In an earlier post about how to promote an event I touched on the use of surveys and how they play an important role to help plan and promote event networking. For this post, I would like to explore the use of surveys in a little more detail. I had set up a series of networking events that introduced local venues to local meeting planners. But in order for these events to be successful, I needed to find out what would draw these busy professionals to attend these networking events.
Surveys Help Determine What Your Market Wants, Not What You Think They Want.
If you’re like me, I will sign up for events and then when the actual day arrives, I wish I didn’t have to go. I’ve also been at functions where other attendees shared this feeling as well. I wanted to my networking events to be a function that people actually wanted to attend. So I turned to surveys to help plan and promote event networking.
I first contacted my industry colleagues and asked them what factors they would consider important for attending a. From those meetings, I had several common questions. After narrowing those questions to about four key question, I was now ready to survey my larger audience. There are many survey sites to choose from – some are free and some have fees. Which survey service you use really depends on what your needs are. For me, I decided on a free site as I already had an email marketing service which helped me with the follow up communication, etc.
I designed my survey with ease in mind. An important thing to always remember, when putting questions to your connections or data base, is to keep it simple and fast. It’s best to put a time frame for completion as well. I also had a small budget which allowed me to send a gift (electronically) to everyone that participated. This was a way of thanking people for taking the time out of their busy schedule.
It’s What You Do With The Survey Results That Matter
I was quite surprised when I started to review the feedback. In my case, a vast majority of the respondents said that they wanted events to take place either over the lunch hour or right after work. And they also wanted the event to be about an hour or two in length. I also got a lot of feedback on the type of venues that planners wanted to see. Before I had this feedback, I fully intended to host these events in the evening, around 7pm. However after the survey results were complete, I structured these events either; from noon to 1:30pm, or from 5:00PM to 6:30PM. In my marketing emails promoting the events, I would use phrases such as “we’ll have you home for the evening news”.
Once I started, my networking events were filling fast. People were happy that they were able to see great local venues without chewing up too much of their personal time. A win win for sure.
Consider using surveys to help plan and promote event networking for your industry. They will keep you focused on building the event based on what people in your industry want. You’ll be rewarded with a room full of interested colleagues.