Consumer shows and expos have a staggering number of stakeholders to consider. Even mid-sized expos can attract thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors — that’s a lot of people to keep happy if you want them back next year.

Crunching your expo’s numbers is a great way to measure attendance or profitability, but it won’t tell you whether your attendees and exhibitors are satisfied. So how do you find out who won’t be coming back, and why?

The answer is qualitative data. This is the real gold that will help you satisfy stakeholders and create bigger — or at least better — events each year. Using tools such as SurveyMonkey to send post-event surveys makes gathering feedback simple and, combined with the data you’ve collected about your event, can help your future events shine.

Free Download: The Secret to a Successful Expo: How Technology Can Drive Results for You and Your Exhibitors

Here are three essential post-event surveys for expo creators — and what to do with the results to scale your future events.

1. Attendee survey

You know how many people attended your event — but did they enjoy it? Did they find it easy to navigate? Were the exhibitors exciting enough to bring them back again? The easiest way to find out is to ask.

Engaging attendees helps them feel heard and could prevent them from taking to social media to voice concerns. Have your attendee survey ready prior to your event, so that you’re ready to send it as soon as it’s over — when the event is still top of mind.

Pro Tip: SurveyMonkey is simple to set up with an Eventbrite account. Take advantage of 15 ready-made templates designed for event organisers and instant access to your attendee lists.

  1. Exhibitor and sponsor survey

How happy were your exhibitors? Did sponsors view your event as good value for their money? Consider creating a survey for event participants, or simply ask them for their feedback and observations. It could be the difference between keeping and losing their business next year.

  1. Event staff survey

Do you use casual workers to run an event? You may never speak to these staff after the event, but they are the ones on the ground, engaging with customers. They may have valuable insights that you or your core staff didn’t see. Personal interactions influence attendee’s experience at your events and shouldn’t be ignored.  

What to do with your results to grow your event

Put together an action plan that engages attendees

If your surveys reveal pain points for your event, it’s time to develop a strategy to tackle them. For example, let’s say your surveys reveal that attendees queued for too long and felt frustrated at the lack of entry points. You could address this by:

  • Working with your team to develop solutions to improve your next event, such as introducing ticket scanning at the door and having multiple queues to speed up entry.
  • Communicating your progress with attendees. If you have a plan in place to reduce queue wait times, let them know.
  • Offering sponsors the chance to hand out swag to queuing attendees to engage them while they wait to come in.

By addressing feedback immediately, you’ll set up future events for successful growth and retain attendees by letting them feel heard and respected.

Share your success with exhibitors and sponsors

It’s important not just to collect feedback promptly after your event, but also to collate it. By sending post-event surveys, you can build a picture of the key areas of success and areas that need improvement.

The event industry is competitive; good exhibitors and sponsors are like gold. Make sure you send a timely follow up, not only to thank them, but to let them know how their business made an impact on the event. If you have numbers and anecdotal evidence to show your event was a success, they’re more likely to return next time.

Boost team morale with stories

If you know how successful your event was in achieving your mission, or have stories from attendees of how much they enjoyed it — let your staff know! Event management is hard work (as you know), and it’s a great boost to staff morale to know their efforts did not go unnoticed.

Deliver stronger results at your expo

Surveys are just one of many ways technology can drive results for your expo. For an in-depth look at how to create a results-driven expo that is profitable for both you and your exhibitors, download the free guide: The Secret to a Successful Expo: How Technology Can Drive Results for You and Your Exhibitors.