The pro's guide to analysing your post-event feedback19-Dec-2019
Our research team analyse the results of hundreds of post-event feedback surveys every year. I managed to wrangle some time with our busy body Director of Research, Clive Morris, to share his advice on analysing attendee surveys quickly and effectively.
Let’s start with the juicy stuff. What would you say are the essential attendee metrics to look at?
To get a rounded picture of your event’s performance and solid benchmarking, I would recommend putting the following questions in every survey, then including them in your analysis and reporting.
1. Net Promoter Score®
How likely are you to recommend [event name] to a colleague or a friend?
2. Overall satisfaction - How satisfied were you with [event name]?
3. Likelihood of return
How likely are you to return to [event name]?
4. Spend (either at event, or over a set period following the show)
For visitor surveys only
5. Objectives for visiting/exhibiting met
Provide a list of different objectives for attendees to select from
6. Dwell time
Which days did you visit [event name]?
7. Return on investment (money or time)
8. Importance of attending/exhibiting at [event name]
How do you typically start analysing post-event results?
To get a quick overview, I head to the question – How likely are you to recommend [event name] to a friend or colleague in the industry? This measures your Net Promoter Score (NPS) and captures even quite subtle changes in how well your event is performing.
I will also skim read any verbatim comments to get a flavour for any issues that might need further investigation.
How can you dig deeper into the data?
In our platform there are two techniques that help bring the data to life:
filtering to let you view your event through the eyes of one segment of your delegates, and
cross-tabbing which allows you to compare two different variables such as overall satisfaction by industry type.
If you are working in Explori, you can use the wizard on the left of your screen to create filters and cross-tabs.
If you’re not working in Explori, you can use Excel to create a cross-tab by using the pivot table functionality.
What can you do with filters and cross-tabs?
If you know what your most important attendee type is (by job title, industry or purchasing authority for example) use cross-tabs to compare their experience to your overall performance. It goes without saying that they should have the same or better experience as everyone else.
You can also filter by your most important attendee type to check you are meeting their most important objectives in attending your event. Read their verbatim comments – is there anything you could be doing better for them? It’s important to remember that you’re most engaged audience can become bored with your event over time. So verbatim comments can provide a treasure trove of ideas for keeping your event fresh and interesting.
Not sure who your most valuable attendees are? Use purchasing authority and spend to set up a cross tab – now you can see by organisation type, sector or job title who has the most money to spend with your exhibitors.
How can you create a picture of different delegate experiences?
One thing I always find useful to provide organisers is a view of their event through the eyes of someone who wouldn’t recommend their event. This can be a goldmine of information on how the organiser can take their event from good to great.
By creating filters on NPS you can find out who is saying negative things about your event and why.
When asked how likely they are to recommend your event, people who score you between zero and six, are categorised as Detractors. They will actively tell their friends or colleagues not to attend your event. Scores of nine or ten are Promoters. These attendees will recommend their friends and colleagues do attend. Whilst seven and eight are considered Passives and are unlikely to comment on your event at all.
In Explori, you can click on the bars in the chart between zero and six to create a filter showing the responses of only your Detractors. (If you are working in Excel you can filter your data in small chunks to get snapshots of your responses).
You can now scroll through your report, seeing your event through the eyes of those who wouldn’t recommend it to friends or colleagues. You can read their free text responses and see what their objectives of attending were and how well they were able to meet them.
Next look at likelihood of return. This will demonstrate if it is going to be harder and more costly to get your Detractors to return to your event next year. This can be an important consideration for your marketing budget.
You may discover that your Detractors come from a particular industry, or job type - you can use cross-tabs to see the impact of losing these visitors. On the left hand side of your screen, use the cross-tab wizard to compare industry as rows and spend as columns – this generates a new table which shows you if your detractors have large budgets to spend with your exhibitors and how important they are to your event.
Any other words of wisdom?
If one if your scores has changed by only a few percentage points, don’t be too concerned (or pleased) as there will be small variances in your results each year – especially if you have less than 1000 completions of your survey.
And finally - for all our Explori users - export your charts as jpegs and drop them into presentations and marketing material – most people understand results better when they are presented visually.