There’s a lot that goes into planning an event, and I’m pretty sure that event survey questions are not at the top of your list. But they should be.

Good event marketing is about more than simply hosting a conference or fundraiser. It’s about connecting with your audience and providing them with a meaningful experience that leaves them wanting more.

Building the perfect event requires careful planning and research, and to do this, you need to engage your participants with well-thought-out event survey questions.

Your survey questions should reveal the attendees’ needs and expectations of the event, as well as any positive and negative experiences they encountered while attending the event. You can do this by presenting your event survey questions in three stages:

  • Before the event (Pre-event surveys)
  • During the event (Mid-event surveys)
  • After the event (Post-event surveys)

With this information handy, you’ll be fully equipped to reduce negative experiences and create amazing events that deliver maximum value to your audience.

Let’s look at seven important event survey questions every event planner should use. I’ve broken these questions down into the three stages listed above.

Use pre-event survey questions to better understand your attendees

Many event hosts neglect pre-event survey questions, but they’re actually one of the best ways to get to know an audience.

Think of pre-event surveys as your chance to make a good first impression on your attendees and learn how to optimize your upcoming event to be most accommodating.

While there are many questions you could include, here are two pre-event survey questions that we highly recommend:

1. Do you need help with transportation?

It goes without saying that the goal of hosting a successful event is to ensure everything runs smoothly, especially at the beginning when things can get chaotic.

You can prevent logistical problems by offering to help out-of-town visitors find reliable transportation from their hotel to your venue. Simply provide a list of taxi services they can contact, as well as any public transportation that they can take to your venue. This will go a long way in preventing unnecessary confusion at the start of your event.

2. What are you hoping to get out of this event?

Asking this question helps you better understand your audience’s goals and objectives beforehand. This is useful for applying any last-minute adjustments to your content to maximize engagement and customer satisfaction.

Use mid-event survey questions for addressing issues in real time

Mid-event surveys are a great way to gauge engagement and customer satisfaction during the event.

What makes mid-event surveys different than post-session ones is that they allow you to immediately address any problems your attendees are experiencing in real time. That way, you don’t have to wait until your event has concluded to learn about any mistakes that could’ve been addressed.

Because mid-event surveys are supposed to provide you with actionable solutions, consider asking your attendees open-ended questions for best results. Here is an example:

3. Is there anything you’re dissatisfied with?

Short, sweet, and to the point, this question invites attendees to be truthful about any problems they’ve encountered halfway through your event. Some of the responses you get will mention things like boring speakers or long check-in times, which are harder to adjust at the moment.

But you’d be surprised how often you get answers that you can address immediately, like “The conference room is too hot” or “The volume is too low.” These complaints are preventable issues that can completely ruin an otherwise great experience if they’re not attended to.

Use post-event survey questions to learn how to improve future events

Arguably the most important survey of the three, the post-event survey gives attendees the opportunity to reflect on your event and report on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As you can imagine, this is all priceless feedback because it enables you to learn which elements of your event were a smashing success, what went wrong, and how you can create even more successful events in the future.

For the post-event survey, we recommend asking a mixture of general and specific questions to get more comprehensive feedback. Below are some of our favorite post-event survey questions.

4. How was your overall experience?

This question is about as general as you can get, which means you’ll get a wide range of answers ranging from a simple “Good” or “Bad,” to a comprehensive walkthrough of the day highlighting the pros and cons of your event. As such, the quality of feedback from this question varies depending on the respondent, but it’s a great way to get a general idea of how your project was received.

5. Did you have any problems with the venue?

Your venue plays a huge role in determining how the event will be received by attendees. If the venue was largely unpopular, you’ll want to know what the issues were so that you can plan accordingly in the future.

Some venue-related issues like transportation and accessibility can be remedied when planning your next event. But if enough people complain about the layout or location of the venue or anything else that can’t be fixed, you might want to consider finding a new location.

6. How was your check-in experience?

Check-in is arguably one of the most stressful and chaotic parts of any event. And when the check-in process is slow and confusing, you end up setting a negative tone for your event. Learning how to prevent any friction during check-in will go a long way in starting your event off on the right foot, creating a better overall experience as a result.

7. Would you attend another of our events?

This is a great question to end your survey with. It’s direct and to the point, so expect some painfully honest feedback.

This question will give you an idea of who to reach out to when you host your next event. Plus, you’ll probably get a few rants and raves about the last event you hosted, which can be useful for optimizing your next seminar or convention.

The takeaway on event survey questions

Like all feedback, event survey questions help you look objectively at the strengths and weaknesses of your conference or seminar. They allow you to see whether you’re meeting your attendees’ expectations, where your strengths are, and which areas need improvement.