No matter whether your event is a week-long corporate conference or a product launch, a shareholder’s party, a promotional gig, or a networking day, all events organisers want their attendees to leave feeling highly satisfied with the experience.
At the end of the day, this is all that really matters - after all, you can tick every box when it comes to passing on information, generating enthusiasm for a product or getting the right people in the same room together… but if your delegates and guests leave feeling displeased or in any way unsatisfied with your event, you won’t have managed to make the impact you had hoped for.
You will no doubt have your own ideas on how to provide your guests with satisfaction, and if you’re in the events industry, you’ll have plenty of experience when it comes to boosting the mood of your attendees. What we want to focus on today, however, is not only the creation of that satisfaction, but how to effectively measure it.
If you can’t measure the mood of your attendees, you won’t be able to identify how best to push it even higher, and you won’t be able to zoom in on areas that need fixing.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this issue in a little more detail!
Measuring and Proving an Event's Value
You can’t measure the value and effectiveness of an event without first taking into consideration the needs of different attendees. Various stakeholders will be looking for different results - not everyone comes along looking to gain the same things, after all. Here are some things to keep in mind, while measuring the effectiveness of your event from the perspective of different stakeholders.
‘Impact’ can be a difficult thing to quantify. However, if your event is a customer focused one, it’s probably fair to say your impact can be measured via the amount of sales and leads you’ve quantified. If, on the other hand, your event is an internal one or a conference of some sort, you can measure the impact based around how well organised the event was.
Were there zero hiccups with scheduling? Were there no grumbles, did the attendees appear engaged and well informed? Then you can probably assume your impact level was probably quite high. In essence, first you must identify what ‘impact’ means for your event, then find a way of measuring it if possible.
Even if your event wasn’t necessarily set up with the intention of educating, all events in some way or another want to change their attendees’ way of thinking or behaving. This might be dramatic and noticeable, it might be very subtle and subconscious.
Teaching, helping your guests learn something new, or giving them, new ideas is the way to get them to adapt their behaviour or the way they view something - keep this in mind when measuring the effectiveness of your event.
Learning Environment & Satisfaction Objectives
The ambient factors of your event are key when it comes to effectiveness, learning, and overall client satisfaction. There are so many ways you can maximise your space to create a more effective and efficient learning environment - whether this involves the tech you’re using, the amount of personal space each attendee has, or easy to adapt factors such as ambient music or colour schemes.
Target Audience Objectives
In many ways, this is the most important of them all. How can you ensure that you’ve got the best possible crowd attending your event? Are they the kinds of people who are going to be able to find absolute satisfaction in what you’ve organised? Are they going to learn something new, experience new things and encounter what you’ve intended for them?
What Is Attendee Satisfaction And How Can It Be Measured?
There are loads of methods available to event’s organisers who want to measure attendee satisfaction. These range from the traditional (which mustn’t be sniffed at, even in this digital age) to the unorthodox.
Here are some ideas we’ve put together for how engagement can be measured alongside attendee satisfaction, and the overall success of your event.
Get Direct Feedback From Your Attendees
Sometimes, the simplest methods can be the most effective. You can gather direct feedback from your attendees in a variety of ways.
You can leave anonymous feedback forms on the tables of your events, and remind delegates to drop them off on their way out.
You can email quick surveys to your guests, or use social media to gain responses.
If you want to see how engaged and involved your attendees were, you can even ask them what they thought about specific features of your event, or what things they noticed, and which passed them by.
Delve Deeper Into Social Media
Social media is perhaps the greatest friend of the event organiser, and the most effective tool when it comes to measuring success, engagement, and attendee satisfaction. If you’ve established some hashtags before your event, then it’s easy to see what people are saying about it.
However, it’s well worth digging a little deeper, and gaining a greater insight. There are loads of tools and apps available which can track mentions of your event across the internet, and which will even let you know the optimal moments to post social media updates, based on when your followers are most active.
Gamification is not just about getting your attendees involved and immersed in the experience of your event, it’s also a powerful way of ensuring you’re able to measure their involvement, engagement and satisfaction.
Simple games like photo contests or caption competitions at your event can easily become effective tools via social media - get your attendees to submit their photos etc. on their social media platforms, along with your hashtag, and take a look at how many people get involved and the sort of response it provokes.
Utilise In-event Feedback And Targeted Messaging
The events industry has been quick to pick up on beacon and RFID (radio-frequency identification; can be implemented in branded wristbands for example, but has an impressive number of uses, from wireless payments to quick updates concerning the event) technology - they’re the perfect tools to remind attendees about upcoming workshops and activities.
However, more and more event’s organisers are discovering that the same technology is perfect for gathering feedback directly after sessions, by providing timely reminders to those leaving sessions to give their thoughts on whatever they’ve just attended.
Look At The Figures
Events and their success can be measured numerically, to a certain extent. Look at your ticket sales numbers - are they up on the previous year or years?
If your event is based on sales, what are the figures regarding profit or leads looking like? Once your event is over, how many times has it been mentioned in the press, on TV, or on major industry websites? By gathering all of this data together, you can track changes, look at trends, and identify targets for your next big event.
By correctly identifying the areas of satisfaction and effectiveness your event wishes to achieve, and then using a wide range of tools, technologies and methods to accurately measure attendee satisfaction, you can establish a far clearer picture of your achievements and weaknesses. It’s important for every event organiser to be able to identify what they’re doing brilliantly, and also those things which need improvement, as this is the way we pave the road to greater heights and more lasting success.
If you’d like to learn more about event management, and would like to benefit from the advice of experts with a proven record of event success, then get in touch with Ultimate Experience. They have all the tools, skills and knowledge you need to make your event a roaring success.
As always, we’d love to hear from you about your own experiences. Have you come across any of these methods for measuring attendee satisfaction? Which do you feel are the most effective? Do you have any methods you’d add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!