Event Registration Survey
Feedback is one of the fastest ways to improve your craft. It helps you understand where you need to improve and what you are doing well. A virtuous cycle helps you do more of what does work.
The authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein discuss feedback in their book Nudge: “The best way to help humans improve their performance is to provide feedback. Well-designed systems tell people when they are doing well and when they are making mistakes.”
Feedback can also help you take your events to the next level. This article will introduce a way to get event feedback and use it to maximize the impact of your events.
Use a system to collect event feedback
In the words of the author Dan Heath: “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” When you invest in creating a system, what you are doing is investing in the future. You are front-loading the work now so that you can see results again and again.
Ask 3 to 5 open-ended questions
Have you ever received an invite to take a survey about a product or service?
It’s likely that you curiously clicked through. If you saw a long page of questions, then you probably closed the page. Avoid this situation by thinking carefully about the questions that you’ll ask. Have every question earn its place in your survey and get specific on how it will help you.
Here are some questions to jump-start your event survey.
- First name
- Email address
- What surprised you the most about [NAME OF EVENT]?
- Would you recommend [NAME OF EVENT] to someone? Who, specifically, would you recommend [NAME OF EVENT] to?
- If you could wave a magic wand and change anything about [NAME OF EVENT], then what would you change?
The first set of questions are basics to know who is replying. The next set of questions are designed to uncover interesting insights about your event.
Question 3 will reveal themes for your event. Question 4 will help you in two ways: 1) If most attendees say yes, then you are on the right track with your event, and 2) You have a list of potential attendees for a future event. Question 5 seeks to uncover a potential pain point.
Approach the feedback with the curious eyes of a scientist and look for patterns.
Use automation to your advantage
Timing is essential for maximizing the number of attendees that share feedback. Don’t make a mistake and ask for feedback weeks later. You want to send the survey promptly. A day after the event is ideal. During this time range, the event is still top of mind, and they’ll be able to share valuable information.
A WordPress event manager plugin can send attendee details to an email marketing service like MailChimp. Then you can schedule the email in advance. And automatically follow up on non-replies two days later.
Decide on a call to action for when attendees reply
A call to action is what you’ll do when attendees answer. Here are some ideas:
– Send a quick thank you email.
– Ask for a customer testimonial.
– Send an automated thank you email.
The first option will work well if you have smaller, intimate events. It may even lead to conversations that reveal more insights. The latter option can be used if you have many attendees and need to scale replying.
Do more of what works for your events
As you review the event registration survey responses, you may find yourself focusing on the negative feedback. You may even be eager to jump in and fix things.
Try another approach instead.
First, prioritize a single issue that appears frequently, is within your control, and is easiest to fix. For example, let’s say you are reviewing the survey responses and you are noticing attendees sharing that they nearly forgot about the event. A simple solution would be to send a reminder about the event a day in advance.
After you’ve addressed the issue, then shift your focus to what you are doing well.
As the psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes in his book The Happiness Hypothesis, “Life offers so many chances to use one tool instead of another, and often you can use a strength to get around a weakness.”
Use the positive feedback as fuel to keep driving your events forward.
Revisit your system on a schedule and make it better
Remember that a system is an investment in future success. You can improve your process by reviewing it and identifying changes that need to be made. Set up a new system like a recurring calendar event every three months to allow for introspection.
Make this task more straightforward by including notes and the exact links you need to accomplish the task. Then when the event triggers, you can immediately take action!
Here are some ideas that you could discover:
– You can make it easier for attendees to complete the survey by pre-filling their name and email address.
– Adding the first name in the subject line improves the clicks on the survey.
– Sending quick, personalized thank you emails has turned a handful of attendees into evangelists who regularly promote your work to their friends.
Remember that feedback helps you improve your events. Invest in a process for gathering and reviewing feedback now. Then see the benefits long into the future.
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