Events are an important part of your marketing strategy. They provide a unique opportunity for potential buyers to interact with your product and service and get to know your organization. You want to make a lasting impression so that potential buyers walk away knowing your company’s unique perspective and personality.

Events also give you the opportunity to align your brand with other organizations that share the same values or customer demographics.

Whether your event is a webinar, meetup, training session, user conference, tradeshow, or gala, surveys are an indispensable tool for assessing your attendee’s needs and measuring how well you are meeting them.

Event surveys can be used at all phases of your event to:

  • Explore your target audiences’ needs and expectations
  • Setup registration forms and collect payment
  • Collect logistical information to accommodate attendees
  • Engage attendees with interactive polls and quizzes and conduct mid-event evaluations on speakers and workshops
  • Increase leads/sales with lead generation forms
  • Measure the success of your event

Event Goal

Like any marketing campaign, your event must have a clear goal with measurable objectives. This will keep you on task and set you up for success.

Your event goal may be to:

  • Increase leads/sales
  • Increase awareness
  • Get product feedback
  • Build a community following
  • Establish a support network
  • Engage customers

Event Planning Survey

If you are just beginning to explore the idea of an event do some homework by conducting a discovery survey to confirm that there is indeed a need for the event and an audience to support it.

An event planning survey allows you to confirm that there is an interest and set expectations. Discovery surveys are typically qualitative in nature. Use open-ended questions to identify topics of interests and subject matter experts.
You can use quantitative question types such as radio buttons and check boxes to determine interest in tentative locations, format and dates. Be sure when you use these question types to include an “other” option to capture options you did not consider.

Event Registration

For any event to be successful, you need attendees. Having an optimized registration form that makes it easy for registrants to signup is paramount to a well-attended event.

Your registration form should be short and simple. There is a direct correlation between the number of fields to complete and the completion rate. Your main goal is to get them signed up.

The more benefits your event has to offer, the more you can ask from your participants. People are hesitant to provide information it they don’t feel there is value in it. You need to create content around your event that convinces them that it is well worth their while. Show the value and the benefits attendees will receive from your event.

Don’t be needy by asking for too much information up front. If you plan your event well in advance, you will have plenty of opportunities to collect more information about your participants as keep you them informed of the event.

Several advanced survey tools, allow you to collect payment at the time of registration. This will save you the hassle of trying to collect payment later.

Pre-Event Survey

Once participants have registered, you will want to follow up with a pre-event survey that asks them about the sessions they would like to attend, diet restrictions, their level of expertise, travel requirements, etc. This will allow you to finalize logistics such as the session size, menu, training material, hotel accommodations, transportation, swag, etc.
Set up an event calendar that evenly distributes your pre-event survey and event reminders. These reminders should include tidbits about the latest developments in your event to build anticipation and excitement. Be sure to convey what is in it for them.

Remember that this is the time to get to know your attendees and develop a relationship. They will feel much more comfortable at the event having someone on the inside to contact if they have any questions or concerns.

Engage Event Attendees

Regardless of the type of event you are hosting, whether it be a webinar, training session, or conference, you can keep participants engaged with interactive polls and quizzes. These can be fun trivia questions, interesting facts, or opinions about the event topic. It will keep your attendees on their toes.

Lead Generation

Every marketer wants to collect more leads. If you are a sponsor at a conference or tradeshow, collect attendee contact information as you meet them. Sure, you could collect business cards, but you are going to have to input the data later.

Web forms make it easy to collect contact information without having to enter data later. Set up an iPad or laptop at your booth or table with your lead generation form in kiosk mode so that interested prospects can enter their contact information. Even if you don’t have internet access, you can collect these offline using an advanced survey tool.

The single most important thing you can do to collect more leads is to keep your form short and simple. You may be tempted to collect as much information as you can, but keep in mind that with every field you add, you will decrease your completion rate.

Start by requesting their name and email. People are leery about giving their phone number so if you do ask for it, keep the field optional. Understandably, you will want the name of the organization they work for and their title, but keep it at that. You can follow up later for more details.

Post-Event Feedback

Once your event is over, it is important to follow-up with your attendees to measure the success of your event. A post-event survey allows you to collect attendee feedback. This feedback will allow you to make your next event even better while further building your relationship with your attendees and sponsors. It will also allow you to better market your next event.

The link to the survey can be sent in your thank you email. It will behoove you to set up both your email and survey before the event so that you can send it out the day after the event while it is still fresh in your attendees’ mind. Hopefully they will be basking in the glow of your successful event and you are taking a breather knowing that everything is setup and ready to go.

  • Satisfaction Rating
    Start your post-event survey by asking attendees how satisfied they were overall with the event. Then touch upon the different aspects of your event by allowing attendees to rate speakers, workshops, venue, entertainment, food, lodging, etc. A Likert scale or table of radio buttons makes it easy for respondents to answer.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
    While respondents may indicate that they are satisfied with your event, it does not necessarily mean that they will attend another event or recommend it to friends or colleagues.

    An NPS question asks them how likely they are to recommend the event. This is an 11-point scale ranging from 0 to 10. Respondents who answer on the low end (1-4) are your detractors. Those who answer in the middle (5-8) are neutral. Those who answer in the upper end (9 & 10) are your promoters. These are the folks you should ask for a testimonial.

  • Testimonial
    Follow-up your NPS question with an open textbox question type that asks those respondents who gave you a score of 9 or 10 if they would be willing to provide a testimonial that you can share. Use question logic so that only those who rated you highly see this question.

    This is a great tactic for collecting testimonials that you can use when marketing you next event!

  • Campaign Source
    Ask attendees how they heard about your event so that you know which campaign was the most effective in driving in registrants. This will allow you to optimize your campaigns for your next event and save you money.
  • Sponsor Recall
    Be sure to ask your attendees which sponsors they recall seeing at your event. This gives you the ammunition you need when asking past sponsors to your next event.
  • Demographics
    Lastly be sure to ask for demographic information so that you have a better understanding of who your target market is. This will allow you to optimize your marketing message.

Don’t forget to send a post-event survey to your sponsors as well. Keeping them satisfied will be important in securing their support at future events. Ask them if to rate the value they found in sponsoring your event. Then ask them to rate various aspects such as logistics, communications, event staff, transportation, etc. Lastly, ask them if they have any suggestions for improvements.

Event Evaluation

Once you have had a chance to rest after your stellar event, start analyzing your post-event data to see where you need to make changes. Determine if you met your event goal and calculate the ROI. Then start planning your next event with the changes you need to make. With actionable feedback, a list of attendee leads and sponsors, it is sure to be your best event yet!

Survey Examples:
Event Planning Survey
Post Event Survey Example

Related Articles:
A Guide to Events
Using Qualitative Exploration To Create Quantitative Surveys
How To Use a Qualitative Survey For Event Planning
How To Optimize Your Event Registration Form Like A Web Marketing Pro

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