A Quick Guide to Effective Event Surveys

Event surveys are an important way to get valuable feedback from your attendees, but it's critical to make them easy to complete and to ask the right questions in the right way.

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Event surveys are a crucial part of event planning.  By gathering feedback from event attendees, organisers can take a magic wand to the next event and add the sparkle that was missing, erase the niggling glitches, or deliver more of what the attendees really loved.  

In short, surveys help ensure an event remains as a must-attend feature on attendees’ calendars.  

The Right Delivery

Thanks to the event app, the event survey process has been transformed into something streamlined, efficient and insightful. While traditional paper surveys were easily lost or simply not returned, event apps have helped maximise completion and submission rates.  

 To capitalise on attendees’ fresh thoughts and ideas, surveys are best issued shortly after an event. However, the event app can also make it easy to ask attendees hot-button questions at any time. 

Longevity event apps, such as CrowdComms’, can remain ‘open’ for as long as planners need. They offer a great way to stay connected to attendees in-between events.   

Let’s say event planners are considering making their next event hybrid. Issuing a short survey with thoughtful questions can help planners decide whether a virtual event option is something attendees would support.  

Effective Surveys

With our inboxes groaning under the weight of organisations asking for our opinions, it’s important that event planners can cut through the noise to entice attendees to open and complete their event survey! 

Start with a dynamic call-to-action. Whether the survey is being emailed or sent as a pop-up notification, headline the event survey request with something meaningful, e.g., ‘Help us Curate the Next Event’ or ‘What’s your Dream Event Feature?’. 
Compel attendees to contribute to the event’s future success. 
Smart Questions

Once opened, the survey needs to strike the right balance between what planners want to know and how much time an attendee is prepared to give the survey.   

If the survey is too long people may lose interest. If there are too many questions they’ll feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, if the questions aren’t specific enough, or there aren’t enough of them, the survey won’t yield useful answers.  

Tip: Think about summarising the survey length and anticipated completion time at the top of the survey, e.g. This survey has 20 questions and takes 15 minutes to complete. 

High-quality responses are a precious commodity, so it’s important to make every question count.  As a general guide: 

  • Focus on things that are within control at the event (e.g., ‘Was the session run at an appropriate time?’).  
  • Provide attendees with an opt-in to qualify certain closed (yes/no) answers. A follow-up question asking why they answered the way they did will give valuable insight into their answers.  
  • If giving multiple choice answers, have a balanced and full range of responses so nobody feels forced into an answer that doesn’t accurately represent their feelings. Include an ‘other’ section where people can specify an alternative answer if necessary. 
  • Include a mix of closed and open questions for variety.  
  • Focus on the really important must-know issues. Don’t get side-tracked by non-priority questions. 
  • Avoid leading questions, e.g. How remarkable did you find the keynote speech? 
  • Keep language clear and easy to understand. Avoid technical jargon where possible. Running the questions through an editing platform like Grammarly can help with phrasing. 

Finally, provide feedback on the feedback! Too many surveys are completed without organisations providing updates once surveys have been received and processed. If an event feature has changed, been added, removed or improved because of attendee feedback…let them know!  

If attendees feel their feedback is genuinely listened to and acted upon, they’re much more likely to complete future event surveys.  

In Summary

Event surveys are an important way to get valuable feedback from your attendees, but it’s critical to make survey completion easy for attendees and to ask the right questions in the right way 

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