Post event surveys

Research Results: What Post-Event Surveys Work Best?

Do you know how your event audience feels about post-event surveys? Do they like them, what is the right length and what motivates them to complete a survey?

To help event organisers understand how their audience feels about post-event surveys, we surveyed a group of adults who attend at least one or more business events per year.

We asked them pertinent questions about what they think about post-event surveys, how they wish to receive them, what motivates them to complete one, and how important they feel it is for event organisers to ask for feedback. Here are the results.

How many business or work related events do you typically attend per year?

Our first question, was to get a sense of how many events (workshops, conferences, etc) our respondents attend in an average year.

How many business or work related events do you typically attend per year?

How many business or work related events do you typically attend per year?

As you can see in the chart, 60% of our respondents attend ten or less events per year. A whopping 25% of respondents attend more than 20 business or work related events per year, which is quite a feat for anyone.

How important do you feel it is, that the event organisers ask for feedback?

We then asked this same group of respondents, how they felt about event organisers asking for post-event feedback, and what the value of this is, as an audience member.

How important do you feel it is, that the event organisers ask for feedback?

How important do you feel it is, that the event organisers ask for feedback?

The chart above shows the majority of respondents agree with what we feel as a team; that it is very important that event organisers look to be actively seeking event feedback.

In fact, I find when I attend a conference or priced ticket event, if I am not sent some form of survey afterwards, it makes me wonder if the event organisers are actually interested in knowing how I, as a customer, feel about the event.

88% of respondents feel post-event surveys are very or somewhat important.

The fact that perhaps 50% of the events I’ve been to in the last year, haven’t asked, shows that these event organisers are missing a golden opportunity.

How often do you complete post-event surveys?

How often do you complete post-event surveys?

How often do you complete post-event surveys?

This is quite interesting; whilst the majority of the respondents said it was important to receive a survey, it is not seemingly crucial to actually respond to any post-event survey.

Overall, the largest percentage was Sometimes, which is at least promising. Only 13% said they never complete a post-event survey, which leaves 87% either always or occasionally completing a survey.

How do you prefer to respond to post-event surveys?

The advent of technology means the old paper and pencil surveys from a decade ago have been largely replaced with electronic methods. However, does the audience feel this is the best method or platform to submit their responses?

How do you prefer to respond to post-event surveys?

How do you prefer to respond to post-event surveys?

As you can see, overwhelmingly people prefer to complete a post event survey in electronic form, using either a mobile device (59%) or desktop computer (34%), equaling 93% between them.

93% of people prefer to complete electronic post-event surveys.

The old fashioned paper survey still managed to get 5%, with telephone last at only 2%.

How many questions do you prefer to answer in a post-event survey?

Nobody we know likes a long survey, and studies have proven over and over, that the shorter the form length, the higher the completion rate, however what do business event attendees feel? We asked them to choose between three options of length; less than 9 questions, less than 20 questions or 21+ questions in length.

How many questions do you prefer to answer in a post-event survey?

How many questions do you prefer to answer in a post-event survey?

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents (83%) stated that they preferred surveys with less than nine questions, the second largest at 16% being comfortable with answering a post-event survey with less than 20 questions, and a tiny 1% said they would complete a survey with 21 or more questions.

83% of attendees want post-event surveys that are less than nine questions.

Would you be more likely to complete a post-event survey if you could win a prize?

Offering some form of prize incentive is a common method for event organisers to attract a higher than usual participation rate. Does this actually make a difference to response rates, though?

Would you be more likely to complete a post-event survey if you could win a prize?

Would you be more likely to complete a post-event survey if you could win a prize?

Here is something interesting – I had expected that Yes would have been the largest response, however the Maybe answer took the lead, with 47% of respondents. Yes came in second at 34%, and finally No came in last, at 19%.

19% of respondents feel a chance to win a prize makes no impact to their willingness to complete a post-event survey.

It does make me wonder if the value or actual prize itself may lead to these answers – perhaps if it was a high value item, there would have been more people willing to complete a survey.

Would you be more likely to complete a post-event survey if by doing so, the event made a charitable donation?

Could we possibly see an improvement on participation rate, if we exchanged a prize, which is of personal benefit, to a donation, which is of a larger community benefit?

Would you be more likely to complete a post-event survey if by doing so, the event made a charitable donation?

Would you be more likely to complete a post-event survey if by doing so, the event made a charitable donation?

The respondents answered overwhelmingly in favour, with 44% of people saying Yes, they would be more likely to complete a post-event survey, Maybe represented 25% of the respondents and those answering No came in at 31%.

69% of respondents believe offering a donation for each response would encourage them to complete a post-event survey.

Research Summary

The results of this research paint an interesting picture on what post-event surveys have the best likelihood of getting the most responses.

Your audience wants to receive your post-event surveys electronically; either by mobile or desktop device, wants less than nine questions in total, and believe that post-event surveys are very important. Offering a donation in exchange for responses has a more positive sentiment than going into the draw to win a prize.

The next time you conduct a post-event survey, be sure to consider including all of these elements, to have the best chance of success.

Sample size: 128 Australian adults who attend at least one or more business events per year. Research carried out by anonymous survey between 27 Oct-1 Nov 2016.