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How to Create a Post-Event Survey Members will Love

‍Don’t let the hard work your association puts into its events go to waste. Use a post-event survey on your next event to get the valuable feedback you need for better events in the future.

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Your events take a lot time and hard work to put together. You have to gather sponsorships, secure vendors, and set up the entire venue. In the end, you want your efforts to lead to a great event for all of your attendees. But how do you know how your events score with your attendees? Are they satisfied with the experience? Or did they leave looking for more?

A post-event survey can clear up any confusion surrounding your association’s events. We all know by now how essential surveys are for analyzing member satisfaction. The same idea stands for events. How will you know what your members think about your events if you don’t directly ask them?

When it comes to post-event surveys, you want to ask the questions that really matter. Asking the wrong questions will leave your association in the same place it started with no real information about your event’s success. Here are some tips to consider if you’re looking to create a post-event survey both you and your members will benefit from.

Keep it short and sweet.

One of the biggest restraints for people is time. It seems like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything we want done. With that in mind, you want to keep your surveys short and to the point. Keeping a short survey is great for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s a more convincing offer. Asking members for five minutes of their time is a lot less of a task than asking for 20-30 minutes. You want to express to your members that you know how valuable their time is. Another reason a short survey is great is because it’s forces your association to only ask the questions that matter.

A short survey puts a limit on your association’s ability to ask certain questions. Oftentimes, a long survey can get out of hand because there’s so much room to diverge. Put a limit on the number of questions you can put in your post-event survey. You can organize your questions based on a need to know basis if that helps.

For example, list out all questions that could be asked in a post-event survey. Separate your questions into two categories: ‘need to know’ and ‘want to know’. Create your survey around the ‘need to know’ questions. Then, if you have any room, this is where the ‘want to know’ category becomes useful. A short survey will keep your member’s engagement and get your association the answers it wants.

Make surveys inclusive for every member.

Chances are your association has different levels of membership. And if you have different membership levels, you might have different event offers for each level. Or, let’s say you held a three day event. Some members may not have been able to attend all three days of the event, which could affect how they answer your post-event survey.

Don’t make members feel left out by asking questions about specific event sessions. You want to ask questions that can provide a general knowledge of your event as a whole.

Including questions like “What part of our event was most enjoyable?” or “Did you enjoy our event overall?” are a great way to include all members in your survey. Or, if you’d like a more specific answer, you can ask about very prominent moments of your event. For example, if you brought in a highly sought after guest speaker, you can ask for feedback on their performance.

As long as you avoid membership-specific questions, you can get survey answers from all types of members.

Ask about their event attendance in the past.

Do you know who’s been to your events before? How about who is coming to an event for the first time? If not, a post-event survey can collect that information for you. It’s important to know the difference between an event newcomer and a seasoned event veteran. Someone who’s been coming to events for years might see events differently than someone who just had their first event experience.

For first-time attendees, you want to make sure they come back to events in the future. Their event satisfaction could be the deciding factor in their attendance next year.

On the other hand, members who attend events every year have a better grasp on how events are with your association. They may have more experience or more of an opinion on how to improve events in the future.

Include a question asking about event attendance. One way to do this is to ask members, “Have you attended any events prior to this one?” You can also be up front and ask how many events they’ve attended in the past. Make your association aware of where your members stand when it comes to event attendance by including a question in your post-event survey.

Honesty is the best policy.

Your association wants to have amazing events that members love. However, it’s also important to recognize that some events may not be as great as others.

You don’t want to coax your members into positive feedback. Allow members to express their true thoughts by avoiding any questions that might seem leading.

Avoid words like ‘amazing’, ‘awesome’, and ‘incredible’. You don’t want to oversell your event so much that members feel uncomfortable telling the truth. You also don’t want biased feedback when reviewing your post-event survey answers. Create questions that allow for brutal honesty. Even if it’s not the answer your association wants to hear, it’s essential to get the truth about your events so you can improve them in the future.

A good question to ask is “rate our event on a scale of 1-10”. The word choice is neutral, which doesn’t make members feel obligated to answer a specific way. It also allows for a variety of different answers. Another way to promote honesty in a post-event survey is to allow anonymity. Members could feel uncomfortable having their name attached to their opinion. Allowing an option to stay anonymous will allow anyone to share their honesty without feeling a sense of guilt afterwards.

Leave room for improvement.

It’s not always easy predicting what members want, especially when it comes to events. You want to avoid missing the mark and leaving them unsatisfied. But how do you know what they want?

Well, you could always ask them. Including a section for members to suggest event ideas is a great way to stay on top of member satisfaction. It gives them a chance to give their input directly to your association for consideration in future events.

This is also a great chance to get creative ideas for your association’s next event. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and feel like your association holds the same event year after year. However, you don’t want your members to feel that way also. Their ideas could be used to build up new events in the future.

Include a question in your post-event survey that allows members to suggest new event ideas. “Are there any suggestions to improve our future events” is a good way to invite any criticism from members. You can also ask how your current event could have been improved. There’s many different ways to get the answers you need.

Don’t let the hard work your association puts into its events go to waste. Use a post-event survey on your next event to get the valuable feedback you need for better events in the future.