While it appeared as though virtual events were a temporary fix to in-person event cancellations a year ago, the success businesses have gained through them have ensured that virtual events are now here to stay.
What this means is that businesses who previously approached virtual events as an interim solution, cannot afford to do so anymore. With virtual events now a critical element in marketing strategies, it’s imperative to get better at successfully conducting them.
The best source of information on how to improve is, of course, people who attended your event(s). Getting data on their experience and accordingly tweaking and optimizing your event strategy is key to continuously hosting great events online.
And to get this data, post-event surveys are your best option.
It’s not as simple as creating a form and sending it out en masse via email, however. Your surveys will have to be engaging so as to entice attendees to answer your questions, and secondly, you’ll need to carefully think out exactly what information you need, and frame your questions accordingly.
To this end, to get the maximum number of attendees to answer the survey, it’s best to inform them about the survey towards the end of the event. Now, we’re not saying that you can’t ask attendees questions before the event or during it - in fact, doing so will help you build a more comprehensive view of your event.
For instance, pre-event, you can ask the audience which event they are most looking forward to, and if they have any specific requests. During the event, using Polls to ask if sessions have met their expectations can help you gain real-time insight, and make changes on the fly. Post-event surveys can help you assess overall opinions and expectations. They can also let you better see whether changes you made during the event have resulted in favourable outcomes.
So post-event, do send attendees a request to fill in your survey and a link via a push notification in-platform, or mail them right after the event is completed. This way, there’s a higher chance that they will commit to answering the survey right away.
You also need to ensure that your respondents do not lose interest midway through the survey. For this, your survey questions have to be framed smartly, while getting you the details you require. To help, we’ve put together 10 questions that you need to ask in your virtual post-event survey so that you can level up your virtual events game.
When building your post-event survey, keep in mind that you can ask both quantitative and qualitative questions to get data and insight about your event.
Here are ten questions that you can use as a reference when making your own virtual event survey.
Rating different aspects of the event experience on a scale of 1-5, with being ‘unsatisfied’ and 5 being ‘very satisfied’ or using radio buttons, is a simple but effective way for you to understand which areas need the most improvement.
Feel free to choose which areas you want to ask to be rated, but we would recommend that you include the following:
Event logistics - Ask the audience to rate their satisfaction with the ease of registration. It would be wise to put in a qualitative question below the rating scale as well, asking if there was any point of confusion regarding the landing page, credentials or any other details that they received before the event.
Accessibility - Ask your attendees to rate accessibility to the event as well as content in-platform. Your follow-up question can be more suggestions on ways to help you make your next event even more inclusive ((for instance, providing live captioning and live audio translation in multiple languages).
Engagement - No one has time for boring events these days, so ask your attendees how engaging they found your event. This can be further drilled down into how engaging they found the speakers and sessions, and also whether they found in-platform tools to interact with speakers and attendees sufficient.
Ask attendees to rate individual speakers on a scale of how much they learnt from them. You can accordingly pick speakers for future sessions.
Similar to the previous question, ask your attendees to rate individual sessions based on how much they learnt from them. Take the responses to this question as a judgement of the content offered at the event, and factor this into your next event strategy.
For a follow-up question, you can ask attendees ‘which session was your favourite, and why?’ This is an excellent way to learn what those components that go into a great session are.
This is perhaps the most critical question to include in your survey, as the platform you use can make or break your event. From smooth login and seamless live sessions to amping up the fun factor, your event platform can be the deciding factor in audience experience.
Attendees can use ratings between ‘extremely likely’ and ‘extremely unlikely’ to answer this question. A majority of ‘extremely likely’ tells you that you’re on the right track, and suggests that you could even repurpose content from your event to reach a wider audience.
A follow-up question would perhaps be to ask the attendees likely to recommend the event to others, to share the email addresses of friends who would find recordings of the event helpful - this way you can build your database.
Again, asking attendees to rate your event between ‘extremely satisfied’ to ‘extremely unsatisfied’. You can use this as an objective metric to rate your event in total.
Just this metric won’t tell you where you need to improve or the changes you need to make. To understand these things better, having open ended questions where the audience can give their opinions is important. However, you can use this to see the percentage of your audience that was satisfied with the event, to compare with future events.
Positive feedback is not just congratulatory. It also serves the purpose of telling you what should not be discarded from future events, or shows you the areas that you can capitalize on.
Look at getting negative feedback as an opportunity to improve your performance. Take the feedback constructively and work on these aspects for future events.
Question 8 will already give you an idea of what needs to be worked on, so use this question instead to gauge exactly what is expected by attendees at your events.
For example, if in question 8, attendees mention that they found the sessions boring, it can be tough to narrow down exactly why. However, with this question, your attendees could suggest a variety of ways to make sessions more interesting that you might not have thought of.
Although questions 1-9 cover most things you need to know from your attendees, keeping an open-ended question at the end of your survey, which lets them share anything they wish, can be a good addition to your survey. This way, attendees can freely speak their minds about anything related to your event; the responses just might surprise you!
Understanding the audience's take on the event is the best and perhaps the only way to conduct better events in the future. Feel free to make use of the questions we’ve shared when building your own post-event survey. Once you collect your answers, it’s time to analyze your survey data and use it to plan your next event.
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