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Event Evaluation

Our last masterclass focused on event evaluation, so I thought I’d share some of the insights that were revealed.

Our delegates said that they particularly enjoyed the presentation from ‘wildcard’ speaker William Thomson, who gave an alternative take on evaluation, and Peter Haigh – who presented an ROI model showing how to measure and calculate ROI.

The sessions also included tips of what to cover in a de-brief meeting and different perspectives and tips on evaluation. Delegate feedback reported that they enjoyed the opportunity to network with other events professionals, that there was a good balance of speakers and there was good delegate involvement and participation.

I would like to share some of the tips that I picked up with you:

  • Ensure you actually USE the data and feedback you receive and don’t just collect it because you feel you should!
  • It is critical to set 3-5 effective event objectives before your event – they will provide the framework for your evaluation. It’s no good just asking ‘was the food nice?’ – that’s not an objective! It’s better to ask ‘did the session meet your expectations?’ ‘Could you give details…’
  • Don’t be afraid to be honest and give delegates more information on your evaluation – for example it’s better to ask: ‘we want to change the date of the event because it is cheaper and we think this money would be better spent on quality speakers – what do you think?’ rather than ‘do you think we should change the event date?’
  • Evaluate from every point of view – stakeholders, delegates and event organiser.
  • Delegates are only one of many stakeholders at your event – so don’t focus your evaluation solely on them!
  • The difference between reactive (on the day) or reflective (post event) evaluation
  • Reflect on the event and write your reports straight away – ideally within one week of the event.
  • The importance of internal, performance evaluation and de-brief meetings – ask the opinion of your team and ask them to highlight five good and five bad points from the event.
  • Don’t be afraid of evaluation! Have confidence of your own judgement as an events manager. Ultimately you know what went well or badly – you are the expert!
  • Go to other types of events and observe – agree with a fellow event manager to go to each others’ events and evaluate them – they will give you feedback you may not have thought about yourself.

The Masterclass was marked 8 out of 10 for both meeting delegate expectations and for the quality of the speakers.

By: Bryony Hunter, Sales and Marketing Assistant

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