an unusual fun fact about yourself? Drawing out unexpected personal details fosters social bonding. Use the answers as icebreakers for online introductions and networking.
  6. What song gets you pumped up in the morning? Asking about empowering anthems provides a soundtrack for mood-setting event playlists. Upbeat tempos paired with themed lyrics influence energy levels.
  7. What TV series should everyone binge-watch next? Pop culture preferences reveal wider interests and trends. Incorporate relevant clips or references to entertain different tastes during sessions.
  8. What childhood snack do you miss the most? Nostalgic food questions set a convivial tone while identifying regional favorites. Local specialties as virtual event treats or meal vouchers add personalized charm.
  9. What mythical creature would you want as an office pet? Imagining fantasy companions shows individual preferences for working styles from collaboration to concentration. Tailor your remote environment groups accordingly.
  10. What slogan best describes your outlook right now? A mini personal mission statement sums up current mindsets, from determined to defeated. Use this barometer to address pain points and adjust motivational messaging.
  11. What hobby would you love to have more time pursuing? Interests outside work uncover talents to tap for event activities from showcases to contests. Give athletes or artists a chance to shine!
  12. If you could add anyone from history to our guest speaker line-up, who would it be? Dream keynote drafts indicate admired innovations and insights. Match speakers and topics to these role models to amp up engagement.
  13. What world cuisine best describes your personality? Comparing tastes to traits sets a playful tone while revealing cultural identifying factors. Use answers to guide meal recommendations showcasing global diversity.
  14. Which historical period or event defines your personal style? Stylistic era affiliations highlight aesthetic leanings towards minimalism or embellishment. Incorporate corresponding design elements into communications for maximum appeal.
  15. What natural landscape best represents your ideal state of mind? Geographic metaphors convey inner mindsets from the vigor of raging rivers to the tranquility of desert plains. Use descriptions to frame reflective workshop prompts.
  16. If you had a spirit animal, what would it be? Assigning enviable traits of creatures captures how people see themselves at their best. Call on these aspirational identities to articulate shared objectives.
  17. What fictional society would you most fit into? Associating with fantasy realms spanning steampunk to sci-fi reveals individual preferences for tone from quaint to futuristic. Reflect themes in agenda visuals and language selection.

While odd questions may seem tangential at first glance, they uncover unexpected insights that allow event organizers to provide personalized, engaging experiences tailored specifically to their attendees.

Driving Participation with Pre-Event Surveys

Pre-event surveys also boost attendance directly when used smartly.

Simply asking attendees questions before the event demonstrates extraordinary commitment on the host’s behalf.

Participants feel cared for as organizers seek deep understanding of motivations and needs.
This fuels excitement to engage with a listener-focused event while forging early bonds between planners and attendees.
Plus, well-crafted surveys pique intrigue even as they gather intel.

Tantalizing session teases and program hints get attention.

Attendees grow eager to see customizations and topics highlighted in questions come to life.

This momentum then feeds on itself.

Inspired attendees talk up the event to peers, driving viral, word-of-mouth promotion.

On the logistical side, pre-event questionnaires also ensure 100% reach.

Touching base ahead of time guarantees you intercept each registrant before day-of hurdles potentially limit participation.

Follow up is infinitely easier too.

You’ll have direct contact information to remedy issues if an attendee flags tech difficulties or specialized requirements.

Identifying and resolving barriers to entry maximizes turnout.

So while pre-event surveys necessitate planning, their far-reaching impact makes commitment more than worthwhile.

Thoughtful questionnaires demonstrate extraordinary care for attendees while fueling anticipation and streamlining tech hurdles.

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Virtual Event Survey Templates and Tool Recommendations聽

Creating quality surveys takes work. Save effort with pre-built templates tailored to virtual events. Here are some top options:

SurveyMonkey makes professional questionnaire creation easy with an intuitive builder and expert tips.

Sign up for free basic access or upgrade for advanced features like data analytics. Offers a library of +100 virtual event survey templates spanning:

  • Pre-event questionnaires
  • Post-event feedback forms
  • Event evaluation templates
  • And more

Typeform takes surveys to the next level with adaptable queries, interactive data visualizations and dynamic design options.

The customizable platform specializes in maximizing completion rates thanks to polished aesthetics and mobile-optimized flexibility. Subscription plans start around $35/month.

Slido melds surveys seamlessly with live virtual events for real-time feedback.

From audience Q&As to pulse polls and word clouds, the virtual event engagement toolkit boosts participation before, during and after conferences.

Free tier available but advanced analytics and dashboard features require paid plans around $9 per month.

Rather than creating questionnaires from scratch, leverage pre-made templates tailored to virtual event needs.

Add your own custom questions for the perfect mix of convenience and relevance!

Segmenting Audiences with Tiered Surveys

Tailored surveys can also provide better insights. For especially large or diverse events, consider segmenting audiences and fielding targeted questionnaires accordingly.

Segmenting by Sub-Topic

For instance, at an industry conference covering many niches, split specialities into unique buckets:

  • Breakout session #1 for medical professionals
  • Breakout session #2 for engineers
  • Breakout session #3 for designers

Then tailor queries around track-specific problems and use cases. This surfaces granular pain points per audience while streamlining irrelevant questions.

Segmenting by Experience

Alternatively, for a highly technical topic like blockchain development with both newbies and veterans in attendance, a segmented approach could prove useful:

  • Beginner pre-event survey
  • Intermediate pre-event survey
  • Advanced pre-event survey

Scales complexity not to overwhelm less-experienced participants. Also allows higher-level inquiry for experts.

Segmenting is Simple

Registration flows can seamlessly branch into tailored surveys based on attributes provided. For example:

  • Industry or niche
  • Job title
  • Past event attendance
  • Stated experience level in X

Get creative with criteria to best isolate your core constituencies!

While building 1-to-1 connections across all attendees provides immense value in itself, targeted questionnaires help create specialized pre-event intel.

Use this strategy for more granular insights across complex or highly diverse events.

Source: Examples.com

Post-Event Surveys

While this guide focuses on pre-event questionnaires, also consider sending a follow-up post-event survey.

Used in conjunction, these two instruments offer invaluable before and after insights.
Pre-event responses establish expectations and interests ahead of time, while post-event feedback shows what actual experience delivered.
Comparing the two allows you to really zero in on gaps for future improvement.

Here are some key areas to evaluate after the fact:

Overall Satisfaction

  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you with the event overall?
  • Did the event meet, exceed or fall short of your expectations? In what ways specifically?

Gauging broad satisfaction levels lets you benchmark and identify problem areas.

Content Quality & Relevance

  • What sessions did you attend? How interesting and useful did you find them?
  • Was there a topic you were hoping to hear more on that wasn’t covered well?

Assesses content appeal and alignment with interests noted pre-event.

Logistics Assessment

  • How smooth and enjoyable was the technical experience of participating virtually?
  • Any issues with streaming, accessibility features or navigation?

Pinpoints platform problems.

Suggestions & Testimonials

  • What worked best about this event that we should be sure to do again?
  • Do you have any other suggestions for improving your experience in the future?
  • Would you recommend this event to others? Why or why not?

Surfaces standout successes to repeat and areas needing work. Adding an open testimonial option also generates event social proof.

Cross-analyzing pre and post-event surveys illuminates your event’s high and low points. Over time, aggregated data reveals opportunities to evolve.

So make the dual survey combo a standard part of your virtual event follow up for optimal insights year over year!

Want to get a head start on your post event survey questions? Click here.

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Grow Event ROI with Surveys

Pre and post-event questionnaires also exponentially grow event ROI beyond superior programming and smooth execution.

Participant surveys generate actionable attendee insights organizers can repurpose widely for increased authority, enriched marketing and demand gen.

For example, agendas adapted from attendee interests inherently align better with target buyer pain points.

Repackage session summaries as gated lead magnet content after events conclude.

Get specific with personas and use cases via:

  • 鈥淭op 5 Ways Engineers Maximize Virtual Event Networking鈥
  • 鈥淪caling Design Team Collaboration Across Remote Teams鈥

These focused offshoots leverage pre-event reported incentives and real attendee testimony for authentic appeal that fuels conversions.

Likewise, use post-event trend data to shape new lead gen content offers, email nurture streams and advertising.

If post-event surveys reveal uptake challenges across global subsidiary offices, create a subsidiary kit for the next event.

Then adapt kit content into a multitouch offers for wider subsidiary HQ audiences.

At scale, cloned conversions compound quickly thanks to continually refreshed, high quality survey data always available to mine.

Measure impact via lead gen and sales metrics quarter over quarter.

So while questionnaires alone create better events, their downstream marketing potential skyrockets long term value.

Turn transient event data into infinite assets through continual repackaging.

Soon participant feedback fuels entire go-to-market self-perpetuation machines!

Pre-Event Surveys Set the Stage for Success

Pre-event surveys may take effort upfront, but pay major dividends in optimized programming and satisfied attendees.

Asking the right questions gives invaluable visibility into attendee motivations, expectations, needs and interests. This allows organizers to tailor content accordingly.

For example, if pre-event feedback reveals a desire for more informal networking time, you can rework schedules to accommodate. Or, if certain topics dominate over others, you can expand relevant sessions.
Not only does this listener-focused approach increase enjoyment day-of, but it also demonstrates extraordinary responsiveness on the event organizer's behalf.
Attendees feel heard and cared for, fueling engagement, loyalty and satisfaction. Even simple changes based on survey feedback say 鈥淲e want you to get the most out of this event.鈥

The result is superior program alignment, win-win accommodations and goodwill all around – perfect for spurring participation, buzz and event growth over time.

So while pre-event prep may already feel extensive, surveys deserve a spot on the checklist. The effort truly pays dividends across the board.

Unlock Show-Stopping Virtual Events

Imagine the virtual event of your dreams – an interactive digital experience so riveting, your attendees rave for months.

An online gathering so dialed into your community’s core incentives, you secure loyal brand advocates for life.

Stop dreaming – make that vision real with a free strategy session.

In just 60 minutes of bouncing ideas, our event architects will map out targeted solutions for your wildest success goals.

We’ll dig deep into the key drivers catalyzing your event then design custom engagement boosters and high-converting features to lock in results.

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We’re ready to make your online event vision a rousing reality!

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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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