Easy, Effective Methods to Collect Attendee Feedback

If you host a recurring event year after year, one of the best ways to improve from the perspective of your attendees is to gather feedback straight from the source. Attendee feedback is a crucial component to the success of any event if you want your audience to spread the word and keep coming back. By catering certain aspects of your event to better suit your attendees’ needs, you show them that their opinion and participation matter; in turn making them more likely to support your brand and your event for years to come.

There are myriad ways to collect audience feedback, both during and after your event. While there are pros and cons to both methods, capturing feedback during the event is an excellent way to accurately record the quality of experiences and areas for improvement during real time. That said, how do you solicit feedback in a seamless, meaningful way during your event without disrupting your attendees’ experience? We’ve outlined our favorite methods here:

In-app Surveys

If you have a custom app for attendees at your event, there are countless ways to place feedback opportunities right in front of your audience. Push notifications can automatically send surveys to attendees after a keynote presentation or breakout session based on their specific track. A general survey can be presented to all attendees at the completion of the event, so thoughts and feelings about the event is fresh in everyone’s minds. This all results in a more accurate depiction of real-time challenges and successes, giving you a better idea of what to change and what to keep for next year.

Button Stations

Placing button stations strategically at the exit point of your general session and breakout sessions gives attendees a quick and seamless opportunity to provide valuable feedback. Something as simple as a green, yellow and red button that attendees can press as they exit can record if they enjoyed the session or not, and can provide results at a glance. People love pressing buttons (literally and figuratively), so this is a quick and efficient way to gather large amounts of data very quickly. One downside to this method is that people can press the buttons as many times as they want, potentially skewing results.

Low-tech Methods

If the number of attendees allows, you can rely on roving staff to keep track of attendee experience. Counting the number of audience members at the beginning, during, and after a breakout session will help determine if, when, and how many people came late or dropped out of a presentation. Asking simple, “raise your hand if…” questions at the beginning of a seated presentation and tallying the results can also provide valuable data depending on which metrics you’re tracking. Although more tedious than automatic methods, collecting real-time attendee feedback captures an accurate snapshot of what attendees were feeling during specific components of your event, and can be more easily applied to future programs.

Live Polls

If your event includes a live panel discussion, live polling opportunities gives your audience a way to interact and provide feedback in real time. This could mean submitting their own questions for speakers through the event’s custom mobile app, or even voting on discussion topics in real time. Live polling allows you to easily listen to your audience and better cater the event to their specific interests and concerns, while taking note of what to add or change for next time. Because it is anonymous, attendees are more likely to cast their vote honestly, improving the quality of your results.

We’ve listed our four favorite methods for soliciting feedback, but there are countless ways to collect valuable data that will build the future of your event. Bottom line, any way you can listen to your attendees and implement what they desire into your event will improve your chances of success. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring the professionals–at ESG, we know what metrics to measure, how to analyze the data post-event, and how to bring your event full circle. Get in touch today!