Your event is over. You’ve slept for 48 hours straight. Now is the time when many event professionals go back to business as usual. However, with some simple analysis and planning during the days and weeks after your event, you can set your team up for an even more successful event next year.
Here are some tricks I’ve discovered during more than 15 years of planning events for Fortune 500 companies across the country that will help tell your event’s success story.
Head to a quiet spot and reflect. Write down everything you can think of that went well and didn’t go well. It’s much easier to remember this information now than a few months out.
Review any notes you took on-site. If you don’t have any notes, remember to do this next time. You can glean some valuable insight from walking around and experiencing the event from the attendee perspective. Use a notes app on your phone -- or an actual notepad -- and jot down these observations, so you can analyze them later.
Review focus-group results. One effective way to capture feedback is to choose a dozen people on-site at random, and then ask a set of questions such as whether their objectives for attending the event were met and what their experience was like. Look for themes in this feedback and see how it aligns with your experience and the observations you made on-site.
Collect team feedback. Give each of your teams (food and beverage, floor plan, event content, etc.) a template in advance, and let them know you’ll expect them to have it filled out and ready for a post-mortem meeting one or two weeks after the event. The template should have space for them to include any noteworthy data, success metrics or other key performance indicators that are relevant to their work. The template should have space for your team members to share what they were proud of, what didn’t go well and what they would recommend for future events.
Review your event objectives, metrics, targets and metric sources. Get a refresh on the reasons why the event occurred, what you’re measuring and why. Your metrics should be tied to each objective.
Review your data-capture plan. Was the data you collected before, during and after the event adequate for the analysis you have planned? For example, consider the scales in your survey. Did you use 1-7 last year, and 1-10 this year? Can this data be compared year-over-year? Are there any holes in your data that need to be resolved next year to get a holistic view of your event?
Review the rest of your data. Look at your results for evaluations, social media analytics, etc.
Taking these steps soon after your event will set you up for analysis success. Once you do your analysis, use that information to tell the story of the meeting.
When you report your outcomes to your higher-ups, don’t just walk into your executive meeting with a spreadsheet. Get executives and other stakeholders excited about what happened by creating an infographic that displays both tactical and strategic stats. With online tools like Canva or Piktochart, you can create visually exciting infographics for free or very little cost that gives your data a new level of engagement.
By incorporating these simple analysis and planning efforts in days and weeks after your event, you can be confident of creating and even more successful event next year.
Allison Magyar is the CEO of Hubb, which creates event management software that automates the complex work flows and tasks required to collect, manage and market content for conferences or meetings.