Sarah Halfpenny Events

3 words to remember post event – Feedback, Review, Report


by Sarah Halfpenny

The delegates have gone, you take down the display, pack the boxes and breath a sigh of relief, its over. Or is it? From my experience, the post event close down tasks are often completed but not in a timely fashion, the event is not discussed at length or feedback collated. I feel strongly that this element of the event management lifecycle is crucial to understanding if your event met your objectives and if your delegates and stakeholders objectives were met too. It can also provide valuable intel into your audience, the effective marketing channels and will clarify profit and loss. Below are the areas I focus on to ensure my events are closed down correctly.

Budget
Its so important to reconcile your budget to ensure you have an accurate picture of all income and expenditure, profit and loss. Ensure all your suppliers have been paid according to what they supplied, check all sponsorship money has been transferred and all delegate payments made.

Collate delegate feedback
Asking your delegates about their event experience is paramount. Gather comments about the Event Program asking about the topics, focus areas and speakers too the structure of the day and how they heard about the event. Questback is just one company that provide immediate event driven surveys, http://www.questback.com/uk/

Feedback from sponsors
Gathering feedback from sponsors and partners is also of upmost importance. So ask them specific questions like ‘did the event met their objectives?’ and ‘did they feel they received value for money’?

Make an assessment of the Marketing Campaign.
This is a useful exercise to do to understand what marketing channels were utilized, where the delegates heard about the event and what professional communities they are a part off. Ultimately you need to assess whether you reached the desired audience through your marketing efforts.

Review Logistics
For me, this is about reviewing how the event delivery was managed and did the event go according to the event schedule timelines etc.

Event Content
Assess what event content was gathered and determine how your content is going to be packaged and promoted e.g. in Newsletters, blogs, video, social media etc.

Staff debrief
An event close down meeting is a great way to get all key stakeholders together to discuss the event in detail. A reconciled budget will form part of your reporting along with delegate and stakeholder feedback and staff assessment.

An event report is a great way to document the event. It should be produced and delivered in a timely fashion, adapted for different audiences, saved where you can gain access to it and be a tool to learn from and share best practice.