6 Solid Ideas For Collecting Feedback About Your Event
Data collection has become prevalent in many lines of business. The process takes different forms and its results can be processed for a variety of purposes. In the event industry, organizers collect feedback from participants to find out which parts of the conference were a success, and which need improvement. In this post, I’ll list a number of ideas for collecting feedback at and after an event.
Post-event surveys can excite and strike fear into any organizer at the same time. “Did people like the show? I think they did. But what if they hated it? What if we slipped at some point?”.
Well, you’re going to find out soon enough. And that’s a good thing either way!
If folks loved your event, they’ll let you know and hopefully, you’ll use the positive feedback as an energy boost to outdo yourself next time. If they weren’t huge fans of what you put together, welp, you’ll know where to improve.
Ways to collect event feedback
Here are some actionable ways to collect feedback during an event and once it’s over.
Quid pro quo
Usually, people aren’t too happy about having to devote time to an activity they see no tangible return from. If you’re gearing up to send a post-event survey, consider offering something in exchange for answering your questions.
Such an approach will help you elicit more answers, and that’s what you want. If you’ll send 1,000 questionnaires but only get 20 sets of answers back, you end up with not very reliable feedback.
Try to come up with some form of appreciation. It can be a voucher, an invitation to join a special party or a lecture at the next edition, or an original thank you note or a video.
#1 Paper survey
Designing and printing out a paper survey is a breeze. For many event organizers, this may be the go-to feedback collection method. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, and it’s rather cheap, however, it has certain limitations.
The number one factor here will be the scale of the event. Both distribution and collection of questionnaires may pose a challenge if participants are measured in hundreds or thousands. Another issue is the transfer of the collected information into a computer for the purpose of processing it.
Paper surveys have a more personal feel and could work better at smaller workshops and meetings. On the bright side, people who have received one may feel more obliged to actually provide detailed and honest answers, despite anonymity.
Up until now, you’ve probably viewed tablets mostly as devices for browsing the web conveniently while on the go or away from a desktop. This obviously holds true, but they can be way more than that.
Consider installing the event app or the feedback form and placing a number of tablets around the venue to facilitate the collection of information.
This is a very non-invasive tactic but you may want to mark the spots well and provide some sort of a prompt in order to collect sufficient amount of data.
#3 Email survey
This is your paper survey on steroids, well, let’s say on a proper diet. The distribution and collection of questionnaires pose no issue regardless of the scale of the event.
You can go ahead and send out a survey while the event lasts, or wait until the dust settles and blast it once it’s over. The approach will depend on the industry, the type of the event, the visitor profile, etc.
If you’ve never done it before, start with the simple and free Google Forms or Polldaddy, although there are many other web-based solutions out there.
#4 QR codes / NFC tags / BLE beacons
The feedback collection process at your event may take up a location-based angle. Instead of asking a set of questions on a variety of aspects, you can focus on specific spots at the venue.
Use any of these technologies to trigger the event app whenever a participant enters a certain location and ask for his opinion.
This is a pretty invasive strategy but it can be very valuable if designed correctly, as it will allow you to make adjustments on the go, should you notice any trend.
#5 Video feedback spots
This feedback collection method is similar to the aforementioned tablets, except it will involve less tapping and more talking.
Set up a number of video booths and ask people to share their experiences regarding the event.
A challenge here will be to get the participants in front of the camera, as not many individuals feel comfortable in that position. There may be a need for a strong incentive. If you’ll get enough people to talk, you can turn the videos into some promotional content, with their consent, of course.
#6 Event app surveys
Conference apps are events’ Swiss army knives. Organizers use them to communicate with participants, and attendees use them as the platform for interacting with the event and the people involved.
They actually may be the best and most convenient way to collect feedback at and after events, as they have no obvious limitations. It all comes down to the design and development process.
An event app can be used anytime to grade speakers and their presentations, share comments on any of the meeting’s aspects or rate the overall experience on a detailed scale.
There are multiple event feedback collection methods at your disposal. Your choice will be mostly influenced by the scale of the event and the niche it concerns.
What I suggest you do right away is choose two or three of the methods and see which one yields the best results.
Now go extract that data and use it to kill your next event!