Evaluating the success of your event is a must if you’re planning on organising future events. A thorough evaluation of your event will help you learn and understand:
- What was successful
- Improvement points for next time
- Whether or not you met your delegates expectations
- If your budget and timeline was realistic
Essentially, if you create an evaluation form that helps you review the performance of your event from start to finish, it will improve your skills as an Event Planner and the success of your event significantly.
As well as creating an evaluation form for delegates to complete at the end of the event there are also ways you can begin to review whilst on site. Make observations whilst you are there, watch how well things are going – are the delegates engaging in the lectures? Are the events team coping well with the management of the event? Keep a notepad with you at all times and jot down things good and bad whilst you are there to reflect on when the event is finished.
When creating your evaluation, there are a standard set of questions which you should always ask (if appropriate to your event) these include feedback on:
- Venue & facilities
- Food and drink
- The meeting overall
- The organisation of the meeting
- Quality and relevance of each lecture/talk
As well as collecting quantitative data which makes summarising and evaluating your results a lot easier, it’s also important to get some qualitative data which gives your delegates an output for further comments and suggestions for future meetings.
Social media is also an excellent platform to scour and find valuable feedback from delegates. If you put the work in prior to your event by beginning to use a hashtag and create a buzz for the event online, this will then continue whilst the event is happening which you can follow and track online. This is often on delegates personal platforms where there will be more open and honest and may give you some insights you may not get from other sources.
When you’ve received all of your evaluations back and collated everything post the event, it’s really important to debrief with the event team no later than 1-2 weeks after the event has ended. Any later than this and memories and insights will start to fade. Analyse what went well, things to improve on, look at growth tactics for the following year (if applicable) and put in place improved processes to help you improve on the events ahead.
Final top tip – go paperless with evaluations if you can! Save the planet J
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