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

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

Person completing a post-event survey questionnaire.

Beyond the Event: Unlocking the Power of Post-Event Surveys

Discover the secret weapon to elevate your events from merely amazing to mind-blowingly legendary: the artfully crafted post-event survey.

You did it – you crushed that event!

The energy was electric, the buzz was off the charts, and you’re riding high on that glorious post-event high.

Hats off to you!

But once the last stragglers have shuffled out and the lights go dark, an important question arises: how can you harness the wild success of this mind-blowing shindig to make the next one even more spectacular?

The answer, dear friends, lies in the immense power of the post-event feedback process.

Properly tapping into the insights and emotions of your attendees is the key to continuous improvement and escalating awesomeness.

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The Humble Survey’s Massive Potential

Sure, post-event surveys seem unassuming – just simple little feedback forms, right?

Wrong!

When crafted strategically with care and smarts, these humble questionnaires become secret weapons.

They unlock vital intelligence about:

  • What aspects of your event truly sparkled
  • Which elements could use some extra polish
  • What your attendees are yearning for next time around

But listen up: a poorly constructed post-event survey is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

You need an artfully designed experience to inspire attendees to eagerly share their raw, unfiltered thoughts and feelings.

This guide has your back.

We’ll walk you step-by-step through:

  1. The crucial questions to ask
  2. Optimizing when and how you send the survey
  3. Mining the results for maximum insight-extracting power

Get ready to become a survey grandmaster and take your future events from “Wow, that rocked!” to “How is this level of awesomeness even possible?!”

Status unlocked: Event Leveling Legendary.

For a more concise (and tickable version) of the questions covered below, click here.

Crafting Questions That Truly Matter

At the heart of any impactful post-event survey lies a thoughtfully curated question set.

These inquiries will pave your path to serious event enlightenment, so you better make them count.

Let’s explore the key areas to probe:

Overall Satisfaction Snapshot

This is your headliner question – a quick temperature check on how well your big event truly landed with attendees.

Something like:

“On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you with [Event Name]?”

Make sure to include a wide range of options to capture all those subtle shades of sentiment, from:

  • Extremely dissatisfied (Major room for improvement!)
  • Through Neutral (It was fine, but no sock-knocking happened.)
  • All the way up to Extremely satisfied! (I’m already psyched for next year!)

Then follow up with an open-ender to dig deeper:

“Please elaborate on your rating. What factors most impacted your overall satisfaction?”

This dynamic duo will paint a rich, multi-dimensional picture of the attendee experience – the hit aspects, the misses, and everything in between.

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Homing In On Key Event Elements

With that high-level satisfaction intel captured, it’s time to zoom the lens and get granular on specific aspects of your event.

These category-focused questions will reveal important optimizations to truly level up your game next time.

The exact elements you ask about will depend on your event type and format, but some common areas include:

  • Venue/Location
  • Content/Sessions
  • Speakers
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Technology/Virtual Experience
  • Food & Beverage

For each, use a rating scale combined with an open-ended follow-up to get both quantitative and rich qualitative data.

For example:

“How would you rate the quality of the speakers and presentations?”

  • Poor 👎 (More engaging than watching paint dry, but not by much)
  • Fair
  • Average
  • Good
  • Excellent ⭐ (I’m pretty sure that keynote speaker is actually a wizard)

“Which speaker or session did you find most valuable, and why?”

Be sure to note any elements that consistently rank low – those are prime candidates for some extra TLC on the next go-around.

And definitely keep those highly-rated aspects in regular rotation!

Operational Insight is Operational Power

Never underestimate the impact of a well-oiled operational machine on the attendee experience.

One rogue technology fail or broken communication link can seriously harsh an attendee's buzz.

That’s why including logistical and tech-focused questions is so vital.

For example:

  • “How easy was it to navigate the event app/virtual platform?”
  • “Did you encounter any AV/streaming issues during the presentations?”
  • “How satisfied were you with the pre-event info and instructions?”

If you offered an event app or other digital tools, be sure to ask about which features really resonated (or didn’t).

Those insights will illuminate where to double down your resource investment.

The Idea Bonanza: Extracting Future Vision

Your attendees are brimming with creative ideas and bold visions for making your future events achieve whole new levels of awesomeness.

Their suggestions are pure marketing gold!

Use open-ended prompts to extract those sparkling insights:

  • “What’s one thing we could have done to make this an even more legendary experience?”
  • “What fresh topics or innovative speakers would you love to see at the next [Event Name]?”
  • “How could we add even more value and ROI for you moving forward?”

Also, find out if your event truly delivered on its original promise by asking point-blank:

  • “Did this event live up to your expectations? Why or why not?”
  • “What were you hoping for that didn’t quite materialize?”

Soak up those responses like a starving sponge – they’re a direct roadmap for crafting future events that blow attendee desires clean out of the stratosphere.

Measuring Attendee Loyalty

Finally, you’ll want to gauge how firmly embedded your event is within the hearts and minds of your audience.

Are you cultivating a troupe of raving, loyal superfans?

Or is there still work to be done?

Find out with questions like:

  • “How likely are you to attend [Event Name] again next year?”
  • “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to rave about this event to friends and colleagues?”

If those scores are up in the stratosphere, you’ve clearly struck an amazing chord.

But if they’re lukewarm, better start digging into the rest of that feedback to pinpoint areas for improvement.

Phew, that’s a meaty batch of questions to mull over!

Nail these essentials and you’ll be wonderfully equipped to extract the voice-of-attendee insights that transform your events into truly legendary experiences.

But of course, having an awesome question set only gets you halfway there.

The other key? Delivering that survey at just the right moment

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When To Strike While The Iron Is Blazing Hot

You’ve got your arsenal of soul-searching questions prepped and polished.

Now it’s time to give some serious thought to your distribution timing and strategy, because botching these elements = suboptimal response rates.

And we want those coveted insights flooding in like a tidal wave of brilliance!

Seize The Momentum: Striking at The Perfect Moment

There’s a delicate sweet spot when it comes to the ideal survey deployment window.

You want to catch those fresh feelings while the event memories are still vivid and raw.

But you also need to give folks a little breather to process all the magic and reacclimate to reality.

Generally, around 1-2 days after your event wraps up is the prime-time zone to strike.

At this point:

  • The experience is still fresh enough to evoke all those vivid emotions
  • But not so recent that people are still delirious from over-stimulation

Much later than a couple days out, and your survey risks lapsing into the dreaded “Oh yeah, I should probably get around to that” territory.

Better avoided!

Short & Oh-So-Sweet: Nailing The Ideal Survey Flow

Once your timing is squared away, it’s time to optimize the survey structure itself.

The golden rule?

Keep it surprisingly simple and consummately consumable.

You may be tempted to cram in every possible query under the sun, but restrain yourself!

Nobody’s got patience for a marathon 50-question deluge.

For maximum completion rates, cap your surveys around 10-15 focused, value-packed questions.

Any longer, and you’ll watch those dropout rates rise as respondents are consumed by the dreaded “Are we there yet?” syndrome.

Pay close attention to keeping your survey:

  • Visually Attractive – Clean formatting, section breaks, ample white space
  • User-Friendly – Crystal-clear prompts, logical sequencing, easy navigation
  • Casual & Conversational – No stuffy corporatese or insider jargon allowed

Master the Art of Charm & Delight

Your survey invitation email is your one chance to instantly grab attention and set the tone for an engaging, rewarding experience.

Better make it count!

Craft your messaging to come across as warm, personable, and expressing genuine gratitude for the attendee's time and thoughts.

For example:

“Thank you for joining us at [Event Name] – your energy and insights are what made the event so special! To help shape an even more impactful experience in the future, we’d really value your candid feedback…”

Once your intention is clearly communicated, you might choose to sweeten the deal with an added incentive:

  • An exclusive discount code
  • Entry into a prize drawing
  • Special pre-registration window for next year

Any extra motivator like this can boost response rates by offering attendees something irresistible in return for their precious perspectives.

Persistence is a Virtue

Even with impeccable timing and an enticing invitation, real humans gonna real human.

Which means some folks will inevitably need an extra nudge to inspire survey completion.

No worries – just fire off a polite follow-up reminder a few days later.

A brief note like:

“I noticed we haven’t received your [Event Name] feedback just yet. Your perspectives are so vital to making our events even more amazing – could you please take 5 minutes to share your thoughts when you have a chance?”

That’s often all it takes to jog some procrastinators into gear.

And those last few valuable insights could reveal your next big event “Aha!” moment.

In summary:

  • Strike around 1-2 days out while the memories are luminous.
  • Nail that short-and-sweet, visually enticing format.
  • Exude appreciation in your invitation & reminder notes.
  • Maybe sprinkle in a tantalizing incentive.

Prioritize the complete experience, and you’ll be rewarded with a tidal wave of precious attendee intelligence.

With the “what” and “when” boxes ticked, your final frontier is ensuring your survey extract genuinely insightful feedback…

Next-Level Question Inspirations

Okay, you’ve got the art of crafting solid core survey questions down pat.

But if you really want to blow your attendees’ minds (in the best way!) it’s time to unlock your inner creative genius.

Your goal?

Designing a feedback experience that’s so delightfully unique and memorable, folks can’t wait to enthusiastically share their thoughts.

An irresistible dose of fun baked into an otherwise ordinary task.

Not sure how to inject that extra flair?

We’ve got you covered with some outside-the-box inspo:

  • Gamify the Whole Shebang – Add progress bars, make questions feel like an interactive quiz or story, tempt completers with prize incentives. Suddenly, sharing feedback is an adventure!
  • Go Heavy on the Visuals – Embed video clips or eye-catching event photos as prompts to jog those dormant memories and emotions. Let them comment and rate directly on specific visual moments.
  • Segment and Specialize – Not all attendees are created equal! Serve up dynamically adjusted surveys based on segments like first-timers vs. returners, general admission vs. VIP guests, session tracks, etc. Get hyper-relevant and respect their unique point of view.
  • Go Rogue on Format – Who says surveys have to live in inboxes? Try mobilizing the experience through channels like SMS, chatbots, social media polls, or in-app prompts to meet them where they’re already hanging.
  • Keep the Conversation Flowing – The feedback cycle doesn’t need to end with the survey itself. Follow up with a personalized note summarizing key findings and how you plan to implement that intel. Close the loop transparently!

See what we did there?

With just a dash of novel flair and element of surprise, even the ordinary post-event feedback process transforms into an unforgettable brand experience and value-add.

The key is never settling for stale or expected.

Keep pushing creative boundaries, and your audience will stay endlessly intrigued (and eager to share their $0.02!).

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Extracting Maximum Insights From Post-Event Survey Data

Nicely done, feedback-seeking warrior!

By now you should have a wealth of juicy attendee perspectives rolling in, ready to be transformed into brilliant discoveries.

But simply amassing that raw data isn’t enough.

To truly weaponize those insights into future event greatness, you’ll need to dive deep into some essential analysis.

Here are the key success measures and focused lenses to level up your survey smarts:

  • Survey Response Rate: This one’s a biggie – to feel statistically confident in your data set, you’ll want to achieve at least a 30-40% response rate from your total attendee pool. Higher is always better! If your numbers are looking anemic, it may be time to revisit your outreach and incentive strategy.
  • Completion Rate: Simply getting folks to click “Start” on your survey is one thing. Keeping them engaged and committed all the way through to the finish line is another challenge entirely! Keep close tabs on what percentage are completing every question without bouncing out early.
  • Sentiment Score Averages: For those handy quantitative rating scale questions (e.g. scoring 1-10), calculate the mean average scores across core areas like:
    • Overall satisfaction
    • Perceived value
    • Likelihood to attend again
    • Likelihood to recommend

Track these numerical benchmarks over time to quantify the precise impact of all your event enhancements and optimizations. Numbers going up? You’re stellar!

  • Qualitative Theme Spotting: While quantitative data delivers those satisfying black-and-white metrics, the real insight goldmines will emerge from carefully studying the qualitative feedback Universe. As you dig through those open-ended comments, watch for:
    • Recurring pain points or critiques
    • Consistent praise for specific elements
    • Surprising or novel suggestions
    • Those few quotable nuggets that perfectly encapsulate the attendee mindset

Patterns, anomalies, and standout soundbites are where you’ll find those game-changing “Aha!” moments.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) Calculation: This handy metric provides a quick snapshot of attendee loyalty to your brand. To calculate:
    1. Take the percentage of “Promoters” – those who rated you 9-10 out of 10.
    2. Subtract the percentage of “Detractors” – those who rated 6 or below.

If you end up with a positive NPS score, that’s solid. But if you’re rocking an impressive 50+, you’re cultivating an enviously enthusiastic fan base!

The magic lies in looking at your NPS trajectory over time, combined with the “Why?” themes driving those scores up or down. With that multi-dimensional view, you’ll enjoy remarkably crisp visibility into how you’re truly landing with your audience.

Now, a little tough love: Never get myopic and fixate on a single metric.

True event intelligence comes from harmonizing all those quantitative data points with rich qualitative color commentary from the trenches.

At the end of the day, your goal is tapping into the emotional heartbeat of your attendees.

Uncovering their deepest frustrations, their grandest visions, their most fervent desires.

Armed with that level of insight, you’ll be equipped to strategically iterate, elevate, and enhance every aspect of your events into truly legendary experiences bar-none.

That’s the power of the attendee perspective, after all!

So put in the analysis work.

Extract those precious insights.

And most importantly, take action to mold your future events into desire-manifesting wonderlands tailored to your audience’s deepest wants and needs.

More Tips to Refine Your Post-Event Survey

1. Keeping Responses Anonymous for Honest Feedback

One key part of making an effective post-event survey is ensuring people feel comfortable answering honestly.

When attendees know their responses are confidential, they’ll likely provide candid perspectives.

So make it very clear the survey is completely anonymous.

Emphasize this in your invite and in the survey itself.

Assure everyone their answers won’t ever be connected to them personally.

By promoting trust and privacy, you’ll get authentic feedback – the kind of insights that can totally transform your future events.

2. Getting More Responses with Rewards

Let’s be real – even the best survey competes for people’s limited time and attention.

To get sky-high response rates, think about offering an enticing reward for completing it.

The prize could be something simple like a discount code for your next event, entry into a prize drawing, or a free resource related to your conference.

Choose something your specific audience would truly appreciate.

A thoughtful reward means more people will take the survey.

But it also improves the quality of responses.

When participants feel their time and insights are genuinely valued, they’ll invest more care and thought into their answers.

3. Analyzing Data and Taking Action

Collecting a mountain of feedback is just the start – the real magic happens when you dive into analysis and decisive action.

Once your survey responses are in, set aside dedicated time to carefully review all the data.

Look for common themes, patterns, and noteworthy insights that reveal critical areas to improve and opportunities to innovate.

Transform those findings into a clear, prioritized action plan.

For each key insight, map out specific next steps, owners, and concrete timelines.

This bridges the crucial gap between raw feedback and tangible event enhancements.

Remember, people took valuable time out of their day to share heartfelt suggestions.

Honoring that investment with meaningful change powerfully shows you care about their experience and long-term loyalty.

4. Using Insights to Improve All Future Events

The true gems uncovered in your post-event survey are pure gold – not just for optimizing the next edition of that specific event, but for elevating your entire event portfolio.

As you carefully analyze the survey data, consider broader applications and lessons across all your events.

See if there are common pain points or issues that could be proactively tackled in future planning.

Are there standout ideas that could be cleverly adapted for multiple different events?

Approaching these insights with a holistic, big-picture mentality helps you extract maximum value from the feedback and drives continuous improvements year after year.

And when attendees directly see how their candid input shaped subsequent event experiences, it powerfully communicates how much their unique voice truly matters.

They’ll be even more eager to provide thoughtful insights again in your next survey.

Feedback is a Gift

Fully embracing the power of the post-event survey is a surefire way to catapult your events from simply “great” to truly “legendary.”

By crafting thoughtful questions, ensuring anonymity, incentivizing participation, and rapidly transforming insights into decisive action, you’ll unlock an invaluable wellspring of attendee intelligence that will elevate your entire event strategy to bold new heights.

So go forth and survey with confidence, knowing that every single piece of feedback you receive is a precious gift.

Your attendees are generously offering you an intimate window directly into their minds and hearts - a priceless opportunity to co-create event experiences that resonate on the deepest level.

Seize that rare opportunity with gusto, and watch in awe as your events become the stuff of industry legend, with a passionate community of attendees who simply cannot wait to experience (and rave about) what you’ll create for them next.

Your participants (and your bottom line) will thank you.

The post-event survey may seem like a humble, often overlooked tool – but don’t underestimate its immense potential for transformation.

Gathering, analyzing, and acting upon attendee feedback is the indispensable key that unlocks next-level event experiences that leave your participants clamoring for more.

Harness the hidden power of the post event survey to understand your audience on a deeper level, make their voice your northstar, and craft unforgettable events that will keep them coming back year after year.

Trust us – the insights you’ll uncover will be well worth the effort.

Bonus: Getting a Little Help From the Pros

Feeling maybe just a tad overwhelmed yet by the scope and vision we just covered?

You’re not alone – mastering the art and science of post-event surveys is no simple feat!

Lucky for you, reinforcements are standing by.

You don’t have to go it alone and struggle.

The survey masters of your dreams are just a friendly phone call or email away.

Meet the team at We & Goliath – bona fide industry veterans obsessed with optimizing the attendee experience through intelligent data and feedback systems.

From crafting the perfect survey architecture and deploying irresistible messaging, all the way through to deep-dive analysis and actionable insight extraction, they’re about to become your new Insightful Intake superheroes.

That data-smart intuition and event expertise packaged up into a trusty partner by your side?

The ultimate cheat code for post-event feedback domination.

A Trusty Co-Pilot For Flawless Feedback Journeys

Think of We & Goliath as the ultimate co-pilots for flawless post-event feedback capture and capitalization.

We’ll be your dutiful consultants from Point A to Point Z, including:

  • Survey Design & Deployment: Leverage our insights to construct an on-brand, ultra-engaging survey flow primed for maximum response rates. We’ll help you nail those questions that get to the heart of what you need to know.
  • Distribution Logistics: The right timing, channels, copy hooks, and incentive strategies to achieve an unbeatable survey participation rate. We’ll keep those responses flowing in hot!
  • In-Depth Reporting & Analytics: Once the facts start rolling in, We & Goliath’s analysis gurus will organize that raw data into illuminating visualizations and actionable intelligence. No more analysis paralysis!
  • Strategic Sensemaking: But they don’t stop at just reporting. The real magic happens as our event nerds collaborate with you to identify key themes, threats, and opportunities. Then together you’ll map out a brilliant action plan to implement those learnings into future event evolution.

There’s no need to needlessly struggle through the complexities of survey craft and insight elicitation.

We & Goliath provides that trusted second brain and experienced guidance from end-to-end of the process.

Why exhaust your resources trying to become an overnight survey expert?

Instead, benefit from our years of refined processes, native tools, and proven best practices from day one.

Let them handle the heavy lifting while you focus on the big picture – transforming attendee feedback into event experiences that blow minds and spark raving loyalty.

Ready to unlock your post-event survey superpowers and skyrocket into Event Greatness Stratosphere?

We & Goliath is standing by to help you make it happen.

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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