5 ways to act on event feedback

5 ways to act on event feedback

Engage with your attendees’ views and comments to build better experiences in the future.

This article is produced in partnership with Cvent.

As attendees file out of your event, for planners it’s just the beginning of analysing what went well and not so well. Event technology means that it’s never been easier to collect attendee feedback, but the way you respond to that feedback is key to ensuring the success of future events and getting attendees to return.

Attendee satisfaction is the number-one measure of success for 91% of event planners, a survey found. But, of course, there are other metrics to look at, too – survey respondents said that the next most important measures were achievement of objectives, staying within budget and number of registrants.

When the University of Greenwich hosted its first hybrid open day in 2021, it was keen to measure attendee satisfaction and make sure its post-pandemic event strategy was working. It used Cvent’s online survey software to collect feedback on issues such as reasons for attending, how easy it was to use the event technology, and particular subject interests. The data it received helped the team plan its future open days.

But understanding and resolving the issues raised in feedback can be tricky. Remember that there can be an answer bias in surveys, where those attendees who were either very satisfied or very dissatisfied are over-represented. Those in the middle may be less likely to comment at all. So, when analysing answers, look at the people who express a range of responses to questions, both positive and negative, to see which areas fell down.

Here’s how to tackle and respond to event feedback:

  1. Say thank you and address any concerns

As well as being a way to identify issues and improve future events, feedback is also a relationship-building tool. Be prompt in thanking your attendees for sharing their thoughts and insights, and address any specific concerns they might have. It shows that you’re paying attention and keeps you top of mind for upcoming events.

  1. Collect testimonials

At the same time, if you receive positive feedback, ask the person giving it if they’re happy for you to use it on your website or other promotional materials. Don’t forget to collect ‘soft’, informal feedback from sponsors and speakers too, which you can use to attract partners next time. 

  1. Find common issues

With technology such as Cvent Event Surveys, and Cvent OnArrival you can gather real-time feedback from attendees on how they rate a particular session or speaker. Any members of the events team with access to the shared Access Portals and OnArrival Dashboards can view easy-to-read charts and breakdowns of which sessions were most popular. You’ll be able to identify common issues – was one session too long? Another unengaging? Was the subject matter of interest? 

  1. Identify training opportunities

Look at the granular issues thrown up by your survey. Perhaps there were problems with the organisation of the event – people might have found check-in disorganised, or the queues for coffee too long, or that there weren’t enough breaks in the schedule. If you have a large team, plan a post-event review session and work out how these issues can be ironed out next time. 

  1. Review your goals and aims

Then look at the bigger picture. Did your attendees’ goals align with yours? If not, could your marketing be at fault? Your surveys, both post- and pre-event, will give you an idea of your attendees’ demographic – age, job sector, seniority... Is this what you and your sponsors envisioned when you planned the event? If not, do you need to be targeting a different range of people for your next event, or change your comms strategy? Alongside your survey data, don’t forget to look at other forms of engagement with your event, including on social media.

Discover how you can use Cvent Surveys to collate feedback and build better event experiences.