3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Event

Do you have someone in your life who tells it like it is?

You know, the one who tells you there’s broccoli in your teeth. Yes, them.

You might cringe just a little when they are about to express their opinion about something, but when they give you a compliment you know it’s sincere.

Surveying your event attendees can feel the same way.

Asking for feedback can feel a little scary if you’ve poured your heart, mind and soul into planning an event, but receiving feedback only makes your event stronger.

It also communicates you value their opinions.

That respect goes a long way in building trus.

Don’t just rely on post-event surveys, though.

Maximize your impact by engaging your attendees before, during and after your event!

Start the Conversation Before the Event

The perceptions of people walking into your event matter.

They matter a lot. Because how you deliver against these expectations will determine how attendees ultimately talk (or don’t talk) about your event.

How can you know what people are hoping to get out of your event unless you ask?

Knowing what people want to walk away with does 3 things:
Informs how you shape your event to deliver the most value to them
Gives you permission to debunk myths and set realistic expectations if needed prior to the event
Allows you to confidently exceed their expectations

By the way, if someone decides not to attend your event because they’ve shared what they’re looking for and you’ve explained your event won’t get them there, shake hands with gratitude and stay in touch.

You just avoided an unsatisfied customer and they didn’t waste their time. PLUS, you now have an excuse to host another event that does meet their needs!

That’s called “monetizing the no.”

Engage People During the Event

Use simple online survey tools to engage attendees throughout the day.

These could be:
Fun trivia with a winner at the end of the day
Questions built around issues related to the content you’re covering at the event
Opinion polls about controversial topics in the related industry

Be sure to share the results while everyone is still there. You could choose a time when you need to bring the energy back up, such as after lunch.

This is especially effective if you’re revealing controversial results that will get attendees talking to each other.

Respect Attendees After the Event

Sending out a post-event survey is a critical step for an accurate assessment of your event’s strengths and weaknesses, AND it’s a critical component in showing attendees you value their time and thoughts.

These surveys are a great time to learn about unexpected successes and any blind spots you might have, related to:
Logistical elements – location, parking, venue, etc.
Program elements – speakers, facilitators and content value
Personal perceptions – how they feel about their experience

If you claim to be “all about the people” but never give “the people” an opportunity to be heard, particularly after they’ve taken the time to attend your event, you will likely lose their loyalty and future referrals.

When used correctly, surveys can help you see what you don’t see.

Yes, that means you might get some bad news, but knowing it keeps you from repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

That’s a win in my book.

Plus, people may have positive experiences they would be happy to share with you if you would only ask!

No event is perfect, but by understanding expectations, making the event as engaging as possible, and asking for feedback you are sure to work your way closer and closer to hosting a stellar event that people are excited to attend and talk about!