Post authored by Jennifer Lion, Project
Is capturing attendee data vital in measuring the success of your event? Will it ensure the sustained viability of the event for years to come? The answer is YES! We know events generate copious amounts of data, and while all of it may be relevant, it’s important to mine the data because it will lead to better business decisions and ROI.
Let’s start with a few small steps that can make a big difference. Your business objectives are a great place to help determine which data should be collected along with the best method for capturing it. For most associations, the easiest place to start the process is through the deployment of a post-event survey. Below are several of the major categories of data that can be captured relative to your event:
The satisfaction of your attendees can be captured in a myriad of ways. If your event has a hashtag, you can monitor real-time conversation on social media (Twitter) to get an idea of what is being shared. Instant feedback will allow you to make necessary changes on the fly, which can lead to improving their overall satisfaction.
Once the event is over, capturing attendees’ feedback can be accomplished using surveys, focus groups or email campaigns. Did your attendees have an easy time navigating the registration site? Were they satisfied with the learning sessions available? Did they have enough time between sessions? This data is just the beginning to measuring their satisfaction rate, which directly relates to return attendance.
Was the content informative? Did the attendee learn new best practices or takeaway knowledge that is actionable for them? In many cases, attendees are trying to improve themselves within their industry and strengthen their network of professional contacts. What benefits did they receive from attending your event and the learning sessions? If they’re giving low scores on your content offerings, you have just identified an area to retool.
Application of Learning
We all want to be able to apply what we learn, so it’s important to gather and measure the application of the educational content acquired at the event. Ask your attendees if the content offered was actionable and unique for them? When conducting your post-event survey, your attendees should be able to identify which sessions’ content they’d be able to present to their organization for implementation.
Attendees are trying to solve pain-points and improve themselves for the benefit of their organization, hence the reason they are attending. Offer unique and actionable content and your attendees will recognize your event’s benefit.
Measurement of Applied Learning
This will be a more long-term measurement that takes multiple touch points. The insight gathered could be the most useful in determining your event’s success and chances of return attendees. Did the implementation of learning lead to transformation at the organization? What happened as a result?
You want your attendees to be able to measure their own success against what they learned from your event. This could take three months or up to a year. It’s important that the follow-up is consistent and timely, so you can accurately capture their satisfaction.
The most important take away from this post is to establish goals and objectives for your data so that you’re not collecting for the sake of collecting. You won’t be able to gather anything meaningful if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind; these suggestions are just stepping stones to building a robust method of collecting your post-event data. Determine what you need to know and throw out what you don’t. Analyze all feedback and be prepared to act on it and make changes. If you don’t, what’s the point of asking for it in the first place?
What’s the most valuable piece of data you collect?
Not sure where to start or have too much data to get through? Experient has several tools and services that can help with your data analysis, so contact us to help you wade through the sea of data you have on your event.