Garrett Huddy of Attend.com
1. Survey your attendees after every event.
Anytime you don’t survey event attendees, you are missing a valuable opportunity. Your attendees took the time to respond to your invite, register and show up, which are all great touch points. Sending a quick online survey adds another point of engagement while allowing you to understand what the event experience was like for your guests.
2. Make it quick.
The longer your survey, the better the chance that your attendees will NOT complete it. Keeping your survey to five questions or less will prevent people from abandoning it halfway through. Don’t forget to announce how short the survey is in the email containing the link to your survey. Letting attendees know up front that your survey is only five questions long will encourage more people to click the link and take it.
3. Use a consistent format.
If you use different questions on every event survey, it will be very difficult to compare event success. Deciding on a consistent format for your event surveys will make it much easier to compare attendee satisfaction from event to event. One format that works very well for many schools and businesses is called the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
4. Calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
After years of research, Bain and Company determined that the most useful survey question is: “Based on your experience, would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague.” To answer the question, respondents choose on a scale of zero (not likely at all to recommend) to ten (extremely likely to recommend). The second part of the question is optional and simply asks “Why did you answer this way” with a text box allowing respondents to explain their answer. This question is a good starting point for any event survey. Check out this post to learn how to calculate NPS: The Two Post Event Survey Questions You Need to Ask.
5. Send within 24 hours.
Even if you are thinking about your event for days, weeks, and even months after it concludes, your alumni move on quickly.Sending out your event survey within 24 hours of the end of your event will boost response rates as well as the accuracy of submissions. If you use a survey tool that connects to your event management technology, you can easily send your survey to everyone that checked-in at your event with a click.
6. Offer an incentive.
Giving your attendees a small reward for completing your survey will get you more responses. The reward can be as small as an entry into a drawing for a gift card or apparel from your gift shop. For those that wouldn’t otherwise feel compelled to respond, the possibility of winning may be enough to get them to take your quick survey. The other reward for taking the survey is helping to create even better events in the future. Make sure you point out the fact that you will be taking the survey results into account to improve future events based on the feedback.
7. Remind non-responders.
With the amount of emails most people get, it’s entirely possible that a large chunk of attendees either missed or forgot to come back to your initial survey email. For those that don’t take your survey within a few days, sending a quick reminder will bring in more responses. You also don’t want to annoy attendees who have no interest in taking your survey, so you should restrain yourself from sending a 3rd survey email. The initial email and one reminder will get you the best results without upsetting any of your alumni.
8. Identify and fix issues.
Surveys are a good way to identify any potential issues with your event strategy. You obviously shouldn’t adjust your strategy based on every complaint, but you need to watch for trends. If you start to notice an abundance of negative comments regarding a particular aspect of your events, address the issue. On the other hand, you may also start to notice trends in positive comments that indicate you should be putting a bigger focus on certain parts of your event strategy.
9. Share Results.
In conjunction with identifying trends in either positive or negative responses, you should be sharing these results with attendees. Sharing an overview of the survey results will show that you are taking the responses seriously to improve future events. Sending out the results serve as another point of engagement while showingthe value of participating in your event surveys.
For more on surveying your alumni base, download our free eBook: How To Survey Your Alumni!