You have held your event. Perhaps you think it went well and you're happy with the entire affair. Or perhaps you feel that most things went wrong and you regret that you ever arranged it. We all know how it feels to succeed in putting on a social occasion - and how it feels to fail.
But now is the time you should start reaping the rewards of your event, and now is the time the most important work begins. Even if you think you have succeeded, you still can't be sure that you have succeeded in the right way. And even if you believe your event has been a failure, it can in reality turn out that you have gained something from it in the end.
You can only find out by measuring the results of your efforts. It's best to do this on several separate occasions. The more measurements you have from your event, the more tools you have to tailor your marketing in the future - with greater opportunities of hitting the target.
How and when do you measure the results of your event? Do you think it feels presumptuous to ask your attendees for feedback? Don't feel that way. You have given your customers food, drinks and entertainment. Now it's time for them to give something in return. And they do this with their thoughts, their knowledge and their views.
"Need to know" or "nice to know"?
Before you begin thinking about measuring the response to your event, you must first know how you should react to the results. Doesn't it feel good to hear praise and flattery? But if you only do the survey because you want to get confirmation that everyone was satisfied, the results won't be of much use to you. If, on the other hand, you conduct the survey to learn more about your target group and to find out what you can do better, you've come a long way.
The most important thing is that you know what you want to achieve in the end, regardless of whether it is to sell more products, increase knowledge about your business or extend your network of contacts. Should the result of your efforts be measured in the number of goods sold? Or should it result in more people seeking employment with you? As you can see, it doesn't always have to be about money.
The more measurements the better - but don't be tedious
As we mentioned earlier, it's good to get a lot of measurements. Try to measure at different times, both before and after the event. Before the event, it may be interesting to use a questionnaire to find out what the attendees expect from the event and what they think they will get benefit from.
During the event, it may be of interest to do smaller surveys using audience response clickers, small discrete interviews, or whatever fits the situation.
The most important survey comes after the event. That's when you ask the questions that will give answers for the future and what you can do better. This survey is well-suited to being carried out via digital newsletter, ideally the same type of newsletter you used to invite your guests.
In our market survey course, you can read more about the correct way to conduct a survey.
But there is always a limit beyond which it becomes too much. Too many surveys and questionnaires can seem a little tedious. You know best when it's time to draw the line. It's also good if you go over your questions and remove those that don't seem relevant, or those that feel like repetitions of previous questions.
What is important to you?
When you have collected all of your data, it's time to analyse the answers. Focus most on the answers that are important for your business development. Is it important to know how the lunch you served tasted? If you think so, you should focus on those answers. Perhaps it's more important to know if your attendees got the information they were in need of, and if the event lived up to expectations.
Dare to expose yourself
When you ask questions, you are exposing yourself a little. You are admitting to the other person that you're in the dark and that you need help to find your way. Don't be afraid of that. The more open and more courageous you are when you ask the questions, the better the response will be.
Quite simply, ask your event attendees for help. Ask them if they can help you and your business to develop in any way. Let them be creative in their answers and be clear about the intention of your questions. Let them know that you are asking for help in order to be able to offer them even better products or services. Let them make their contribution to your business - after all, you have put on an event for them!