This article was originally published on the Hubb blog at blog.hubb.me.
Conferences, meetings and events are among the most powerful marketing outlets companies have to create sales momentum. And of course you want those experiences to be great for your customers, so getting their feedback is crucial. Enter conference evaluations! If done well, conference evaluations provide the information you need for data-driven improvement of your events. Executed poorly, they’re a waste of everyone’s time.
Better conference evaluation requires collecting the right data before, during and after the event, accessing it on an open platform that allows integration with your favorite conference tools, and then using those tools to create a richer experience for attendees and to gain insights to prove the value of the event.
Here are some places to get started.
Conduct a post-event survey
Use in-event surveys to capture fresh feedback immediately after speaker presentations. Include room for comments, but make it easy to complete the form by offering multiple choice and yes-no questions. Questions can focus on the quality and value of the speaker’s content, presentation and organization.
Then administer a post-event survey for attendees to weigh in on all aspects of the conference such as speakers, seminar topics, session themes, exhibitors, sponsors, venue and overall experience. Send out the survey right on the heels of the closing session in order to assure the highest return rate.
For more information about specific questions to ask in your post-event survey, check out this article on crucial questions to improve conference attendee experience.
Analyze your data
One of the best measures of overall effectiveness is event Return on Investment (ROI). Having an event ROI model to measure event effectiveness is crucial to getting the most bang for your buck. ROI will help you know what’s worth your time—and what your time is worth. See our event ROI post for ideas on how to calculate this metric.
Application program interfaces (APIs) allow different software tools to talk to each other. APIs are spawning a growing economy that allows you to build best-in-breed systems to manage your event. You can now leverage multiple software tools, say from marketing automation, CRM, social media, website and web analytics, in a seamless, integrated fashion to extract, share and analyze data.
So, for example, a content management tool can push the most up-to-date content to your website and registration technology. And it can pull in the latest registration and demographic data to help inform your speakers. Or imagine if the sales team can see the impact that an event has on their pipeline, viewing conversion rates, session interest and focus, evaluation data and comments.
Use machine learning for insights
Our partners at DoubleDutch like to say that “If you can measure it, you can make it better.” We couldn’t agree more. To get there, identify your objectives, create metrics that align with your goals, develop evaluations that collect actionable data, and then analyze that data for clues to improve your event.
At Hubb, we’re continually exploring the burgeoning science of artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analysis and machine learning to help you better select your sessions, engage attendees and increase event ROI. Being more informed about your data allows you to inspire the team and to move the business forward by creating meaningful experiences with measurable results.
Want more tips on conference evaluations? Check out The Data-Driven Event: Optimizing Your Conference with Data & Evaluations.