Surveying The Crowd

Guest input can be crucial during event planning, execution and evaluation. Gathering information and feedback from your guests before, during and after an event ranges in complexity. Here are some options.

You can simply observe: how are guests reacting? What problems have cropped up? Do guests look hassled and frustrated? Are there lots of long lines, or is foot traffic moving freely? Are guests relaxed, visiting, smiling? Do you have a number where guests can reach customer service? What questions or observations is the guest services area receiving?

You can talk with guests, one-on-one. Imagine a manager at a restaurant moving from table to table during dinner. “How is everything?” Depending on the reach of your services ask a general question and then get more specific. Make notes after you speak with people so that you can remember the highlights.

You can ask specific questions via email, or on social media. If you have guest emails, or an event Facebook Page or hash tag, you could use this to send out a question or two. “Is the event meeting expectations?” “What would you like to see next year?”

Or you can create a survey. This is a more complex process, but you’ll get the best information from it. Survey Monkey is one of the leading services on the market. If your survey is ten questions or less, and sent to fewer than 100 users, you could work with the basic package, which is free. 100% of the Fortune 100 companies use Survey Monkey- you’ll be in good company! They have pre-written questions specifically for event planners, or you can create your own.

Getting input from your guests allows you to make informed decisions based on the specific group of people you are serving. Gathering reactions mid-event can help you make course corrections, changing anything from a playlist to a dinner menu to a course offering. It might also help you create a more appealing event next year.

Where do you struggle with decisions during an event? How might attendee feedback help you? How can you best gather and analyze information? Try one, or a combination of these strategies to take your event planning to the next level.

Your Thoughts?