Event Marketing & Experience

How to Collect Valuable Data with Post-Event Survey Questions

Victoria Rudi
July 29, 2021

Table of Contents

Your event is done and dusted, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put your feet up. In fact, it’s already time to start thinking about your post-event strategy, and more specifically, your post-event survey.

After all the effort you’ve put into planning your event, the last thing you want to do is let engaged attendees walk out of the figurative door. Why? Because that equates to wasted time on marketing and planning.

Now is the time to collect valuable feedback, critical to learning more about how your attendees interact with your events, especially if you regularly throw virtual events for the same audience.

To collect that essential data, though, you’ll need the proper tools and know-how. Let’s take a look at how you can do that by creating knockout post-event survey questions that help you collect valuable data.

Why post-event surveys matter

When it comes to collecting post-event feedback, surveys should always be your first port of call. It’s by far the quickest and most effective way to gather unbiased, unfiltered opinions about your attendees and their experience at the event.

The great thing about surveys is that they’re hassle-free for attendees to work their way through, and at the same time great for extracting insightful data and info that can be used for better marketing, and for planning future events. Win-win.

Post-event survey tips

Here are some of the best practices that will ensure a high response rate when it comes to your post-event survey.

Refine your survey into different sections

Chances are your survey is going to cover more than just one topic. After all, your event is made up of multiple parts (promotion, registration, content, attendee experience, just to name a few). So the last thing you want to do is to lump everything together into a long list of questions with no structure.

To avoid this, refine your survey into different sections with a logical structure. It’s important that your attendees understand what you’re asking of them in the post-event survey. Not only will this provide you with better answers, but it’ll also emit any confusion which usually equates to last-minute abandonments.

Dissect your survey into the different areas, identify what concepts you want to cover and then group your questions accordingly. A good starting point is to go back to your event plan and use that to define what categories you want to cover.

Ask clear questions

Time is of the essence to your attendees so the last thing they want is to read a survey that is confusing or even worse, doesn’t make sense. Now, as obvious as this might sound, you’d be shocked at how many surveys make this mistake.

The last thing you want to come across as incompetent, especially all the effort you’ve put into planning your event and is a sure-fire way to deter even your most committed attendees from completing the survey. This is why it’s crucial that you formulate questions that are clear and concise.

Start off backwards by identifying what it is you want to know, then put it into simple terms. Remember less is more for a post-event survey, so don’t go over the top. Then once you’ve got your first draft done and dusted, share it with your colleagues. Ask them to reread the copy to make sure it’s clear and have them fill out the survey as if they were one of your past attendees.

Use different question formats and fight the perfect balance

We’ve all heard the saying ‘variety is the spice of life,’ and this couldn’t be more true to your post-event survey. The reason for this is that the more varied your questions are, the more varied your responses will be.

By this, we mean having closed and open questions to give you quantitative and qualitative data. The former is easier and less time-consuming to collect, while the latter will give you the more detailed information. Generally speaking, you’ll want to have more closed questions such as multiple-choice, ranking order and linear scale because this is going to make it much easier for participants filling out the survey.

By doing so, attendees won’t have to make such an effort when filling out the survey, meaning a higher response rate. That’s why you should always keep your open-ended questions towards the end of the post-event survey.

Design a survey with a smooth user experience

This point spans a lot of different subtopics but the premise is simple, create a survey with the end-user in mind. First to avoid any confusion and to make gathering data easy, ensure the survey is coherent, for example, use a scale of 1 to 10 for all of your rating scale choice questions.

Then think about the visual design of the survey itself. Perhaps you could incorporate a progress bar so that attendees know how long they’ve got left or you could add images and videos to make the survey more engaging for your audience. There are plenty of hacks out there so use them to your advantage.

Finally, make sure that your survey is fully optimized for mobile and tablet devices. It’s likely that a considerable chunk of participants will be using this option, so it’s important that you can be flexible and cater to every format out there.

Get the basics right

Up until now, we’ve covered everything to do with the survey itself, but there’s also a few pointers worth mentioning on the logistics side of things. When it comes to sending the survey out, you want the event to be fresh in the minds of your attendees, so anywhere between 24 and 72 hours after is a good schedule to follow.

This leads nicely to the email which you’ll be using to send the survey. Make sure it’s well written, gives clear instructions about the survey, and has some extra content that will be an added bonus for your attendees. And last but not least, remember to say thank you, as this always goes a long way.

Finally, use the email and the survey as a promotional asset. Sounds weird? Let me explain. The event is still fresh in the minds of your attendees, so use this opportunity to drop a little teaser by mentioning your next event or future plans.

Examples of post-event survey questions

To make sure that you’re getting the most valuable feedback from your surveys, here’s a list of questions that can be used in any post-event survey. No event is ever the same, especially when you have different attendee types and stakeholders, but to give you a gist, here’s the post-event survey we sent out after our Get Together virtual summit.

  1. How satisfied were you with the event? Rating 1 to 5
  2. How did you find out about the event? Multiple choice: Word of mouth, Ads, the LinkedIn event, Promotional emails, Social media
  3. How can we improve the next one? Open-ended
  4. Why did you decide to attend? Content, Speakers, Networking, Entertainment, Other, please specify
  5. What did you enjoy the most? Production, Audience interaction, Content, Entertainment, Networking
  6. What, if anything, did you dislike about this event? Open-ended
  7. How easy was it to navigate was the virtual event platform? Rating 1 to 5
  8. Do you have any other questions or feedback to share? Open-ended

What to do with the survey data?

The survey has been sent and the responses start coming back. Now it’s time to analyze your data and use it to plan your next event. First, you’ll want to filter out your quantitative and qualitative data.

For the former, arrange the data into charts and graphs to give you a top-down view of the responses. Then for the latter, allow some time to go through the responses. Once you’ve got an overview, you can then dive deeper by reaching out to attendees for more information, good or bad.

Finally, use all of this valuable information to start planning your next event.

Final thoughts

If you take just one thing away from this article, then let it be this: Keep it easy and comprehensible. Surveys work both ways, it’s crucial you get feedback to help run better events, but at the same time, it’s also about putting the survey on a plate for your attendees. That’s why it’s about striking the perfect balance and when you’re able to do this you’ll be on to a winner.

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Victoria Rudi
Senior Content Specialist
With a Master’s degree in Event Management and a keen follower of SaaS technologies, Victoria is an event content master, producing insightful and valuable for Eventtia’s blog and beyond

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