As we've mentioned, pre-event surveys serve slightly different roles, depending on whether you send them long in advance or just before an event.
Let's consider 3 different scenarios and the benefits surveys offer:
1. Sending a pre-event survey when you only begin to organize an event
If you've just got down to organizing the event, the pre-event survey helps you gauge interest and garner potential attendees' expectations. The research findings can prove helpful while conceptualizing the event. With the survey, you can gain suggestions on speakers, topics, information on the attractions offered at other events, or common pet peeves event attendees have.
2. Sending a survey to the early birds
You've just opened the registration to your event, and the first attendees are signing up. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about the expectations of the people who will attend the event and see if you've taken everything into account. You already have a plan but most likely there's still room for changes.
Asking the attendees about their motivations is also a good idea at this point. Their answers may provide you with helpful information. Also, remember to ask attendees about health problems or physical limitations. It’ll help you anticipate potential issues and make the event attendees feel safe.
Surveying the early birds is also a perfect opportunity to learn what marketing channels worked best. Social media reports have already given you volumes of data.
But, they won't tell you how effective word-of-mouth was.
Knowing that people already talk about recommend your events is strong evidence that you've managed to build an established brand. Collecting the data will also help you with sponsorships for future events.
3. Surveying registrars soon before the event
A pre-event survey sent to registered attendees shortly before the event is unlikely to impact this event. Even if there is not enough time for significant changes, it is still worthwhile asking about the attendees' expectations; you'll use the insights when organizing future events.
Also with this survey, find out about the participants' motivations and interests - just like you did when surveying early birds. There's very little chance you'll use the knowledge to improve the upcoming event. But, you'll use the insights when organizing future events.
The participants' motivations will be of interest also to the event speakers. Knowing them will help the speakers engage with the audience and keep the energy levels high.
Suppose you're organizing an event on behalf of a company. Your audience is likely to be the same as your company's target group. If so, also make sure you pass the survey findings on to your marketing team. They will make valuable insights, enriching marketing personas.