What Should You Include on Your Post-Event Survey?

Written by Laura Thrasher on May 22, 2014

Posted in Event Planning, Surveys

Post last updated on February 11, 2016.

If you are hosting an event, be sure to schedule a follow-up with your guests. After all, you have a list of people who are interested in your company and who hopefully enjoyed themselves. Don’t let those contacts drift away! Customer satisfaction surveys tend to have response rates of 10% to 30%, and those respondents can give you useful feedback. Here are several ways to ensure that your follow-up event survey gets the best response from your customers:

Start with the End in Mind

When building your survey, remember that you will want to act on the data you collect.

That means you should ask questions that can be analyzed. After all, if all your survey questions are long answer, you can’t visualize much. Remember which form fields can be turned into charts or graphs: Radio Buttons, Matrix, Select List, Checkbox, and Number fields. Questions that use these fields should make up the majority of your post-event survey—both to make it easier to fill out and to data-crunch later.

Offer Incentives for Submission

Because the results of your post-event survey can be beneficial to your organization, you may want to include an incentive to increase participants’ response rate. Many surveys offer a chance to win a nice prize, but doing so can actually be less effective than guaranteeing a token gift.  In one study, offering a chance to win a fancy prize resulted in only a slightly higher response rate than offering no incentive at all (20% versus 24% response rate). When they offered a token item to everyone, they received a 31% response rate. Your guest list is full of people who are already engaging with your company, so a branded gift will be a well-received choice. Consider an item that relates to your event in some way!

Brand Gift as an Incentive

Don’t Delay Sending

Send your event survey within 24 hours to get the freshest impressions of the event. The vast majority of responses to a post-event survey will come within three days. You know the old saying, “Strike while the iron is hot”? Surveying while the event is still hot in guests’ minds will mean immediate feedback about the event’s successes and shortcomings. Create your survey in advance so it’s not lost in your office’s post-event craziness.

Include Essential Survey Questions

Clear, easy-to-answer questions are key to a strong survey. Below are some examples of post-event survey questions, along with the types of form fields you can use for each. Varying the question types on your survey can help keep participants engaged to the end.

Note that having a limited number of short- or long-answer options will let your guests voice opinions that you may not have considered.

  • How satisfied were you with the event? (Matrix; ask about specific areas like catering, entertainment, location, etc.)
  • Would you recommend this event to your friends? (Radio Button; use Conditional Logic so that if they answer “no,” a comment box appears for more information)
  • How likely are you to attend a similar event in the future? (Matrix)
  • Do you plan on engaging with our brand in the future? (Radio Button; use Conditional Logic for “no” responses)
  • Please let us know any other comments you might have. (Long Answer)

Using several types of post-event survey questions will allow for a fleshed-out response from your participants. For example, if people consistently rated the catering poorly, you will probably want to change vendors next year. Allowing comments for negative answers lets participants give details that will illuminate their experience.

Act on the Results

If event guests are taking the time to fill out a survey, they want to be heard. If you receive negative feedback, follow up with a personal message. Take comments seriously and do your best to make changes for next time. Even in the case of negative comments, a follow-up survey gives you the opportunity to make things right and create a positive experience of your brand.

Want to learn why Formstack is the best tool to help you create engaging post-event surveys? Click below to see a side-by-side comparison of popular survey tools, including Formstack.