Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Best Time to Evaluate Your Event

By Heidi Richards

When should you evaluate your events?

As soon as the event is over...if not sooner. In my experience, the best time to evaluate your event is immediately! It is important to do your evaluation/assessment of the event while the details are fresh in your mind. Include anyone in the evaluation process that had a stake in the event. Stakeholders would include vendors, hired staff, volunteers and employers. You could host a debriefing session or a wrap up meeting to accomplish this task. Make this a pleasant experience. Include refreshements and lots of kudos (thank yous for a job well done). Prior to, or when the meeting begins, enlist a "scribe" to record the comments and answers from the group.

Ask yourself -- and them -- the following questions:

  • Did the event fulfill the goals and objectives set forth?
  • What worked? What didn't? What would you do differently? The same?
  • Did the event run smoothly and on schedule?
  • Which vendors/stakeholders should be hired/recruited again?
  • Were any items missing from the checklist that should be included in future events?
  • Did you generate favorable publicity for the event?
  • How was attendance? Were the attendance goals achieved?
  • Did you receive positive feedback from those who attended? Did you use formal (written, documented forms or one-on-one surveys) or informal (chatting in the restrooms, lines, seminars, etc.) methods of evaluation?
  • What could you do differently, better to reach your goals? To involve more people? To spread the word about the event?
  • Was the event worth doing? What were some of the benefits? Would you do it again?

Encourage alternative forms of feedback from those unable to attend, such as via email, website and fax back forms. Once you have received feedback from the group, have the notes transcribed for distribution to all the stakeholders (clients). Be sure to incldue this in the event portfolio for future reference. Proper evaluating of the event will lead to even greater success in the future. In fact, it is important to evaluate all aspects of business from time to time. Otherwise, how and when would you know what needs to be improved? One final thought: Make sure you get feedback from attendees.

And here's a key question to ask, especially if it is an event that is open to the public: How did you hear about this event?

Heidi Richards Mooney is a Professional Speaker, Business Coach and the Author of 7 books including "Rose Marketing on a Daisy Budget ~ How to Grow Your Business Without Spending a Fortune." She is also the publisher of WE Magazine for Women. Stop bywww.speakingwithspirit.com to get a FREE copy of YOUR Marketing Calendar today! 

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