Successful event planners know that good surveys are vital to gauge attendee satisfaction and overall event success. But to motivate attendees to respond to your questions and to collect useful survey data, you need to ask the right questions at the right times.
A key starting point is to know the three different types of event survey questions and their objectives.
1. Quantitative questions
These questions ask for something quantifiable, such as a numerical rating of a product, service, or experience. Typical examples include:
· How did you hear about the event?
· Which social media platform do you prefer?
For questions like these provide a single-answer multiple choice of no more than five likely answers. The answers can allow you to improve your connections to potential customers and target your future marketing campaigns.
· Which speakers do you most want to hear?
Supply a multiple-choice list of speakers where respondents can select about 30 per cent of the options. This will allow you to plan extra seating or Q&A sessions for the most popular speakers.
· How would you rate the venue/speaker/workshop activity?
Provide an optional scale of 1-5 that indicates what 1 and 5 stand for (e.g. ‘greatly dissatisfied’ and ‘greatly satisfied,’ respectively) with a ‘why’ comment box. This data will allow you to plan more effectively for your next event.
2. Qualitative questions
These are open-ended questions designed to gain insight into specific experiences and thought processes, which provide context to accompanying quantitative data. For example, “35 per cent of attendees complained about food, but 82 per cent of those respondents had dietary restrictions”.
· Why did you choose to attend this event? Target your invitations and marketing to the most productive demographic.
· Do you have any special mobility/dietary/other needs? This will help you to cater in advance to an ever-growing list of special needs.
· Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve? This question could be posed after each session or day or at the end of the event. The sooner you seek feedback, the more likely the attendee will share their impressions.
· How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or colleague? Provide a 1-10 scale rating.
3. Binary questions
These are Yes/No or checkbox questions. Examples include:
· Asking for permission to be contacted. Initiate a marketing relationship.
· Have you attended this event before? Repeat attenders could receive perks or discounts.
· Where you satisfied with the venue/hotel/check-in/event technology/overall event? Follow up these questions with qualitative questions the allow responders to elaborate on their impressions.
Savvy event planners make good use of quantitative, qualitative, and binary survey questions before, during, and after their event.