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15 post event survey questions to ask at your next event

Host more successful events when you use surveys to collect feedback from your attendees.

After you host an event, you probably think you know how it went. Until that is, a colleague stops you in the hallway to tell you how much she enjoyed the karaoke mixer you thought hit a sour note with the office.

Experiences vary, which is why, after any event, it’s important to collect feedback from as many participants as humanly possible. To make sure that you are getting the most valuable feedback, here are a few lists of the 5 powerful post-event survey questions that you should be asking for public events, training courses, and conferences.

Post-event surveys

A post-event survey is a tool for capturing valuable feedback from attendees, so you can get insights into positive or negative sentiments of the event. Post-event surveys generally contain a mix of question types. Typically, these question types are yield valuable feedback about how the event’s presentations, location, and even the food.  Post-event surveys can help provide a list of action items for your next event to ensure it’s successful.

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Advantages of post-event surveys

Build trust

By asking your attendees for their opinions, you’re sending them a message that you care about their experience, and you’ll use their feedback to inform future events.

Eliminate the guesswork

Rather than go with your assumption that a certain speaker didn’t hit the mark or blew it out of the park, you’ll have participant responses to gauge the success or failure of your sessions and overall event. Check out this entertainment event feedback survey template to help you find questions that may improve presentations and performances for your next event.

Estimate event growth

You can use a variety of different surveys after your events. One in particular, a Net Promoter Score® (NPS) survey can help you gauge future growth of your events by asking attendees if they would recommend it to a friend. That will give you an indication of whether your next event could have a larger turnout from word of mouth.

Improve future events

Constructive survey feedback will help you determine how to plan future events for the best attendee experience. It can also help you refine your marketing methods to improve attendance. Feedback will help you improve the ease of the registration process, the quality of the food, the friendliness of the event staff, and even the costs of production. This event planning survey template is great for looking ahead at future events.

Types of post-event survey questions

There are several types of survey questions, and you’ll notice that some of them overlap, for example, a Likert scale question is a rating question and a closed-ended question. The properties of each type of question are what determine its usefulness for your survey. Consider what type of feedback you’re looking for to help you choose the best questions for your specific needs. 

Read more about the different types of survey questions

Likert scale questions

A Likert scale question is a closed-ended question with a series of answers that rank satisfaction from one extreme attitude to another. It’s a specific type of rating scale that focuses on an odd-numbered range of equally distributed answers with a neutral choice at the center. While a Likert scale is a type of rating scale, the opposite is not necessarily true. Likert scale questions exclusively focus on answers on a defined spectrum.

You’ve probably taken surveys like this to rate your satisfaction with a service or experience you’ve attended.

Likert scale question examples:

  1. How satisfied are you with the variety of topics presented at the conference?
  • Very satisfied
  • Somewhat satisfied
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  • Somewhat dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied
  1. I’m happy with the amount of information presented in today’s sessions.
  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions explore a survey respondent’s insights and opinions. These questions ask for the respondent to provide their own individual answers in short-answer format. The answers don’t provide statistical information, but the qualitative data is invaluable.

Open-ended question examples:

  • What was your favorite part of the conference?
  • Tells us about your least favorite part of the offsite?
  • Do you have any suggestions for next year’s event?

Closed-ended questions

Closed-ended questions include multiple-choice, drop-down choices, checkboxes, and ranking questions. Unique responses aren’t allowed—the respondent must choose from a list of predetermined answers.

Closed-ended question examples:

Are you planning to return to next year’s event?

  1. Yes 
  2. No 
  3. I don’t know

The event provided me with valuable information.

True | False

Considering your attendance at the conference, which of the following parts did you feel was most valuable? Please rank your preference from highest to lowest.

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Rating scales

Rating scale questions are closed-ended in that they don’t allow the respondent to enter their individual answers. Responses are presented in either a numbered (such as 1-10) or worded as a scale (Very satisfied-very unsatisfied). Rating scale questions allow you to measure the opinions of event attendees in a quantitative manner. Unlike Likert scale questions, rating scale questions can use any type of rating choice, such as stars or numeric responses.

Rating scale question examples:

On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this conference to a friend or colleague?

How would you rate your overall experience at the event?

★ Terrible

★★ Poor

★★★ Neutral

★★★★ Good

★★★★★ Excellent

Explore more types of questions for post-event surveys

In addition to open and closed-ended questions, Likert scales, and rating scales questions, you can use other types of questions to gather data. 

Multiple-choice questions

Multiple-choice questions are useful because they offer participants options from a list of answers that you’ve defined. 

Multiple choice question example:

Which part of the event was most interesting to you?

  1. Keynote speaker
  2. Session A
  3. Session B
  4. One-on-one sessions

Matrix questions

Matrix questions are closed-ended questions that ask respondents to evaluate items using the same set of choices arranged in columns.

Matrix question example:

Please indicate how strongly you agree with the following statements:

Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agree
I like to know trends before others
Colleagues come to me for advice
I have no interest in trending topics

Learn more about writing good matrix questions, from our survey experts. 

Demographic questions

A quick, painless way to gather information about your audience and can help inform your buyer persona. This will help you formulate your marketing strategy for future events. This demographic survey will show you the types of questions that yield demographic information from your survey takers.

Demographic question example:

What is the highest level of education you have completed?

  1. Some high school
  2. High school
  3. Some college
  4. Associate’s degree
  5. Bachelor’s degree
  6. Graduate degree
  7. N/A

File upload questions

If you’d like supporting documentation, photographs, or other information beyond a simple survey, a file upload question is the solution. A file upload option allows survey takers to easily upload whatever supporting documents or images you require. Check out our best practices for using file uploads in your surveys.

File upload question example:

Please upload a photo of yourself for your event name tag.

Slider questions

A slider question offers a sliding scale to indicate the answers to questions. These are useful when you want participants to answer specifically, but also want to easily gather the data. For example, if you want to find out how often someone engages in a behavior, rather than offer them closed-ended choices that may not be fully accurate or open-ended choices that make data more difficult to collect and quantify, a sliding scale may work perfectly.

Slider question example:

How many times did you visit our website before registering for this event?

Benchmark questions

Give context to your survey results with benchmark questions. The answers to these questions can be compared to others who used the same questions you did. Learn more about SurveyMonkey Benchmarks.

Not looking to start from scratch? Browse through our survey templates to find the best template for collecting event feedback.

When to send post-event surveys

Send your post-survey event questions to attendees while the event is fresh in their minds. Rather than collecting data on paper surveys, an online survey will increase your response rate. You can provide a link right at the end of your sessions or send the survey after the event when people have more time to devote to the survey. You can also put a survey QR code or link into the event presentations making it incredibly easy to provide feedback.

You’ll also receive more responses if you keep your survey short at 10 or less questions so people can provide meaningful answers.

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Use cases and sample questions for post-event surveys

Public events

Public events like fundraisers, store openings, and tradeshows help your organization reach people outside your immediate circle. Maximize public participation in future events by finding out what keeps people coming back for more.

Example questions:

  1. How satisfied were you with the event? 

Ask participants to rate the date, location, speakers, vendors, and catering of the event. Ask follow-up questions about the most important aspects of the event, like the keynote speaker.

  1. What did you like most about the event? 

Leave this question open-ended. While post-event surveys are great for identifying pain points, they also help you discover what you did right.

  1. What did you like least about the event? 

Invite participants to give constructive feedback with a straightforward question like this. Leave this question open-ended, so that participants can elaborate.

  1. How likely are you to attend one of our events in the future? 

It’s far easier to convince a former participant to attend another of your events than it is to convince someone completely new. Discover how many participants are ready to join your future events.

  1. How likely are you to recommend our events to a friend?

People are more likely to purchase a product that a friend shared with them because softer sell. As such, events are easily influenced by referrals.

Post-event survey questions don’t have to be complicated. For best results, be direct and succinct. Ask for honest, constructive feedback with straightforward questions like these.

Conferences

Professionals come together at conferences to share knowledge, set industry standards, and build their networks. Ensure that you only host awesome conferences by asking participants these follow-up questions after every event.

Example questions:

  1. How satisfied were you with the conference? 

Ask participants to rate the date, location, topic, mixers, sessions, speakers, and catering of the conference. Evaluate the event’s overall success with this question, before diving into the specifics.

  1. In your opinion, did the conference meet its objectives? 

A conference without clear objectives can make attendees feel frustrated, like their time is being wasted. Ask participants to rate whether or not the conference met concrete objectives like, for example, setting specific professional standards.

  1. How well was the conference structured? 

Even the best speakers don’t shine at poorly organized events. Discover how intuitive your participants found the conference timetable to be.

  1. Was there enough time for discussion? 

Nothing kills conference excitement faster than a droning speaker does. Conferences thrive on a subtle balance between instruction and discussion.

  1. Which topics would you like to see covered at future conferences? 

Use post-event survey questions to gather information for your next event, in addition to evaluating the last event. Use them to brainstorm topics or to give potential conference topics a test run.

A great conference doesn’t end on the last day. It leaves participants with meaningful connections that they’ll follow up with later, and with speaker anecdotes that they’ll be repeating for years. Figure out if your conference is one of the great ones by reaching out to participants afterwards.

Training courses

A successful professional training course expands its participants’ career opportunities by offering them new, useful skills. In a changing job market, ensure your courses measure up every time by routinely asking participants these 5 follow-up questions.

Example questions:

  1. How satisfied were you with the course? 

Ask participants to rate the date, location, sessions, and instructors. Be sure to include each instructor separately, since participants might be satisfied with one instructor, but not another.

  1. How useful was the information presented in this course? 

Ideally, participants will be able to immediately apply the information they take away from training courses to their jobs. Evaluate the relevance of the course with this question.

  1. Did the course improve your skills? 

Ask participants to rate whether or not the course improved their skills in each of the areas it was designed to improve.

  1. Did you have an opportunity to ask questions during the course? 

Gauge whether or not participants felt comfortable speaking up during the course—or were even given the opportunity to speak up—with this question.

  1. What would have made the course better? 

Don’t shy away from asking for feedback outright. End your post-event survey with an open-ended question that lets participants comment on whatever they think is most important.

Training courses need to evolve to stay relevant. Don’t make decisions in the dark—use the valuable data you collect in post-event survey questions to steer your training courses toward continued success. 

While it’s a good idea to ask participants for feedback before, during, and after an event, post-event surveys often provide the best insight. Use the questions above as a jumping-off point when writing your own post-event survey questions.

Additional post-event survey questions

Dive deeper into participants’ experiences by asking detailed questions that provide useful information. 

Example post-event survey questions:

  1. What were your favorite features of the event? 

You may ask this as a closed-ended ranking question, so participants can easily let you know what made the biggest impression, or an open-ended question to allow elaboration.

  1. What, if anything, did you dislike about this event? 

While you may not want to ask for negative feedback, it’s important to know your shortcomings. Learn from them for your next event.

  1. How satisfied were you with the networking opportunities provided? 

One of the main reasons professionals attend conferences and other corporate events is networking. This rating scale question lets you know whether you provided ample opportunities for connections to be made.

  1. What was your biggest takeaway from this event? 

Your event should bring immediate value to participants. Find out what they perceive as the most important learning from your event.

  1. Would you attend another event like this in the future? 

The “yes/no” answers will key you into the success of your event and the possible loyalties of attendees. This data is measurable and valuable.

  1. What is your job title? 

Find out if your marketing efforts reached your target audience.

  1. How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or colleague? 

Answers will indicate overall satisfaction with the event and potential growth.

  1. What topics would you like to see covered in future events? 

Get a start on planning next year’s event with topics your attendees are interested in. 

  1. Was the signup process for our event easy? 

This is especially helpful if your attendance was lower than expected. You may find that the signup process was too complicated.

  1. Did the event meet your expectations? 

A simple yes or no will let you know if you under-delivered or over-promised.

When you write your own questions, make sure they are worded well, formatted correctly, and carefully considered.

Go a step further with pre-event questions

Successful event planners use pre-event survey questions to get to know participants before events. Pre-event surveys yield beneficial information that will make your event more comfortable, accessible, and successful for you and your attendees. Pre-event survey questions also provide key information for use in planning future events.

Shortly before an event, use a pre-event survey to gather information about your marketing methods, preferred audience, and special needs of your participants. Send the survey in a confirmation email or present it as a popup when registration is complete.

Examples:

  1. How did you hear about this event? 

Find out which of your marketing efforts are most effective. Use the information to target your audience for greater reach for your next event.

  1. What sessions are you most interested in? 

Find out what the excitement level is around certain speakers or agenda items. This will help later when you are looking for event sponsors and growing your audience.

  1. What is your favorite social media platform? 

Know where your audience is most likely to engage so you can direct your efforts in the right channels.

  1. Have you attended this event before? 

It’s great to know your event generating loyalty in attendees. This helps prove repeat engagement, a metric that potential sponsors will be very interested in. 

  1. Do you have any special needs or requirements that we should be aware of? 

Ensure your event is accessible to anyone by providing multiple choices including mobility, hearing, sight, and other assistance. Add a comment box so attendees can add options you may have overlooked.

  1. Do you have any dietary restrictions we should be aware of? 

Whether it’s a food allergy, sensitivity, or cultural food restriction, if a participant can’t enjoy the refreshments, it puts a damper on their day. 

Pro tip: Include essential food information at the event.

  1. Were you able to easily find all of the information you need about our event?

Ensure that there are no confusing parts of the registration process or locating information regarding speakers, agendas, and more.

Now that know the types of questions you can ask, how the data is useful to you, and have a bank of examples to refer to, what are you waiting for? SurveyMonkey has everything you need to write your pre and post-event surveys quickly and efficiently.

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