How to conduct a successful event evaluation

So much work goes into every event you organize or host. Once the final guest leaves, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, right?

Well, almost — but not yet. There’s still an event evaluation process to conduct. This process will help you understand how successful or how impactful your event was.

Below is a guide to the entire post-event evaluation process, including what data you need to collect and the tools you can use for collecting that data.

The basics of event evaluations

An event evaluation is a post-hoc analysis of how your event measured up to the goal you set for it, and it helps you prepare for future events.

The team at Guidebook says that “evaluation is important to continuously improve. It ensures the tactics you are using are effective and reflect the larger company or organizational goals. If through your evaluation, you understand that the tactics aren’t working, the evaluation also helps to provide justification for a pivot.”

The benefits of event evaluations

Event evaluations are beneficial to different stakeholders for different reasons.

For event organizers, evaluations help determine whether the goals were achievable and projections about revenue and attendance were accurate. These assessments provide useful feedback in the planning, design, and execution of future events.

For sponsors, event evaluations can help determine their return on investment. Granted, the impact of an event can be intangible and hard to quantify, but the data an evaluation collects can help to measure whether key marketing objectives such as brand recognition were met.

This highlights the importance of data gathering in conducting a post-event evaluation. Collecting a combination of quantitative and qualitative feedback helps you uncover actionable insights for how to improve your event.

“Feedback from your attendees can help you to contextualize the numbers,” the team at InEvent writes. “For instance, if a large number of your attendees entered your website to make a purchase but didn’t follow through, perhaps your attendees are having trouble, and they might let you know through the feedback.”

4 tips for conducting an event evaluation

Here are some things you can do to glean the most insights from your event evaluations.

1. Send feedback surveys to attendees the next day

In your survey, ask attendees to rate, on a scale of 1–5, elements such as

  • The event itself
  • The quality of the speakers or presenters
  • The venue
  • The refreshments and food provided at the event
  • The pacing of the event

2. Ask for qualitative feedback from attendees, too

In your post-event survey, ask people to share their thoughts in their own words. “People explaining in their own words why they don’t like your event or what you do — although [it] might hurt feelings — can be very important,” Harry Prince at Eventflare writes.

“Sure, if it’s one person, it’s probably meaningless. But if a pattern emerges, you’ve got something to work with you never had before,” Prince adds.

3. Check social media

Attendees usually post lots of photos, sometimes with captions, from events. If you have an event hashtag that you’ve encouraged guests to use, all the better. If not, no worries. Just go to LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and any other relevant platforms to get a feel for how engaged guests were with the event.  

This method can give you both concrete feedback as well as a general sense of how enthusiastic people were about your event.

4. Don’t forget your sponsor’s KPIs

Sponsors will be looking to see whether their investment in your event generated brand awareness for them, opened a pipeline of new prospects, or earned them mentions in relevant media.

If attendees were enthusiastic and positive in their feedback but sponsors don’t see the return on their investment, then you have some work to do before your next event about increasing engagement with sponsors.

Easy event evaluations with Jotform

Jotform is the perfect tool for conducting your event evaluations.

Jotform offers more than a dozen event evaluation form templates and hundreds more evaluation forms that you can shape to meet your own data-collection needs. Select any one of those templates and customize it however you see fit in the Jotform Form Builder.

Once you’ve collected the data, you can use Jotform Report Builder to visualize and present your findings or Jotform Tables to organize, manage, and analyze the responses in one place.

Plus, Jotform integrates with major email providers (e.g., Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, and ActiveCampaign) so you can easily get your survey into guests’ inboxes.

To learn more, have a look at our event evaluation templates.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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