Just because your event is over and attendees have left the venue doesn’t necessarily mean that you are finished working. Event planners and organizers should follow up with attendees to determine their level of satisfaction and what can be done to improve their experience at the next event. Using this information, you make changes to your next event to better accommodates the needs of your audience.
Obtain Attendees’ Contact Information
You can’t expect to follow up with attendees unless you have their contact information. If registration was required, you should already have the contact information of most, if not all, attendees. But if it was an open event — or if invitations were sent by multiple people — you may not have their contact information. Including a basic sign-in form at your event will allow you to capture the names and contact information of all attendees.
How to Follow Up With Attendees After an Event
There are several different ways to follow up with attendees after an event, one of which is through email. Assuming you have their email addresses, you can send a single email via blind carbon copy (BCC). Everyone listed in the BCC will receive the message, but because it’s blind carbon copy, email addresses will remain hidden to other recipients. In this email, you’ll want to ask questions to determine whether or not attendees were satisfied with the event (see below for list of questions). The great thing about email follow ups is that you can include interactive media like photos, videos, and links to your website.
In addition to email, you can also follow up with attendees using traditional mail, social media, or a company bulletin board.
Questions to Ask Attendees During a Follow-Up:
- Were you satisfied with the event? If not, explain why.
- What changes could made to improve the experience for attendees?
- Would you recommend this event to your coworkers?
- Was the venue a good choice for this event?
- Did you network with other professionals?
- On a scale of 0-10, how would you rate the quality of this event?
Offering Incentives for Follow-Up Surveys
Not everyone who attended the event will complete a follow-up survey. Perhaps they’re busy with work, or maybe they just aren’t interested in answering questions. Nonetheless, you can encourage attendees to complete a follow-up survey by offering them an incentive, such as chance to a win gift card, company-branded gear, free dinner passes, etc. According to one study, offering respondents a chance to win a prize had a slight increase in response rates (24% vs 20%). This same study, however, found that offering a prize to all respondents — as opposed to a chance to a win a prize — resulted in a 31% response rate.
Photo credit: Joey Rozier