So you’ve just hosted an event and everything went well. Attendance was good, you didn’t encounter any major issues, everyone worked hard and you feel that the event achieved its objectives. Now that the event is over and everyone’s feeling good about it except a little tired, that’s the end of it. Right?
Not so fast. One of the most important aspects of any event is the actual aftermath and in order to discuss the event and evaluate it in detail, a follow-up meeting post-event is required.
Let’s dig into these follow-up meetings and discover why they are just so important.
Determine Whether Key Objectives Were Sufficiently Achieved
During the follow-up meeting, everyone involved can sit down, look over the objectives that were set for the event and decide whether all objectives were achieved or met the desired expectations. If an objective wasn’t sufficiently achieved, determine what went wrong so that the same doesn’t happen at any future events.
Were key objectives clear and defined prior to the event? Were less important objectives given greater priority than primary objectives? Were there any objectives in place to begin with?
Ask questions and evaluate the answers to determine accurate results.
It’s An Opportunity To Collect and Evaluate Valuable Event Data
One of the most important outcomes of any official event is the ability to collect and evaluate data from the event. The event itself is rather fleeting in nature but what can become a more permanent result is valuable data and knowledge.
Ideally, data should be collected in various ways before, during the event and even after it has finished, in the form of attendee feedback.
Gather up all your sources of data and also collect feedback from your team, vendors, speakers and so on. Data can help you analyze your event as a whole, as well as its individual components. It gives you insight into things like how many people registered for the event versus how many actually attended, what their thoughts were on various aspects of the event, and other vital information.
Gathering and analyzing data is also important for the planning of future events. It will give you ideas on what you did right, where you can improve and what you could implement in your next event.
Highlight Areas For Improvement
A follow-up meeting after the event is the time to start evaluating what wasn’t up to par and to highlight areas for improvement moving forward. No event, no matter how well planned and organised, is going to be absolutely perfect, so be unbiased in your evaluation of how it went and list anything that needs to be worked on for future reference.
On a side note, even for events that were extremely successful, you can still build on this success by striving to make your next event even better than the last. Not all learning comes from mistakes made, but also by building and improving on what worked.
Learn What Was Successful and Replicate It
Follow-up meetings provide an opportunity to list everything that went well during the lead up to the event and the duration of the event. If something works, you’ll want to replicate that in future events. After all, you don’t need to change or fix something that isn’t broken.
Knowledge for future events isn’t the only thing to be gained by recognizing what worked. It’s time to celebrate those victories and offer recognition for a job well to all members of the team. Analyzing an event isn’t merely to pinpoint what went wrong and what needs to be improved upon, but especially what went right and who was responsible.
Reflecting on all of the positives is energizing and motivating for the team and you might even want to organize a small celebratory party as a reward for everyone.
Did You Hire Event Management Services?
If an event management agency was actively involved in the organisation and running of your event, you will want to seek valuable feedback from them as well. The more involved the company was, the more useful feedback it will likely be able to provide.
Either include your events management company in your follow-up meeting, or arrange a time when you can discuss event feedback with them. If they noticed any problems or issues during the event, they’ll be able to advise you on what you can do to avoid making those same mistakes in any events you have planned for the future.
Conduct a Survey Of Your Audience
This is something you should aim to do immediately following every event you host. It can usually be done by emailing a simple survey to attendees soon after the conclusion of the event. Keep your survey or feedback questionnaire brief and concise, as this will ensure a better response rate. Only ask what’s needed and questions that will give you the most useful and valuable data. Never be shy to ask attendees questions like how can your events be improved moving forward. This gives you greater insight into what attendees want and expect from your events.
Start Planning Your Next Event While the Data Is Still Fresh
Before everyone’s memories of the event start to fade, start planning your next event or function while details from the last event are still fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s always easier to forge ahead while still feeling the adrenaline rush of an event that’s just been finalized.
When the follow-up meeting has essentially been concluded, go over all the compiled information, data and feedback and use all this as a stepping stone to planning an upcoming event. While everything is still fresh and you feel energized, that energy will carry on over into having more positivity and enthusiasm for the next event, so take advantage of the moment.
It’s an essential part of the event process to hold a follow-up meeting or even a series of meetings. Confer with everyone who was involved in the planning and running of the event to gather as much valuable information as possible, as soon as possible.
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