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Improving Your Event Surveys | Event Insights | MeetingPlay

Blair Pettrey

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No matter what kind of event or conference you are holding, collecting insight is very valuable. There are many ways and options for collecting insight at events.  Mobile event apps create a digital record for almost all parts of the event.  In this article we will dive into surveys specifically.  Compared to reports dealing with attendees actions during the event like attending certain sessions, engagement with comments, photos, downloads and so on, surveys gives you a direct line to what they are thinking.  This is the classic way to get direct insight and this "old-school" way is not going anywhere.  However with everything new technology is bringing, it is important to know how to get the most out of surveys.  So here is a list of suggestions for how to employ the most valuable surveys.

1. Know the most valuable data you want to capture

It is important to come into the event knowing which data you want to capture from surveys.  It is important not to over pile your attendees with constant surveys.  This could lead to them not filing them out or trying to finish them quickly, not giving you the most reliable data.  So you will want to find what data will be most valuable to have and go from there.  Some people are driven to hear how the sessions and speakers were.  Some want to know about the overall experience with the location, travel and if attendees felt they got a good return for attending.

2. Choose the right questions

Once you know the areas to survey, you want the right questions.  This sounds simple but you need to put some thought into it.  Do you want straight forward answers that come in the form of yes/no or in a scale format?  You might want to dive a little deeper and ask some open ended questions to get further information from attendees.  Similar to the amount of surveys, the same should apply with the number of questions.  You don't want to overload questions, so make a list of every question and then narrow down from there the most important.

3. Choose a platform to deliver surveys   

This is where technology comes into play.  With a mobile event app, surveys have become a lot easier to deploy and way more efficient for capturing data and turning results into insights!  Instead of handing out page after page of surveys or sending mass emails out, a mobile app offers a way for attendees to fill out surveys on a device and app they have been using the entire conference. 

4. Get your attendees to take the surveys

The never old question in surveys is how do you get more people to take your survey?  So here are a few useful tips!

Notify attendees of survey - Whenever there is a survey to be taken, it's important to let them know about it! Simple enough! You can do this by having verbal communication if it is based on a session or speaker, they can make a verbal announcement.  Also the app is a great way to notify them.  Since they will be using the app to take the survey it is best to send out push notifications informing them of a survey.

Offer Incentives - With a mobile event app you can award people points for filling out surveys.  By including gamification at your event and having additional point opportunities for filing out surveys will entice your attendees to fill them out.

Send Reminders - Notifications through the app can be a great way to remind attendees to take surveys.  

Publish Your Results - There can be ways to publish your survey results that engage attendees even further.  If you deploy surveys for sessions, you can display the top three sessions based on your attendees and then provide a link for the presentations to download.  This will get attendees more into surveys because they will see their opinions matter.  Also  it engages attendees who may have not been able to attend one of the top sessions by having them download the presentation and other assets for their own learning opportunity.

In conclusion, surveys can help provide you valuable insight directly from your attendees.  To extract the information you want most comes from a well formed plan and the appropriate execution.