Event Evaluation through Mobile Surveys delivers insights you can’t get with other methods
The Importance of Event Evaluation
Event evaluation is the critical task of collecting feedback from attendees of an event to measure participant satisfaction and to determine the extent to which event objectives were met. With the number of attendees ranging from dozens to tens of thousands, and with major investments from event planners and sponsors, a formalized evaluation process is now considered an essential element of successful event planning and execution. The results of methodically evaluating your event are used to not only make improvements for the next event, but also to secure future sponsorships, funding and even the venues themselves.
Traditional evaluation tools often fall short
One of the most common, basic ways of evaluating an event involves asking participants a number of questions through surveys or questionnaires. Overall satisfaction levels are gauged, as well as specific areas of concern relating to the venue, presenters or performers and even the food.
Traditionally, this type of feedback collection was most easily undertaken after the event by sending an email survey to all participants. But according to the London Metropolitan Business School’s recent study, “event evaluation is mostly conducted after the event,” and “low response rates to surveys are a typical challenge when collecting quantitative feedback.”
The correlation is clear: as time elapses after the event, the experience begins to fade in participants’ minds, so they’re less inclined to take the time to offer their feedback.Read more
For better event evaluation, there’s no time like the present
As the capabilities of smartphones and tablet computers have exploded, so too has the potential for soliciting attendee feedback using these mobile devices. Mobile surveys or quizzes eliminate the time lag between the event and when you ask participants to evaluate it.
Using mobile surveys or questionnaires to measure the success of an event lets you capture priceless in-the-moment perceptions and opinions from attendees during the actual event. And with results uploaded and available in instantly, event planners and venue staff can act on this feedback in real time. From an information-quality standpoint, an evaluation produced during the actual experience will be of a higher, more detailed quality than one obtained days or weeks later.
Mobile evaluations offer unique options
Attendees to your event can use their own tablet or smartphone to evaluate your event—without needing to install an app. They’re simply shown a URL on signage or event literature, or projected on a screen they’ve viewing. By inputting the URL, they’re immediately taken to the survey. An alternate method involves their scanning a QR code you associate with an invitation to provide their feedback. Both the URL and the QR code are unique to your mobile survey, and are generated when you build the survey.
You and your staff can also solicit participant feedback personally, using a tablet computer that you present to willing respondents to use. This has the added advantage of allowing you to collect event feedback even when you don’t have Internet access. The next time your tablet is connected to a wireless network, all the evaluation results collected offline are automatically uploaded to your centralized, password-protected results page.
You’ll also have options when you create your event survey. You can choose from professionally designed templates for the look you want. You can upload your logo and other graphics, which are automatically integrated into the survey’s overall look. Choose from question types, choose to make some or all or none of the questions mandatory, and add photos or video files if you wish.
And of course you can combine mobile event evaluation with traditional email surveys: you could collect feedback during the event using a survey, and send the same survey via email to the participants asking them to fill it in if they did not do so at the event. This, again, is an option made possible by mobile survey technology that works on every mobile or PC device with an Internet connection.
Mobile surveys: the new event evaluation best practice
Mobile surveys hold an obvious advantage over traditional event evaluation methods. They’re quick and easy to create. They don’t incur printing, dissemination or processing costs. And they produce real-time, actionable information you’ll depend on for important decisions. For these reasons, mobile surveys should definitely be part of your event planning checklist.
As robust as mobile surveys are, it’s a good idea to keep in mind some basic survey-design rules of thumb, namely:
- Keep the number of questions short – find out what you need to find out
- Prove that you’ll use their feedback – to create an even better future event
- Reward them for giving their feedback – a coupon or discount is appropriate, buy you can also reward them with relevant facts or figures that aren’t available to the public.