So your long awaited and well prepared event is finally over. Lights are off, the band stopped playing, guests have just left, the tech team is dismantling the A/V equipment, and the catering staff is clearing the tables. And the first thing that comes to your mind is “How did it go? Was this event good enough?” The time after the event is a time of evaluation, a time of questions and answers. This is why we created a complete event evaluation template, to make sure you get an in-depth image of what went right and what can be improved. You can download it for free, here.
How to use the event evaluation template
The template we created features various aspects of the event results, each one contained in a different sheet in the file:
- attendee demographics: who are the people who attended your event?
- attendee feedback: what did your guest think of your event?
- expenses, revenue, and profit/loss summary: did you manage to keep the event within your budget?
- sponsors feedback: did your event meet sponsors’ expectations?
- a final evaluation checklist with in-depth questions on the results of the event
All sheets are editable, we included notes and suggestions of how to fill them in, but if you need to adapt the questions and the data to your specific type of event, you can totally do so.
Before starting to fill in the template though, during the days immediately after the event has ended, there are some preparation steps you need to take or to have taken already in the event planning stage and during the event.
Collect attendee demographic
The easiest way to do this is during the ticket sale phase, if you used an online platform to sell tickets for your event. And if you choose Metooo as your online event management platform, you can include demographic questions as a survey in the ticket order form. Apart from gender, age, location and occupation, here is where you want to ask how they found out about the event. Be careful to only require a small amount of information. Otherwise, too many questions may put people off.
Collect attendee feedback
This can be done in two ways, and each of these two ways is suitable for different types of events.
One way is to have printed feedback questionnaires and distribute them at the event. This works best for events like conferences, meetings, congresses, trade shows, training courses, and workshops. In other words, events at which people actually have the time to actually sit down and fill in the answers, and you can collect the filled-in forms in an organized way.
For more dynamic events, such as concerts, parties, festivals, people are less likely to take the time, interrupt the fun, and write down things on a piece of paper. So you could send your guests an online survey by email, to be filled in after the event. We like SurveyAnyplace for the variety of tools it offers and for allowing you to create surveys that people are more likely to want to answer.
Gather all content and media items
The next step is to collect all user generated content you can find from your attendees. That means photos, videos and text posted online, and social media is a good place to search. To make sure you find as much of their content as possible, make sure you give the possibility to guests to “check-in” at your event on Facebook and Instagram, and create a hashtag with the name of your event.
Also, if you use Metooo as your online event management platform, you can activate the Storytelling (wall) of the event and give guests the opportunity to post photos and text posts directly there, so you have a large quantity of content in one place.
Another thing you need to collect is all the media coverage following the event. Think newspaper and magazine clippings, online articles and blog post links, and social media posts from celebrities and influencers.
Talk to your sponsors
After the event, you need to discuss with each and every sponsor about their satisfaction regarding the visibility of their brand and whether your attendees were a fit for the sponsor’s customer profile. Use the data that you gathered so far to prepare reports to send to each sponsor, together with a list of questions regarding their satisfaction.
Do the maths
As soon as the event ends, compile all the information on costs and revenue and finalize the budget with the profit/loss summary. Make sure to fill in expected costs and revenue as well as the actual costs and revenue, so you can have a tangible picture of whether the numbers exceeded or underwhelmed the expectations.
Reunite with the team
Most likely, you didn’t work on this event alone. Have a meeting with the entire team that helped this event come to life, and discuss all event areas in-depth. Use the questions in the final evaluation sheet to guide you through the meeting, and ask suggestions from all team members about what can be improved.
A final note: you should not rush filling in the whole event evaluation template right the day after the event has ended. Gathering all the information, collecting feedback from all parts involved, and analyzing the data will take several days. So, a couple of weeks would be the right time to have everything you need for a complete event evaluation.