Contributed by Jody Long There are two main reasons you want to gather feedback after an event. First, you want to see how your customers did or didn’t like the event and gather information to help plan for the next one. This is especially important if you plan the same event each year. Secondly, as an event planner, you want to know how you did. Perhaps there were some details you completely overlooked without realizing it. When should I gather feedback? If not at the event, then immediately after. Attendees will have the event fresh on their minds, and asking them in person to fill out a survey will most likely give you more responses. How should I ask for feedback? You can print out surveys and hand them out at your event, and make sure to collect them before your attendees leave. If you have the attendees’ email addresses from registration, feel free to email them a survey and ask them to email it back to you by a certain date. Another great way to collect feedback is by creating a survey online. There are many free websites including Survey Monkey and Kwik Surveys. Paid websites such as Constant Contact can also accommodate online surveys and will not limit you in the number of questions or responses. What should I ask? While there are an infinite number of questions you can ask on your survey, keep in mind that you should keep it short. It’s a good idea to also include a mix of questions, here are some suggestions. Questions with a rating scale: · How satisfied were you with the event? · How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend? · How likely are you to attend our future events? Open ended questions (include a comment box): · What were your greatest take-away from the event? · Please provide suggestions for improving our future events. · How did you hear about our event? Miscellaneous survey questions: · Was the duration of the event too long, just right, or too short? · Was the price of the event too expensive, priced right, or inexpensive? Other things to use surveys for at an event: · You can also use surveys to gather feedback before an event, and use the information as a planning tool. It could be proactive to email your attendees asking which day of the week would work better, how far they are willing to travel, and so on. · Feel free to use a survey for asking for discussion topics at an upcoming event, or questions that attendees would like to ask the presenter.