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How to Create Event Survey Questions People Will Enjoy to Answer

What’s crucial in conducting these surveys is to create event survey questions people will enjoy answering, and in this guide, we will discuss how.

For event planners and organizers, evaluating how an event performs is crucial to ensure you can run even better events by learning from your mistakes and building on what worked well. 

With that being said, running event surveys remain one of the go-to methods for objectively finding out what your attendees think about your event, whether your sponsors are happy and are likely to support your next event, and more. 

Pre-event survey questions are crucial for assisting the planning stage of the event while also helping you measure your stakeholders’ expectations about the event. 

Post-event surveys can help you gain important insights from your attendees, internal team members, sponsors, and other stakeholders that would otherwise be hidden in plain sight, and these insights will be essential for optimizing your next event and evaluating your team’s performance. 

What’s crucial in conducting these surveys is to create event survey questions people will enjoy answering, and in this guide, we will discuss how.

Event Survey Questions: Who To Ask?

Before we even discuss what kinds of questions we should ask in the event survey, first we should consider who we should ask. Different groups of people we can seek feedback for will need different types of questions, and there are generally three major groups to consider:

  1. Your Team Members

    You should definitely gather feedback from your internal team, including volunteers. They are an extremely valuable source to learn about what worked and what didn’t throughout the planning and actual execution of the event. 

    While you don’t actually need to send actual surveys to your team members and volunteers (for example, you can ask for their feedback in the evaluation meeting), it’s worth sending individual emails stating your thanks for their good work and asking if they have any feedback.

    You’ll be surprised about the information they can give about the event’s execution and planning that would otherwise get lost in the shuffle. 

  2. Sponsors

    This one is fairly obvious, your sponsors are potentially the most important stakeholders of your event, and it would make sense you want their feedback too. 

    Sending post-event surveys to sponsors (or at least, sending an email asking for their feedback) is especially crucial if you are going to host other events in the future. It’s important to figure out whether you’ve done something the sponsor doesn’t like so you can avoid doing the same thing for future events. 

    Also, asking for their feedback can make them feel more appreciated and that you value their input, which can help in maintaining a positive relationship. 

  3. Attendees

    Last but not least, your attendees, your target audience. 

    These are the people you literally design and produce the event for, so a post-event survey is crucial if you want to know about their experience before, during, and after the event.

    Attendees

    Similar to sponsors, knowing what worked for your audience and what didn’t can help secure repeat attendees for your future events. Events are like restaurants: if they aren’t happy about their experience in your event, they won’t come back. So, surveys are actually crucial in ensuring your event marketing success. 

Different Types of Event Survey Questions

Obviously, there are countless different types of questions we can ask event stakeholders, but we can categorize these questions into three major types: 

  • Open-ended questions: also known as qualitative questions, where the survey participants can provide their own sentences in their answers. More difficult to analyze, but can provide valuable qualitative feedback. For example, “describe your feeling when attending the event”

  • Multiple choice and Likert scale questions: in this type of question, participants can rate something on a numerical scale. For example: “rate how happy you are with the event” (choose between 1 to 5). Also, we can ask simple multiple-choice questions that can be quantitatively measured. For example “which speakers do you like best?” (choose between A, B, or C).

    Surveys

  • Yes/no questions: pretty self-explanatory, a question where the participant can answer with either yes or no. For example “will you visit a similar event in the future?” (yes or no)

We can combine the different types of questions together, for example, a yes/no question followed by an open-ended question. Using the same example, “will you visit a similar event in the future?” (yes or no), we can then ask “why?” as an open-ended question.

When discussing the different examples of survey questions below, we will also suggest which type of question will function best.

Examples of Pre-Event Survey Questions People Will Enjoy To Answer

These are the survey questions you should ask before the event. There are several ways to do this, but the most popular ones are: 

  • Conducting an online poll on your social media posts or your website. You should keep the questions simple as binary yes/no or Likert scale questions. 
  • During the registration/ticket purchase process. This is a great method for asking a question you need every attendee to answer, for example, questions about accommodations. 
  • Post-registration confirmation screen. Also, a great way to help gather insights into the attendees’ expectations for the event. 

As we can see, the pre-event survey is primarily intended for attendees, and here are some example questions to consider:

  1. How did you learn about the event? (type: multiple choice)
  2. Why did you visit this event? (type: open-ended)
  3. Have you attended a similar event/this event (for an annual event) before? (type: yes/no)
  4. Which events/exhibitions/speakers are you most interested in? (type: multiple choice)
  5. Do you have any medical conditions we should be aware of? (type: open-ended),
  6. Do you have special needs or restrictions of which we should be aware? (type: open-ended)
  7. Do you have dietary restrictions we should be aware of? (type: open-ended)
  8. Is any information related to the event too hard to find? (type: open-ended)

Post-Event Survey: The Objectives/Intents of Your Survey Questions

When designing event survey questions, it’s crucial to first identify the objective or intent of asking each question. 

In general, the event survey questions should cover three different intents: 

  1. The Highs 

    Asking about their favorite part of the event, what they considered as the biggest successes of your event, and why. We need to understand why these are a success so we can repeat them again in the future. 
  2. The Lows

    Similarly, we should figure out what the stakeholders considered as the biggest failures and/or embarrassment of the event. The objective of these questions is to figure out ways to improve our event planning and management for future events. 

    Obviously hearing negative feedback isn’t fun, but it’s crucial if you really want to improve your future events and optimize your chance for success. 

  3. Overall Level of Satisfaction

    The event survey questions should be able to objectively measure the overall level of event satisfaction for each participant. This is where we should give Likert scale questions that can be quantitatively measured. 

Examples of Effective Post-Event Survey Questions 

Open-Ended Post-Event Survey Questions

Here are some examples of open-ended post-event survey questions to ask:

  • What was the highlight of this event for you? 
  • What did you like about it the most?
  • Are there any suggestions you have for our next event? (or for next year’s event if yours is an annual event)
  • What was your least favorite part of the event?
  • Has this event helped you? In what way? 
  • Do you have any speaker suggestions for future events?
  • How can we make this event better?

Survey-Post-EventIt’s important to remember that you shouldn’t ask too many open-ended questions in your survey. It will take longer for participants to answer these questions, which may lead to a higher abandonment rate. Also, it’s difficult to analyze qualitative questions en masse since you can’t quantify the results. 

Likert Scale Post-Event Survey Questions

When asking Likert scale questions, it’s crucial to explain what the numeric rating will represent, for example, “1-very disappointing” and “5-very satisfactory”, or “1-not very important” and “5-extremely important”.

Not specifying this clearly can lead to confusion and poisoned data, so make sure to pay extra attention to providing clear instructions for the participants. 

Here are some examples of Likert scale survey questions: 

  • How would you rate each speaker (or each exhibitor)?
  • How likely are you to attend our next event? (or, this event again next year?)
  • How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or coworker?
  • How would you rate your own satisfaction with this event? 
  • How beneficial was the information presented at this conference?
  • How much will this event positively impact your life? (or your professional life)
  • How would you rate the food and drinks served?
  • How likely are you to attend our other events?

Yes/No Post-Event Survey Questions

You can expand a binary yes/no question into a multiple-choice question (with three or more choices) when needed, and here are a few examples:

  • Have you attended a similar event before? (or, have you attended this event before?)
  • Have you attended any of our other events before?
  • How did you learn about the event? (provide multiple-choice selections, i.e. A) social media B) through friends C) advertising)
  • Did the event meet your expectations?
  • Were the date and time of the event convenient for you?
  • Which sponsors do you remember from the event? (provide multiple-choice)
  • Demographic data questions (their job title, age, industry, etc.)

Wrapping Up

Both pre-event surveys and post-event surveys can be great ways to gather more feedback about your event and your event management. Obviously receiving negative feedback can be difficult to bear, as it is human nature not to admit mistakes. However, learning from both negative and positive feedback is essential if you really want to improve your future events. 

Execute your surveys with confidence by asking the event survey questions people will enjoy answering and embrace continuous improvement.

 

Topics: Event Data

Thomas Davey

Written by Thomas Davey

Copywriter and marketing specialist who enjoys showing the world what can be done with the power of events and some good technology.

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