Ultimate Guide: Event Survey Do's & Don'ts

June 26, 2023 Jessica Stewart

As a New York event planner, you know the value of conducting and evaluating post-event surveys. These tools will help you discern what event guests loved about the engagement. They will also outline precisely what areas you should focus on improving for the next event. But if you’re not strategic about developing your event surveys, sending them, and evaluating the responses, you’re missing out on key data. And today, we’re sharing the do’s and don’ts about event surveys so you can be sure you’re leveraging them to the fullest advantage.

Event Survey Do’s

When it comes to doing event surveys the right way, these are the best practices to follow. And it’s recommended that you get to work on these surveys before your event takes place so you’re not rushing to assemble a project after the event.

Design your survey with great questions

Great post-event surveys start with great questions. Be specific with each event survey, key on outlining unique decors, designs, entertainment, and event objectives. Customization is key. And here are sample survey questions to consider including in yours.

  • How satisfied were you with the event?
  • What was your favorite experience or moment of the event?
  • What could we improve on?
  • How useful was the event?
  • Did the event meet your expectations?
  • How likely would you be to attend our events in the future?
  • Would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
  • Did you have a chance to ask questions and participate?
  • Why did you attend this event?
  • Have you attended this event before?
  • Have you attended our other events before?
  • Were you satisfied with the quality of the content?
  • What was your biggest takeaway from the event?
  • How satisfied were you with the virtual experience?
  • What were your favorite virtual features?
  • How easy was the platform for the event to navigate?
  • What would have made this event better?
  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Would you want to attend this event again in the future?
  • Were you satisfied with the number of activities/workshops?
  • How helpful was the staff at the event?
  • How satisfied were you overall with the networking opportunities provided?
  • What topics would you want to see more of at future events?
  • How did this event impact your perception of our brand/company?
  • Please share any additional comments, thoughts, or suggestions.

Build incentives into survey participation

Consider offering incentives for your event guests to participate in a survey. These might include gift cards or discounts for future event tickets. Make the surveys easy to download, with easy-to-answer questions and options. And during your New York event, instruct the crowd of attendees to expect a post-event survey. You can use those brief moments to sell the incentives and appreciation you intend to offer to those who agree to share their feedback.

Keep them anonymous

While you might be curious to know what certain guests think about your event, keep things anonymous. The goal of your survey is to collect honest and unbiased opinions. And you’ll be more likely to get those valued responses if there is a cloak of anonymity with your event surveys.

Send event surveys at the right time

It’s best to send those digital or app-based event surveys immediately after the event. The excitement and event details will be fresh in your guests’ minds within the first few days of the event’s final curtain. If you wait too long, you’ll run the risk of losing participants because the event is no longer top of mind.

Evaluate your event survey responses

Be sure that once you’ve collected your event survey responses, you do something with them. That means sitting down with the feedback and analyzing a few key elements of your event. 

  • What did you do well?
  • What aspect of your event received mediocre feedback?
  • Were there setbacks or specific improvements mentioned?

Event Survey Don’ts

In addition to the event survey best practices above, you’ll want to be mindful of common mistakes to avoid. These don’ts represent the most frequent missteps event planners inadvertently take. So, make sure you’re aware of what not to do when crafting and sending your event questionnaires.

Don’t be generic with your questions

It’s a great idea to have a template. But don’t run with a generic template for all your events. As previously mentioned, you’ll want to customize your questions in a way that allows you to collect valuable sentiments that are specific to each engagement. 

Don’t wait too long to send your event survey

Again, timing matters if you hope to collect honest feedback from your event guests. Don’t wait too long to send your surveys. And if you’ve sent them within the first few days but still haven’t heard back, go ahead and email or text reminders. Follow up for the first week or so for the best results.

Don’t be hasty with constructive feedback

You might get some unsavory feedback or find less-than-stellar reviews of your event planning performance. These negative sentiments are not to be tossed aside - they’re gold! Don’t take feedback personally. Rather, look for silver linings of improvements you can make to avoid receiving similar feedback again.

Don’t be selective about who you ask to participate

The best survey feedback comes from everyone. Don’t just send your post-event surveys to those you know who had a great time. Make your survey sample group as large as possible to get the most accurate depiction of overall experiences. 

Don’t sit on the responses without analyzing them

It’s easy to get bogged down in event planning tasks and schedules. But don’t go to the trouble of creating surveys and sending them out without having a process in place for reviewing the results. Assemble a team if you have to, and make time to evaluate all the responses from your event guests.

Learn More Event Planning Insights at The Event Planner Expo 2023

Keep this ultimate guide of do’s and don’ts of event surveys handy as you look to improve your event planning processes and event experiences. And for more insights, advice, and tips from top industry professionals, get your tickets to The Event Planner Expo 2023! Thousands of leaders and experts will descend into NYC for this premier events industry conference. It’s the one room you can’t afford to NOT be in if growing your event planning business is a top goal for you this year!

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