Post Event Surveys

How to Effectively Design and Use a Post Event Survey

Events can create memorable experiences that foster deeper relationships, increase customer loyalty and retention and attract new prospective customers.

Soon after each event a post-event, survey should be run. The data from the survey will be an integral part of your post-event analysis. The results from the  survey will help you to:

  • Give attendees a chance to provide candid evaluations
  • Verify if the event met attendees expectations
  • Identify and clarify any issues that came up
  • Determine if you have met your event goals
  • Learn more about your attendees to help in planning future events
  • Get suggestions for changes and improvements

You’ll start by setting up your survey.

Survey Design Tips

You’ll want to keep your post event survey as short and concise as possible.

Attendees will tolerate a slightly longer survey for a 3-day event than they will a one-hour webinar. You can expect your drop-off rate to increase, though, if your survey takes more than 5 minutes. Setting a clear goal for the data you need will help keep your survey focused.

A mixture of question types helps keep a survey engaging. Use quantitative question types with closed answer options to make it easy for your respondents to answer.

Grid questions can be used to group questions with similar answer options to shorten your survey length. A few qualitative questions can be included to get candid comments from attendees.

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Some Example Questions to Ask

Start your survey with broad questions and then narrow down to specifics. An overall rating question on the event as a whole is a great way to start.

Ask attendees why they chose to attend your event. Knowing this will help you dedicate the necessary time to sessions that proved most valuable.

If you have not collected information on what campaign was most effective in getting attendees signed up for the event you could ask a question on how they heard about your event. This information will help in planning campaigns for future events.

Demographics of the audience that chose to attend your event are very important. They allow you to understand what is appealing to different audiences. Include questions like education level, gender, age, income, profession, etc. that could impact your future campaigns.

Ask whether attendees would recommend the event to others. A Net Promoter Score (NPS) question type is a great way to measure how respondents feel their time was well spent at the event.

A final open text question is a good way to end, in this case to collect suggestions that might be considered for future events. If it is important to get comments on different aspects of the event, you may include comment questions after rating questions about individual areas of an event.

Social proof on your event page will help increase your sign up rate for your next event. If a respondent rated your event highly, trigger a follow up question to ask if they would like to leave a testimonial that you can use to promote future events.

Once you’ve crafted and tested your survey internally, you’ll be ready to run it and collect data.


It’s best to send the invitation to take your survey out within a few days of the event to get the best possible information.

Distribution Methods

Email is the most common and effective means of distributing your survey. Advanced survey tools allow the system to determine who has and has not started the survey. If the survey was not opened then an automated reminder can be sent to that respondent.

Another option for distribution is to embed the survey on your event page. You could collect anonymous feedback in this way by sending everyone to the same location to take the survey.

When the survey has run and collected data you’ll be ready to work with the results in your post event analysis.

Post Event Analysis with Survey Results Data

Once you’ve run your survey the first time you’ll have benchmark data that you can compare future results against. This allows you to see the differences over time as changes are made to events. There will be some data that you can use for all events, but some data comparisons may only be useful when made among similar events.

You’ll also want information from your staff as well, both those who planned the event as well as those who executed the event. Certainly it’s possible to run another survey for staff but you may be able to gather staff information in retrospective meetings as well.

It is important to create reports and data exports to share. The event and marketing teams will be interested in results. Any staff that participated in the event will want to hear attendees feedback.

In communicating feedback about staff that participated in the event, it may be helpful to go over it with managers first. They can then either provide the feedback to the staff themselves or may have the event planning team send it to the staff directly.

A final gathering of the team is a great place to go over both staff and attendee feedback. You’ll be covering a lot of information so you’ll want to set aside enough time and send out the topics to be covered ahead of time.

You can go over successes and failures. Then, start planning to repeat the success and research for alternatives or resolutions for the areas that did not go well.

Taking the time to go over survey response data, team feedback and applying lessons learned will put you on the road to success for your next event.

Going Above and Beyond in Surveys

There are some ways that you can update your survey and create even more value.

An additional feature to consider:

  • Include logic so that only pertinent questions are seen. For instance, in the survey you might add logic so only questions that are pertinent to that respondent’s experience are asked. You might ask if the attendee went to a particular session and if not you can use logic to cause rating and comment questions on that session to not appear in your survey for that respondent.


With data from a timely Post Event survey and feedback from your team, you’ll be able to conduct a complete analysis of an event. This will help you to improve events over time, leading to more satisfaction on the part of attendees and a greater likelihood that they’ll share positive reviews with others.

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