Posted by Paige Buck | June 22, 2017
Welcome to Post #2 in our 3-Part series that teaches you everything (ok, a lot!) we know about to set and measure goals for event success.
Before we dive in too deep, you might be wondering why an event planning company is teaching people how to plan an event…
Here’s the secret: we’re not.
The hard truth about big, creative events is that they require an enormous amount of internal work and strategic planning to be a truly good investment (and not leave you wondering 6 months later why you spent ten thousand on the branded cupcakes handed out by a street team on rollerblades!).
The real work for you as a marketing team or person in charge of planning is to get the key stakeholders on board, identify your goals long-term, look 3 years ahead, and communicate with key clients before, during, and after the event. We’ll help you make a plan for that.
So we’re not really giving away our “secrets”; we’re giving you a guide for the internal work we recommend that our clients accomplish before, during, and after your event. We’re here to help ensure that you’re seeing results and can quantify to your board members and C-Levels exactly what the return was on those cotton candy stands. Setting, agreeing, and holding yourselves to clear goals may be the things that only YOU can do, but we’re here to help guide you on the “how”.
During the Event
Congratulations! You’ve made it to event day, and now you have the most captive audience you’ll have all year long. Grab that opportunity by the lanyard and make good use of it!
During your event, take the time to have one-on-one conversations with your customers, and even better, use the opportunity to secure a testimonial or other content assets you can use throughout the year. This is an enormous opportunity to learn from your customers and to increase their loyalty to your company.
A few questions you can ask your clients to get great responses:
- What have you learned today that you wish you knew before?
- How will this [company product] impact your business in a different way than before?
- What will change for you or your company as a result of what you learned here?
This is an especially perfect opportunity for the marketing and sales teams to get close to key clients.
Opportunity for Increased Brand Loyalty
An event is a highly visible time for your brand, a rare opportunity to have this much face time with clients and prospects, and a great opportunity for them to grow in their loyalty to you. No matter someone’s starting point of brand loyalty this event is an opportunity to level-up. For example:
- Go from “Heard of it” to ‘Love It”
- Go from “Love it” to “Can’t live without it!”
- Go from “Can’t live without it!” to “I have to tell everyone about this!”
Creative Alternatives to Surveys
Surveys are helpful…but are a bit stale and people would often rather be talking or getting another drink than handwriting paragraphs of feedback. And click through rates on your post-event survey will remain low, even with tantalizing raffles prizes on offer for completion. Soup tastes best when it’s hot, no? So let’s find ways to get quality feedback while your audience is still at the event.
Creative event feedback is so important that we’ve written about this elsewhere on our blog, and are constantly adding new ideas to our wheelhouse.
Here are a few of our current favorite ways to get creative feedback:
- Ask your attendees to answer quick polls on the event app that you push to them a little at a time throughout the event.
- Pair up feedback people are eager to give feedback you need — Use your event app to push a quick survey like “how’s the food?” alongside “how can we improve your experience with our company?”
- Be sure push polls are quick and easy to answer — people won’t type out long responses from a mobile device, but they will press a button for 1 to 5 on a simple spectrum.
- Have roundtable discussions with a member of your company at each table to take notes and facilitate questions. Even better, do this at “dine around town” small dinners on the night one of a multi-day conference
- Ask people to give feedback in real time by putting emoji stickers on a board with a statement on it. For example, you may have a board with a statement like “I have a better idea than before of how to use this product in my day-to-day business”. Provide attendees with a smiley face, a frowny face, a heart eyes emoji, or a steamed angry face to express frustration. Let them use these emojis with these statements, and you’ll have a good idea of the emotional range of responses, without tiring your attendees
This feedback board was for a 1,200 person nonprofit boot camp for which we designed cards that invited attendees to say what they were inspired to do as a result of the day’s events. The results were fantastic, and everyone benefitted from this simple exercise.
And here’s a board where attendees could give conference producers their vision for where the event and company should focus its attention, and other attendees could up-vote ideas with stickers. This simple method gave the company premium feedback they could use for months to come.
Does your team need help finding clever and useful ways to get feedback during your event? Do you need help planning what kind of feedback you’re hoping to get? If so, then let’s chat about your goals and how to achieve them.
Paige Buck is the co-owner of Kennedy Events is a large-scale event management company based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Our team creates stress-free conferences and events with a positive impact, which allow our clients to resonate with their audience. Kennedy Events specializes in producing flawless product launches, award ceremonies, fundraisers and multi-day conferences while keeping our eye on retention and engagement goals.
- ← Don’t Let a Beautiful Event Go to Waste! Part One.
- DON’T LET A BEAUTIFUL EVENT GO TO WASTE! PART THREE →