Free Idea Fridays!

Begin with the End in Mind...
I believe that all good events start at the end.  It’s important to start thinking of how to evaluate your event right from the planning stage.  There is always room for improvements and more planning – and that's where the post-event evaluation comes in. 
Here are some tips to go beyond just the “survey” results:
  • Don’t wait too long to conduct an event debrief. If possible, hold the meeting the week after the event so you can have your analysis and action plan completed within the month following your event.
  • Don’t shy away from the hard questions – review the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Don’t forget to survey your support team, on-site staff and volunteers (whoever helped you execute the event).  The responses you get from them will clue you in to the amount of staff you need for next year and how programming was received – remember they were your eyes and ears throughout the event.
  • Don’t forget about one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders.  Talking to lead sponsors, major exhibitors, your speakers, your committee or board members, your venue contacts and your suppliers. These interviews will generally allow you to probe more deeply and ask more “open” questions. This technique is time consuming but worthwhile.
Finally, solutions are the key to your success.  The whole evaluation process is useless if it simply remains a stagnate document.  Start taking the steps necessary to improving next year’s event immediately. For every major stumbling block, brainstorm with the team and delegate someone to use the team’s input to generate a list of possible solutions. Ask that person to research the issue, review the brainstorming ideas, and develop a plan of action for the next event. Hold a follow-up meeting with the same invitees, asking each participant to present their strategies so they can be refined by the group if necessary.
The list of stumbling blocks along with their possible solutions will be a valuable resource for next year’s event.

Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!

Happy New Year and all the Best for 2017!
at 12:46PM