20 essential event survey questions you need to ask

Hope Simona
Hope Simona
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    Planning an event requires a lot of thinking, coordinating and energy in getting resources together. However, if you’re really planning for success, you need to think several steps ahead. It all starts with the data you’re collecting from previous post-event surveys – and gathering the right data is going to be dependent on asking the right questions.

    To deliver a successful event, the first and most crucial step is to start with a survey to better understand the needs of your audience. Understanding their needs and expectations will help in creating a successful event.

    What is an event survey?

    Most event planners will be familiar with post-event surveys, where questions are sent out at the end of an event to find out the attendees thoughts about the event, what worked and what didn’t. 

    However, you can also pack a powerful punch with the right survey questions both before and during your event. Not only do surveys help with logistics, they can also help to inform your future marketing efforts – for example, how people heard about the event and whether they are likely to refer someone else to attend in the future. 

    What are the different types of event survey questions?

    The best event surveys contain a range of questions in a mix of formats – including:

    • Yes/No choices
    • Ratings
    • Open-ended feedback boxes
    • Multiple choice format. 

    The format of each question will depend on how you word it, and what you’re trying to discover. Events management platforms, like EventsAir, can help you shape the format of your post event survey questions.

    There are surveys for pre-event, during the event and post-event. Each type of survey offers different benefits:

    Pre-event surveys

    Pre-event surveys are conducted before an event to gather information about attendees’ preferences, expectations, and needs. The survey questions may cover a range of topics, such as the attendee’s reasons for attending the event, their preferred topics or activities, and their dietary requirements.

    As an event planner, you will need this information to begin the event planning process. The data points will help you to identify what the needs of your audience are, like location, food, topics for discussion, number of conference rooms, number of potential attendees, number of required hotel rooms, any airline bookings, etc. Armed with the right pre-event survey data, you can shape the best experience for your target audience. 

    A word of warning, while it can be tempting to ask a lot of these questions during the registration process, this can cause friction and potentially stop people from registering your event. Rather send out these questions as a dedicated pre-event survey after someone has registered.

    Surveys during the event

    Surveys during the event can be conducted in a number of ways, ranging from low-tech (asking people to fill out paper forms), to something more streamlined using your event app. You can ask questions about how people are enjoying the event, what’s working and what might be missing.

    Surveys during the event are great for monitoring how satisfied your participants are. They allow you to make the right adjustments, either immediately or for future events. If you’re experimenting with more agile event planning, they can even help you to shape your “pop up” sessions. The right survey questions take the guesswork out of the equation and instant feedback addresses every opinion on all aspects of an event.

    It can be hard to get attendees to complete surveys on the day, that’s where gamification can come in to help inspire your attendees to take action.

    Post-event surveys

    Straight after the event is a good time to get in touch with attendees one last time, while the event is still fresh in everyone’s minds. As well as gathering feedback on the event itself, you can also offer a call-to-action, networking opportunities, connect attendees with recorded content and even launch your next event.  

    Post-event surveys with great questions can help you work out your wins and what needs to improve. They’re also an essential source of data to shape your future events planning efforts, as well as marketing and following up on specific ideas.  

    Because post-event surveys are so critical, we have developed our event tech platform to support unlimited surveys to be sent to attendees after the completion of an event. 

    20 questions to ask in your event surveys

    Now onto the important stuff: the 20 essential questions for your next event’s surveys!

    We always recommend tailoring your questions based on “when”. Questions asked before the event will be different from those to be asked during and after an event.

    Examples of pre-event questions:

    1. Which event and/or speaker are you looking forward to? List out all the presentations and sessions as response options and allow the attendees to choose one (if the agenda is smaller) or up to five (for multi-day, complex agendas).
    2. What do you think about the cost of entry? Provide three response options to choose from (too little, just right, too much).
    3. Do you like the location? Provide three response options (yes, no, no strong opinion), and a box for further comments if you want feedback.
    4. How and where did you find out about the event? List out all your marketing channels as response options (including email, social media, Google, printed ads, industry bulletins) as well as other referral channels (friend/colleague).
    5. Is there anything you want to modify in the registration process? Create a yes or no response option, with the opportunity to add further comments.
    6. What information did you find difficult to get, related to the event? Offer a text-box for free-form comments.

    Examples of during the event survey questions:

    1. Was the check-in process easy? Provide three response options (yes, no, no strong opinion), and a box for further comments if you want feedback.
    2. What rating would you give the keynote speaker? One way to grade this would be to offer a rating of between 1 and 5, with the option to add further comments.
    3. Which was the most informative event so far, in your opinion? As per question 1, list out all the presentations and sessions as response options and allow the attendees to choose one (if the agenda is smaller) or up to five (for multi-day, complex agendas). Provide space for optional comments.
    4. Was getting around the event location easy? Provide three response options (yes, no, no strong opinion), and a box for further comments if you want feedback.
    5. What would you like to change about the event? Offer a text-box for free-form comments.
    1. How was the atmosphere? One way to grade this would be to offer a rating of between 1 and 5, with the option to add further comments.
    2. How helpful did you find the event organizers? As per question 8, one way to grade this would be to offer a rating of between 1 and 5, with the option to add further comments.

    Examples of post-event questions:

    1. How would you rate the event on a scale of 1-10? Don’t forget to add space for optional comments – overall feedback is so critical!
    2. Which event or speaker impressed you the most? As per question 1, list out all the presentations and sessions as response options and allow the attendees to choose one (if the agenda is smaller) or up to five (for multi-day, complex agendas). Provide space for optional comments.
    3. Did you have enough time to network? Provide three response options to choose from (too little, just right, too much).
    4. Suggest a couple of changes for next year’s event? Offer a text-box for free-form comments.
    1. What features could be added? Another text-box for free-form comments.
    2. Did you learn anything at this event that would help you in your future work? Another text-box for free-form comments.
    3. Based on your experience this year, would you return next year and/or refer a friend or colleague? Provide three response options to choose from (yes, no, unsure).

    I’ve set up my event survey questions – what comes next?

    Developing the right event survey questions is only half of the equation! The next step in the process is to get the best response rate to your survey questions, then it’s time to analyze the data so you have meaningful, actionable information. 

    These are two important topics in their own right, so we will look at them in a separate blog.

    How can our event technology solutions help to improve your next event?

    At EventsAir, we understand the importance of selecting the right event technology partner – someone who can help turn your valuable data into information gold, and improve the overall experience for your attendees. 

    We have one simple mission: to help event planners deliver the WOW in their events with the world’s most powerful event management technology. We’ve delivered some of the world’s biggest events, and we’d love to help you too. 

    Reach out to request a demo, and one of our team members will be in touch shortly.

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