How to Create Your Event Planning Questionnaire (Like a Pro)

Business-owners-and-employees-gathering-at-a-venue-for-a-corporate-event
Photo credit: Jakob Dalbjörn

Events are one of the more effective marketing methods for businesses and organizations. For non-profit organizations like churches, events are utilized to generate funds, empower their congregation, teach and inspire, and serve communities.

For businesses, it generates sales, increases brand credibility and awareness, and allows you to know your customers. A Bizzabo marketing report suggested that 60% of business leaders believe that events are the most crucial marketing channels for attaining business goals.

Whether you are preparing for your company’s internal event or for a client, starting event planning with a pre-event consultation is vital. And to get the best out of it, you’ll be needing this essential tool: your event planning questionnaire.

This article will teach you the practical steps to construct your event planning questionnaire and the essential questions you need to include in it.

Why do I need an event planning questionnaire, anyway?

Now before I answer your question, let’s first define what an event planning questionnaire is.

An event planning questionnaire is used by event planners during their consultation with their respective clients. It contains well-constructed questions that aim to know the event details, clarify misconceptions and build a healthy working relationship between the planner and the client. And this is important because:

1. An event planning questionnaire is a crucial part of event planning. A thorough questionnaire during consultation lets you know what your clients want and what they strongly dislike. You can then tailor the event according to their preferences.

2. It leads you in the right direction. Remember, your client sets the base and the backbone for the whole event. Your job is to fill in the details and make sure that they are accurately executed. Knowing precisely what your client’s vision is keeps you working on the right track.

3. It helps avoid misunderstandings and mistakes. Having a thorough conversation with your client during consultation helps clear out misconceptions and clarify anything that confuses you. And this works vice versa for them as well.

4. Aids in covering the details. Event planners are visionaries. They try to see the whole picture beforehand. Questionnaires ensure that you don’t miss anything. It may sound cliche, but it does. Never underestimate the power of asking questions.

The 4 C’s of a great event planning questionnaire

Making a good event planning questionnaire is not something you want. You want to create a GREAT questionnaire. And what makes an event planning questionnaire great?

1. Concise – Keep it brief but comprehensive. Get rid of unnecessary questions so you can save time. Keep your questions short and simple, but packed.

2. Clear – Clear questions produce clear answers. Make sure that your questions are easily understood. Know your clients beforehand so that you can speak “their language.” And this doesn’t pertain to a language like English. What I mean is their social language. For example, millennials talk differently. Use words that your client clearly understands, while still sounding like a professional.

3. Comprehensive – Make sure that your scope is broad enough. Ask extensive questions that will address in-depth details. Make every question count. Make every question significant. See to it that you get to say everything you need to ask.

4. Certain – Be specific as possible. Don’t just ask vague questions. Get into the details.

Now that you know the what and the why, let us learn the how. How should you do it? What are some of the questions that you should not miss asking?

Part 1: Questions about the client’s background, experiences, and expectations

These are basic questions. Treat this as the getting to know you phase. Know your client, their experiences and ask them about their expectations. We want to make sure we are on the same page here. Some of the fundamental questions are:

1. Have you worked with an event planner before? How was your experience? By asking this, you don’t only understand where to position yourself and how to deal with your client (especially if he/she is a first-timer), but it will also serve as guidelines to improve your service.

2. What are your expectations from working with me? What event planning services do you prefer? Always ask this. Expectations should be set in order to meet them. Be honest on what services you are offering, including the limitations.

3. How involved are you in the planning process? Do you want to work collaboratively, or do you prefer entrusting most of the tasks to me? Set the conditions right away.

Part 2: Questions about the details of the event

After going through the basics, dive into the details and get the overview.

1. What is the event? What does it aim to achieve? Understanding the goals is very important. Hitting the event goals is the event planner’s primary objective.

2. When and where do you want it to take place? How long will the event last? Executive retreats and incentive trips usually run between three to five days. Church conferences and summer camps also take more than a day.

3. Who will be attending? What’re the expected number of participants, guests, and/or sponsors? Will there be persons with disabilities that need assistance and particular service? This will estimate how big the event will be and enable you to prevent any issues beforehand.

4. What’s the budget? It can be a real challenge if you are working with a very tight budget. And that’s why your expertise is needed. Get the calculators working. Provide suggestions and alternatives to fit overall costs into the budget.

5. Are there any event sponsors?

6. What’s your advertising and marketing plan? Any marketing and event registration tools that you will be using? Will you be promoting on your social media platforms, or will it be on your WordPress website?

Event Espresso is a WordPress plug-in that helps you in your event registration and ticketing process. Event Espresso does it all for you from marketing tickets online, creating custom registration forms, setting up multiple price options, and collecting event payments.

7. What are the most important factors of the event for you?

8. What’s your desired theme? Ask for a visual board if they have one.

9. What’s the “vibe” you want your audience to feel? What’s the mood of the event?

Part 3: Questions about the client’s preferences and dislikes

We’re almost there. After getting the overview, know your client’s likes and dislikes.

1. What color palettes for the theme do you prefer? How about the decorations? Are there any favorite bands or songs? Remember, you are catering the event according to their tastes.

2. Any particular dislikes? Concerning the theme, music selection, or food.

Part 4: Questions about the final details of the event

Wrap up the consultation with these questions.

1. Will you be hiring event staff, or do you have volunteers? If both, what particular tasks will the volunteers be responsible for? How about the hired staff?

2. Any preference for food catering? Are there any food allergies that we need to know? What foods do you, your guests, and participants enjoy? They know their audience more than you do.

3. Are there any concerns and suggestions you have based on your experience?

4. What would be the most suitable time to contact you for any additional concerns and matters?

And there you have it. You are now bound to a successful pre-event consultation.

Sell event registrations and collect payments through your WordPress website

It is exhausting managing your event registration and ticket payments through different platforms. It takes too much time using your website for advertisement and then hopping on to a separate tab to run registrations. What is worse is having to write them up manually through paper registrations.

Manage your events with ease through your WordPress website. Sell event registrations or tickets, customize and collect registration forms, and receive payments using your WordPress website.

Want to know how? Try the Event Espresso demo now to see how we can help make your next event a success!

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