You don’t build it for yourself. You find out what the people want and you build it for them. That was a response from Walt Disney when he was asked about his success model. That phrase can also apply to a meeting or event. That’s why a pre event survey can help a planner build a successful event.
I think if there’s one piece of advice that I could offer anybody entering the meetings and events industry it would be those words from Walt Disney. That sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised (or maybe not) at how many meeting planners I’ve worked with who simply did not listen to their delegates. It’s usually those same meeting planners who are left wondering why nobody wants to attend future events or why the registration was so low.
Simply put, they didn’t bother to ask their delegates what they wanted.
Pre Event Survey Questions
While there are many pre event surveys available, all you really have to do is sit down and map out exactly what information you need for a successful event. Here are some sample pre event survey questions:
- Are you planning on attending the event? If no, why? If yes, why?
- What topics are you interested in learning about?
- How did you hear about this event? (This can be important to help you determine your marketing needs)
- When is the best time(s) to host this event? (By asking this question you will receive many different responses. Your purpose is to try and determine the best overall days/dates to host the event. Remember, you won’t accommodate everybody but you should aim to accommodate the majority)
The social component of the meeting or event is important to determine, as well.
- What type of tours would you be interested in taking?
- What type of evening/off-site activities would you prefer to attend?
And of course there are standard questions that will you will need to ask for logistic purposes. Such as:
- Do you require special transportation?
- Do you require special accommodation?
- Do you have any dietary restrictions?
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A meeting or event is designed around the delegates needs, or wants. A program should not be built around what a meeting planner likes to do. For some that can be a challenge. A simple pre event survey can help a planner build a program that can be both successful and well attended.
Check out the next article in the series: How to Get Actionable Information from Post Event Surveys.