Best Practices When Sending Post-Event Surveys
Some may think that an event is over when the guests leave and the doors are shut, but for event managers, there is still a lot more work to do. Part of the work is to gauge attendees’ satisfaction and to measure the success of the event. Today we will share some best practices to help you create effective surveys to measure this success.
Post-Event Email Follow-Up
When talking about follow-up survey emails, the earlier is always the better. You should never wait more than 24 hours after an event to send a follow-up email. That’s because people will remember their experience better and share their feelings more accurately right after the experience happened. For this reason, it's important that you have your follow-up emails ready to be sent, and preferably scheduled to be sent automatically. Having an email marketing tool will be key to providing you with scheduling capabilities so your emails are sent automatically at the time of your choice.
By segmenting your audience you are able to ask questions that relate to each group in addition to being able to isolate the results for each of the audiences surveyed. For example, instead of getting a total average satisfaction rating among the entire audience, you will be able to analyze how each segment felt about the event. Some audiences you may consider: general attendees, VIP attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, etc.
When sending a feedback survey, don’t forget to add a personal message on the email with the survey link to thank them and share a personal note of your perspective of the event. This will keep things human and genuine, so you can build a long-lasting relationship with each person. The message may vary according to each audience you are messaging.
In terms of feedback surveys, design would translate into both email design as well as the survey webpage. Your current email marketing tool should take care of the email part, but it’s important to keep that consistency across the survey page as well. Tools like Attendease can help you keep that design consistency while allowing you to manage all these moving parts straight from one unique platform.
Most post-event survey will focus on two areas: what worked (so you can repeat) and what didn’t (so you can improve next time). In order to gather the information and analyze, you should consider what types of questions to ask.
Objective questions are easier to measure. For example, rating the overall event experience from 1 to 10, or answering to yes/ no questions. These types of questions will be easier to translate into a chart so you can better visualize and understand the data.
On the other hand, open-ended questions may be helpful at times. If someone rated the event as “poor”, you will definitely want them to share what exactly made them feel that way. So it is necessary to have a balance between objective and open-ended questions so you can get a good amount of data to analyze and make decisions for your next event.
Best practice is to always capture your NPS question first. That’s because the person responding to your survey will be able to share their overall sentiment after the event, without being influenced by other questions that you may ask throughout the survey. Other survey questions may induce a rating that is worse than what you would normally get simply because you reminded them of a less-than stellar experiences that were not top of mind to them to start with.
NPS question examples:
- How would you rate the event from 1 to 5 (or 1 to 10)?
- How likely would you recommend this event to a friend/ colleague?
Other questions to consider: here are some examples where you can use a dropdown or a checkbox style of question, and add a field for “other”, in case the attendee wants to add more information to it. This way you will be able to capture both qualitative and quantitative data:
- How did you learn about the event?
- Why did you decide to attend this event?
- What were your favourite sessions/ speakers/ exhibitors?
- How would you rate the: venue, food, attractions, etc.
- Did this event meet your expectations?
- If you have no barriers, would you like to attend this event again next year?
Lastly, you should always have at least one open ended question to gather additional feedback:
- Was there anything you disliked about the event?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
Ideal Survey Length
One thing to keep in mind is that the longer the survey, the lower the conversion rates will be. Aim to have no more than ten questions for better conversion rates. Multiple choice, radio buttons and other objective questions also demand less efforts and can win higher conversion rates, versus asking too many open-ended questions. So try to only ask what you absolutely need. You can also offer incentives to motivate people to provide feedback, such as a discount code for the next event, a cash/ gift card incentive, or a draw-entry to win a prize.
Social media listening
Another way to gauge event performance, especially good for larger events, is to listen to what people are sharing on social media. Social listening tools will be able to create reports to filter messages using your event hashtag, talking about you and your event, and more importantly, analyze the overall sentiment during and after the event. That means analyzing the words being used in relationship to the event and defining them as being positive or negative experiences. You will also be able to analyze a word cloud to learn the most used words around your event.
Gauging event success
You got the answers to your survey, now what? Tools like Attendease can help you visualize your survey data so that you can analyze results and make better decisions for your next event. In addition to being able to create unique surveys to all your audience segments, you can also compare survey results from different events to find out which events are performing better and why. We live in a data-driven world, so in order to thrive, we must listen before we take actions. Follow up and surveys is where it starts.
Need a tool to help you with email marketing, survey capabilities, and data analyzing? Check out what Attendease can do for you.