While it feels as if we should all be well-versed in virtual events by now, the reality is, if you were mostly hosting in-person events pre-COVID, switching to virtual can be a challenge. We'll be the first to say it: It's a big adjustment! And even though we’re one year into this doesn’t mean you’re a pro: many people are just now holding events virtually that they cancelled in-person last year.
Although virtual events definitely require different planning components than in-person, there’s at least one factor that stays the same for both: capturing event feedback. It’s always important to know how your attendees felt about the event you hosted, especially when you may be trying something new like switching to a virtual platform. Gathering data directly from your attendees will help you create insights into the various aspects of your events, and inform your strategy going forward!
The good news is that capturing feedback from both in-person and virtual events looks pretty similar. However, there are a few key distinctions that you should consider when capturing virtual event feedback.
First comes the type of questions you ask. Here are some good virtual survey questions to make sure you’re gathering the right information:
- How would you rate our virtual event? This is an essential question to get a general idea of how people perceived your event. If you’re doing something new, like going virtual, it’s important to know exactly how people feel about it.
- How accessible was the virtual platform? Especially if you’re hosting your virtual event on a new platform, you want to know how easy it was for your attendees to use to see if there were any pain points in accessing the materials. Alternatively, you could ask how easy it was to navigate the virtual platform.
- Did you feel like you got everything you needed out of the virtual event? This is a critical question in understanding what shortfalls may occur with moving to a virtual event vs. in-person. Your attendees could have helpful feedback about things you can change, or if they tell you that are parts of in-person events that they felt couldn't be recreated virtually, then you can use that knowledge for planning events going forward.
- Is there anything we could have done to make the virtual experience better? This is an open question and can invite responses about various aspects of the event: timing, pre-event information, schedule, etc. Being open to constructive criticism is always key to improving your strategy and moving in the right direction.
Second, there are a few tips for best delivering your surveys post-virtual event:
- Mention the survey during the event: This is where marketing comes in! Have a speaker or two reference the survey that's coming at the end of the event to get it in your attendees mind and let them know how important their feedback is to you. This will also prevent them from logging off immediately when the event is over.
- Get it out soon: The best time to get event feedback is when the event is still fresh in the attendees' minds! Since you already have their attention, drop the link to your survey at the end of your event. Thank them for attending and encourage them to provide feedback so that you can take to heart to improve next year’s event!
- Follow up: Don’t be afraid to include the survey again in a follow-up email. The best time to send this would be 3-5 days after the event. Pro-tip: Send a separate thank-you email to those who already responded to the survey, and don’t include the link.
There you have it: post-event feedback, virtual-style. You’ll love that you have this information straight from your attendees, keeping their preferences top of mind!
For more event planning best practices, whether virtual or in-person, check out our free 9 Steps to Event Planning guide below!