Surveys as tools for event management

In the last few years we have entered into partnerships with an array of events (such as Slush, Arctic15, Mindtrek, Twinkle, and more) that have used Surveypal®’s services in the process of event planning and in order to collect feedback during and after the event. The final conclusion is always the same. Surveys, when used correctly, can prove to be an invaluable tool for event management.

Event surveys can be utilized during all the stages of an event and the analysis of the collected data can provide valuable insights, limit the possibility of contingencies, and determine success. Truthfully, a successful event is hidden in the details and, with this in mind, event surveys should be used to discover the details that will lead to favorable outcomes. Here are some of the insights we have gathered so far by delivering survey solutions for event management professionals:

Pre-event surveys

“A pre-event survey will help determine participants’ expectations.”

Pre-event surveys can be used in two different ways. Firstly, they can aid the organizational process with day-to-day operations. For example, Twinkle created a pre-event survey to organize its volunteers, determine their availability before and during the event, and gather information on their individual skills and competencies in order to assign roles to them.

Secondly, pre-event surveys are a great tool to manage event stakeholders’ expectations. The truth of the matter is that the list of parties who participate in an event have different reasons to be involved and for that, they have different expectations. Similar in content surveys can be addressed to particular stakeholder groups, such as attendees, speakers, investors, sponsors, and partners, in order to establish in advance what those parties expect to get out of the event. This kind of data can steer the event organizers to certain points of action that can guarantee desirable end results and prevent disappointment.

During-the-event surveys

“During-the-event surveys can be used to create traction for the event in social media since results are gathered on the spot and can be subsequently shared in different social media platforms.”

Surveys running during the event are best for engaging the participants and measuring first impressions. Additionally, surveys as such can be used to create traction for the event in social media since results are gathered on the spot and can be subsequently shared in different social media platforms. These surveys should be kept short and to the point, and could be created with a humorous angle. A great example of this is a series of mini surveys published online by the Slush organizers asking the attendees to vote for their favorite speakers of the day. Survey results were shared in social media and were well received by the participants.

During-the-event surveys also present a great opportunity for creating marketing ROI through lead generation and engagement options. Events are the perfect setting for gaining access to targeted audiences and those audiences can be attracted by creating marketing surveys which offer incentives, such as prizes, etc. Sponsors are particularly drawn to such survey options because they boost kiosk and/or booth traffic.

Post-event surveys

“Post-event surveys allow the possibility of bench marking against the event itself”

Post-event surveys are crucial because they allow attendees to provide feedback on their event experience. This type of surveys are to be designed after consulting the pre-event surveys that have already been answered by the event participants. Create different post-event surveys for different focus groups of participants (speakers, attendees, sponsors, etc.) and ask whether or not their expectations have been fulfilled and to what degree. Allow the respondents to provide personal remarks and negative feedback, if any. Collected feedback should be assessed carefully and systematically in order to generate relative and useful information. Post-event surveys can be longer in size and include demographic, quantitative, and qualitative questions.

Post-event surveys are particularly valuable when an event is organised regularly because they offer the chance of bench marking against the event itself. Event organizers who have used Surveypal®’s feedback management services have made a point to keep the content of their post-event surveys similar for events organized annually. This way they can compare the feedback they received each year and determine in which areas they have performed better and in which areas they need to pay more attention the next time.


Event management is a complicated and demanding process and an event’s success is defined by many factors. However, the decisive factor is that of the human component. A successful event should deliver on attendee satisfaction/customer satisfaction and using a survey tool to measure the level of satisfaction can make all the difference. However, the key point here is that surveys can prove to be beneficial for event management in many different ways and not only by collecting feedback after the event is over.