How to Use Surveys to Plan Better Events

As an event organizer, you probably understand how important surveys and polls are for planning a successful event. You can use them to gather information about your guests, evaluate the success of events, and use that information to plan for future events.

In this article, we’ll start off by explaining how you can benefit from gathering information about your events and attendees using surveys. We’ll also walk you through a step by step tutorial on how you can use that information to plan better events.

Let’s get started.

Why You Should Send Event Attendees Surveys

Event organizers utilize both pre-event and post-event surveys to gather as much information as they can about their event’s attendees and to collect feedback.

Here are some of the ways you can benefit from surveying event attendees:

  • Learn about your guests. A pre-event survey can help you obtain demographic information about your attendees during the planning stage. You can use this to make your event more targeted towards those who will be attending. Pre-event surveys generally ask multiple choice questions.
  • Evaluate attendees’ sentiments. Post-event surveys allow you to determine whether your event planning efforts met your attendees’ expectations. Here, you can ask short questions like Did the event meet your objectives? or How would this event compare to other, similar events you’ve attended?
  • Plan future events. The information you collect from both pre-event and post-event surveys can help you plan better events in the future. For instance, if a majority of the attendees responded by saying their purpose for attending the workshop was to refresh their skills, you could focus on crafting better refresher course content instead of spending most of your time on beginner material.

It’s clear that there are a number of different things you can learn to improve your event just from sending surveys. Let’s take a look at how you can create engaging surveys and send them to your email lists.

How to Use Surveys to Plan Better Events

You can use the MailChimp add-on with Event Espresso to auto-register attendees and build your email lists. Once you have an email list in place, you can create and send pre-event and post-event surveys.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A MailChimp account.
  • SurveyMonkey integration connected to your MailChimp account.
  • Event Espresso.

We’ll demonstrate by creating a simple post-event survey in MailChimp.

Step 1: Create a Survey Using SurveyMonkey

Log in to your SurveyMonkey account and click the Create Survey button. Give your survey a title and select a category.

Surveymonkey dashboard

Add as many questions as you’d like to your survey and set their respective survey responses.

Once you’re done, save your survey by clicking the Save button.

Step 2: Add a Survey to Your Campaign

Log in to your MailChimp account and head over to Campaigns > Create Campaign from the dashboard.

Mailchimp dashboard

Next, select the Create an Email option and give your campaign a name.

Create MailChimp Campaign

From the Content section of the campaign builder, click the Design Email button.

Design an email in MailChimp

Navigate to the Themes tab and filter out the Integrations option from the drop-down menu. Select a SurveyMonkey template for your email campaign that you’d like to add your survey to. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going with the SurveyMonkey Basic template.

SurveyMonkey Basic template

Next, select the survey you created in SurveyMonkey from the drop-down menu.

You can customize the email campaign using MailChimp’s built-in campaign builder.

MailChimp’s built-in campaign builder

Once you’re all done, click the Save & Close button to proceed.

Send your survey email campaign to your event attendees’ email list. If you don’t already have a list, you can quickly add subscribers from any of your events via Event Espresso.

Step 3: View the Survey Results

After you send out your post-event survey emails, it’s best to wait a few days and give your event attendees some time to respond to your questions.

Here’s how you can view the survey results directly from your MailChimp account:

Head over to the Reports page from the MailChimp dashboard and click on the title of the email campaign you created in the previous step.

Post event survey results

Navigate to the Analytics360 tab and scroll down to the SurveyMonkey stats section.

MailChimp SurveyMonkey Stats

You can view each individual attendee’s response or head over to SurveyMonkey to view tables and graphs for each question.

Surveymonkey Analytics
You can use this information to gauge your attendees’ experience with your event, what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what actionable steps you can take to plan a better event in the future.

Event Survey Questions You Can Ask Attendees at Each Stage

Here, we’ve compiled a list of general survey questions you can ask event attendees in your pre-event and post-event surveys. We also have a bonus section at the end for mid-event surveys for those of you who want to kick things up a notch!

Pre-Event Surveys

  • How did you hear about the event?
  • How do you feel about the event ticket price?
  • How do you feel about the event’s venue?
  • Were you able to find all of the information you needed about the event?

Post-Event Surveys

  • Did the event meet your objectives?
  • Which speaker were you most pleased with?
  • Did you get enough time to network during the event?
  • What can we do to improve next year’s event?
  • What are some features you suggest we add to next year’s event?
  • Given your experience, would you encourage your family and friends to attend next year?

Bonus: Mid-Event Surveys

  • How was the event registration and check-in process?
  • Is the event’s layout easy to navigate?
  • How would you describe the event’s ambiance?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the support you’ve received from on-site event staff?

Conclusion

Surveys allow you to let event attendees guide you in planning better events.

You can gather feedback directly from your event attendees and use that information to derive actionable steps you can take to plan better events. It’s also a great way to keep attendees engaged before, during, and after your event.

What are some of the questions you’d like to include in your pre-event and post-event surveys? Let us know by sending us an email!

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