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. Event management is an enormous task, so the more data you collect, the more insights you have for planning future events. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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?
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.
So far, we’ve discussed the importance, advantages, and types of questions you can use for post-event surveys. Now let’s look at some important tips for actually conducting the surveys.
When you collect registration information, which you can do via a SurveyMonkey survey, ensure that you’re asking each attendee for full contact information. This includes email, phone number, and preferred method of contact. Ensuring that you have accurate contact information is crucial for follow-up—including your post-event surveys.
There are a lot of pre-event tasks related to event planning, so feel free to use our event planning checklist to stay on top of everything.
Prepare your post-event survey before the event. By having it ready to distribute to attendees, you can efficiently send it out within one business day of your event. It’s critical to send out a post-event survey while the event is still fresh in attendees’ minds. SurveyMonkey allows you to create your survey in advance and schedule distribution for the day and time of your choice.
If you are short on time and cannot create the survey in advance, we have a post-event feedback survey template that you can quickly and easily customize to meet your needs.
Remember to let your attendees know that you’ve used past feedback to make the current event better, so you can’t wait to hear what they have to say in their post-event feedback. By letting them know a survey is coming and that you use their responses, they will have an emotional incentive to complete your survey.
The surveys that yield the most useful information contain a mix of closed and open-ended questions. Closed-ended questions provide quantitative data, while open-ended questions supply you with opinions and comments in the attendees’ own words.
Use a variety of question types to keep respondents engaged and interested in completing the survey.
Give attendees a few days to respond. Then send one or two reminders over the next two weeks. Don’t send more than three reminders, and refrain from sending them more than a month post-event. At that point, the data won’t be very helpful or useful.
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?
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 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?
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 disagree||Disagree||Neither agree nor disagree||Agree||Strongly agree|
|I like to know trends before others|
|Colleagues come to me for advice|
|I have no interest in trending topics|
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leave this question open-ended. While post-event surveys are great for identifying pain points, they also help you discover what you did right.
Invite participants to give constructive feedback with a straightforward question like this. Leave this question open-ended, so that participants can elaborate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even the best speakers don’t shine at poorly organized events. Discover how intuitive your participants found the conference timetable to be.
Nothing kills conference excitement faster than a droning speaker does. Conferences thrive on a subtle balance between instruction and discussion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ask participants to rate whether or not the course improved their skills in each of the areas it was designed to improve.
Gauge whether or not participants felt comfortable speaking up during the course—or were even given the opportunity to speak up—with this question.
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.
Dive deeper into participants’ experiences by asking detailed questions that provide useful information.
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.
While you may not want to ask for negative feedback, it’s important to know your shortcomings. Learn from them for your next event.
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.
Your event should bring immediate value to participants. Find out what they perceive as the most important learning from your event.
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.
Find out if your marketing efforts reached your target audience.
Answers will indicate overall satisfaction with the event and potential growth.
Get a start on planning next year’s event with topics your attendees are interested in.
This is especially helpful if your attendance was lower than expected. You may find that the signup process was too complicated.
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.
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.
Find out which of your marketing efforts are most effective. Use the information to target your audience for greater reach for your next event.
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.
Know where your audience is most likely to engage so you can direct your efforts in the right channels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s enormous value in sending surveys to participants after an event. We’ve given you an idea of the types of questions you can ask, information on how to use the data, instructions for how to conduct a post-event survey, and a bank of sample questions. Don’t you think it’s time to get started?