6 Post Conference Survey Questions to Avoid

6 Post Conference Survey Questions to Avoid

Your conference is finished and all your guests have retired home, now what? Well, for you, the next step is to get your guests to complete your post conference survey questions.

Luckily for you, thanks to constantly improving survey technology, post conference surveys are easy.

Regardless of ease, it’s not always foolproof. There are still some questions to be avoided as if they’re the plague. Which they could be. With careful thought, design and planning, these questions to ask your conference attendees can be avoided. Even better, replaced by questions which will improve your data, allowing your next event to be even better.

Here at Buzzmuster, we know there are tons of articles out there detailing all of the best questions. So we’ve gone the other way and outlined the six types of post conference survey questions to avoid.

To ensure success, follow the tips and gather great feedback!


Long questionnaires

If you’ve ever taken a long survey, you’d know all about it. In general, people are time poor and generally don’t want to be spending too much time on a survey. Sure, they’re willing to help you and to give you their thoughts. Just not at the expense of their well-deserved downtime or busy schedules.

Surveys should be short, succinct and to the point. Include only the most important questions. You know, the things you need to know, the things really worth asking. This will let your attendees know you value their time, whilst allowing you to gather the most relevant data.

As a general rule, when developing your post conference survey questions, we’d say to try and keep your survey to 10 questions or less, just to be safe!

Lots of open ended questions

Open ended questions can be good, however, try to keep them to a minimum. Open ended questions serve a purpose, so don’t avoid them at all costs. They allow respondents freedom in answering your questions, but can place a strain on your data when over they’re overused. Employing too many will make your data hard to read and harder to see trends.

An example of an open ended question is “What did you think of the event?”. You can make this a far better question by being specific, such as “Did the event meet your expectations?”

To get the best results from your survey, try and avoid too many open ended questions. Having one too many has a knack of distorting any kind of legitimate survey results you could receive. The problem with them is that they rarely show consistency in their results.

Double barreled

A double barreled question is a question that forces a respondent to answer two questions at once. Although you’re trying to gather the most data as possible, avoid these at all costs. The allure to keep your questions to a minimum whilst asking everything you want can be tempting. However, double barreled questions lead a respondent to give misleading answers.

When asking a question with two main points, the respondent will inevitably lean more towards one aspect of the question. This skews the results completely.

Example: “How happy were you with the catering of the event and the quality of the food”?

Even though the two aspects of the question (quality of catering and the quality of food) may be related, separate the questions.


Leading questions

One of the more common mistakes when creating a survey is to devise questions which lead the respondent to the answer you want to hear. Instead of the one they want to give.

Basically, you don’t want a question that will direct your guest’s response in any way. Clearly, what you want is their unbridled thoughts on the event. By swaying their responses, you sway your data’s accuracy.

It’s a common mistake for a reason, but thankfully can be edited while still keeping its essence.

An example of a leading question is “How great did you think the catering at the conference was?” It is better to edit this to something like “What did you think of the conference’s catering?”

Skip the technical jargon

When creating your post conference survey questions, always avoid using technical or hard to understand language. Keep it short and simple.

The use of technical jargon can make you feel smart, but can make others feel less so. When they don’t understand what you’re trying to say, it’s likely they won’t know how to answer. This, once again skews your results.

An example could be “Was the AV suitable for the room acoustics?”. It would be better to say “What did you think of the audio at the event?”

Do yourself a favour and just avoid it, even if it’s industry terms. Just keep it simple.

Accurate scaling

When designing your survey, the choice of possible answers matter. Ensure you cover all of your bases and allow for every possible feeling and response that you could receive.

To make sure you’re adding value to your survey, make it possible for the respondents to give their true feelings. If this means having responses like “yes, no, maybe and unsure” to choose from instead of just “yes or no”, then do it. If it means having a small text box if they want to add anything, then do it.

Just don’t only have questions that reflect one way of thinking.

Example: “How did you feel about the event?”

1. Good
2. Really good
3. Great
4. Excellent

In Summary

Well-crafted surveys give you the ability to gain valuable information about your past conferences. However, they just as equally have the ability to do the opposite. Not only can poor questions render your survey useless, but also force you to spend too much time trying to extract information from it.

As we know, most of us are time poor, including you. So, when you send out your next post conference survey questions to the attendees of the conference do yourself a favour and follow some of these tips.

The rules of surveys require little work and can allow for great insights. Make it easy for yourself and your guests by avoiding the unwanted questions and improve make your next event better than the last.