After every event you organize, it’s nice to get some feedback regarding the impressions of the guests. Of course, you’ll probably get feedback from your clients themselves, or you’ll get the chance to overhear two or more guests engaging in their conversation about how the venue, food, or overall atmosphere was.
But these comments can often be said out of courtesy, vaguely put, and very scarcely detailed.
If you want to get valuable feedback about your event planning that can improve your business and help you retain your old customers as well as gain new ones, then a post-event survey is your go-to tool.
In this article, we’ll discuss post-event surveys and answer some of the most common questions, such as what a post-event survey is, how it looks, and which types of questions it should contain. Moreover, we’ll give you some examples of good post-event survey questions you can use in your next survey.
What is a post-event survey?
It is hard to know how well an event went without any feedback, and, the truth is, everyone has their own experience at an event.
You have surely done all you could to plan the perfect event, but mistakes can happen here and there. While you may have felt great about how the event went, your guests may have had a different experience. That’s where event surveys can help.
A post-event survey is a questionnaire used to collect feedback from the people who attend events you organize. One of the key benefits of post-event surveys is that they can help you develop your event planning business.
Which type of questions should a post-event survey have?
There is a decent number of event survey questions that you can ask your attendees, ranging from the good old multiple-choice questions to the more complex open-ended ones, but the most common type of event survey questions include:
1. Demographic Questions
Even if they’re not about the event experience itself, it is essential to ask such questions, and they are crucial to the data you collect. With their help, you know the respondents’ gender, age, race, income, education level, and other valuable information.
With the demographic data you collect, you can learn a lot about your current audience and even how your audience changes through time, and compare that to the changes you’ve implemented in your event planning.
2. Dichotomous Questions
These are, in fact, the common yes-or-no questions, which appear in most event surveys. With them, you can answer simple questions such as Have you attended our event before? Use them to ask questions about your events to which you don’t need an additional explanation.
You can also use this type of question to rule respondents out. As a first question, ask Have you attended this event? If the answer is no, respond to them with a thank-you note and end the survey.
3. Multiple-Choice Questions
This is another common type you’ve probably seen in many surveys yourself. This type of question offers your attendees the opportunity to choose one or more options from a list of answers.
These are most appealing to respondents because they are easy to answer, don’t take long, and don’t require too much work.
They can be divided into single-select questions, where your attendees are allowed to choose only one answer, and multi-select questions, where they can select more than one answer.
4. Rating Scale Questions
Rating scale questions work to ask a question and then offer the respondents a scale of answers from which they choose the solution that applies to them.
The answers can be expressed with numbers, but the most common are Likert scale questions that show the level of agreement, offering answers from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
5. Open-ended Questions
These questions allow your respondents to put in their two cents’ worth in their own words. There are no pre-set answer options here. Instead, the respondents are presented with a text box in which they can type their answers.
Open-ended questions are perfect for allowing people to share their experiences about your events, voice their opinion or give their suggestions. They are also an excellent place to let out their dissatisfaction if they have any, instead of letting it out on social media or website reviews.
However, they are not so easy to analyze, and thus it is better not to base your whole survey on them. Instead, mix questions with pre-set answers with the open-ended ones.
How many questions should a post-event survey have?
This question often appears among survey creators, and the opinions on it are divided. Some think that the more you ask, the more feedback you’ll get, while others believe it’s best to ask as few questions as possible not to bore your audience.
The truth is, they are all right. It’s mportant not to make surveys too long because time is money, and no one is going to be willing to spend 20 minutes filling out just another boring survey in the sea of surveys they’ve had the opportunity to encounter during their lifetime.
It means that, when doing surveys, you shouldn’t waste your attendees’ time. Instead, you should be as quick as possible, so, as a rule of thumb suggests – add about 10 questions that will not be too lengthy. That way, you will take approximately 10-minutes worth of time from your attendees, and you can gather plenty of valuable data about their experience.
If you have a lot to ask, you can use question branching to make sure you ask the right participants the right questions about your events. This way, you will avoid asking participants something that doesn’t relate to them, and the success of your survey will be by far more remarkable.
Speaking of that, we have come to another crucial point in survey making: the questions themselves.
Which content should your post-event survey questions include?
When you’ve determined the number of questions you will use, it’s important not to let your guard down just yet. Although the number of questions is essential for your attendees and their willingness to fill out your survey until the very end, there’s another critical point to which you should pay attention: the content of your questions.
For your data collecting and advancing your business, it is vital how your questions are put together. If you want to gather valuable information that will help you better your future events, your questions should be thought thorough and well put together.
Think about what you want to ask and what information you want to gather. If you have a clear vision of what you want to learn and how to use that information to your advantage, you will compose questions better.
So, make sure you don’t ask too much, make it specific and engaging, and you’ll be well on your way toward an excellent survey and gathering valuable feedback about your attendees’ experience.
How should your post-event survey questions look?
It’s best to mix all types of questions because in that way you can get the best of all worlds.
Start with a welcome message in which you will explain who you are and what your survey is about. Make sure the welcome message isn’t too long; otherwise, your audience will get bored at the very beginning.
Then proceed with some demographic questions to get to know your audience better. Next up is the core of your survey, which can be a couple of rating scale questions and a couple of multiple-choice questions about your event.
In the end, ask two or three open-ended questions to give your attendees space to make their suggestions and share their experiences in more detail. Finally, end your survey with a polite thank-you note.
These are certainly all good pieces of advice, but ultimately, how you compose surveys about your events depends on the type of data you want to collect.
How should I know which questions to use in my survey, you ask? Well, you’re about to find out because, in the following lines, we’ll give you an example of the best questions you can ask in your post-event surveys.
Examples of post-event survey questions you need to ask at your next event
Here is an example of a well-structured post-event survey. What you’re about to read can give you a sound basis from which you can start building your surveys, but feel free to add and remove as much as you want, as long as it’s meaningful and according to your vision.
1. Demographic questions for getting to know your participants
Start with demographic questions – ask about your participants’ age, ethnicity, educational level, marital status, employment status, and so on. With them, you’ll get to know your attendees a little bit better.
While composing these questions, you can use drop-down answers so you don’t scare your participants away with a considerable number of responses.
2. General questions about the event
After that, we come to some general questions about the event, like:
Have you participated in this event?
This will be a yes-or-no question, but remember here that this question can be used to rule out participants. If the answer is no, close the survey with a thank-you note.
How satisfied were you with the event?
This can be a Likert scale question, and you can ask about participants’ satisfaction with specific things such as the date, location, venue, vendors, speakers, catering, etc. If the answer is on the dissatisfied half, you can add a follow-up question for additional feedback, such as:
What didn’t you like about the venue/catering/etc.?
This will be an open-ended question where your participants can share their experiences in detail. It can give you valuable insight into what your attendees think about the event and what you can improve in the future.
Questions that can give you a better insight into the success of your events are:
How likely are you to attend one of our events in the future?
How likely are you to recommend our events to a friend or a colleague?
The second question can be a valuable insight into your future success because people are most likely to try something that their friends have shared with them, and, as we all know, word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing there is!
3. Open-ended questions about the event
End your survey with a couple of open-ended questions about the event. They are incredibly beneficial because you will also get valuable qualitative data, other than just the quantitative data from the basic yes or no and rating scale questions.
Knowing your strongest and weakest points will give you insight into where you need future improvement and what good work you can keep up with. Ask things like:
What did you like the most about the event?
What would you like to see improved at the next event?
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
While the data you will collect in this way will be harder to analyze, this practice is good to find out your attendees’ authentic experience with the event. And if you’re a type of business that likes to listen to every customer, then these questions are the ones you need to include in your surveys.
Getting feedback from your attendees is essential, and, as you can see, there are a lot of questions from which to choose, not only as far as their type goes but also regarding their content. Therefore, the critical factor to doing great surveys about your events is to ask just the right amount of questions with the right content.
This is not always easy. It’s often challenging, but with the right amount of practice, you’ll surely get there.
Just remember the following: don’t ask too many questions. Otherwise, participants can get bored and exit the survey before finishing it or even click random answers. The latter is even worse because it will give you false feedback from which you won’t benefit and improve your future events.
As far as the content goes, ask meaningful questions that match your intent. So, for example, if you want to better your future events, ask about how you can do that; and if you’re going to research your word-of-mouth marketing, then ask about that. And make sure to provide space for participants’ suggestions in the form of open-ended questions.
We hope this article helped you get better insight into how your post-event survey should look, and if you need some help with creating your survey, you can always check out our customer service satisfaction templates.