Walter Gropius once said that the architect must study the people who use a building. If he does not do this, he only designs a beautiful thing that has nothing to do with the needs of the people who live and work in it. Organizers should consider this as a model and study the people who participate in their events and find out their needs and demands. The easiest way to do this is with a straightforward online survey.
Currently, many events take place in the digital space. The Corona pandemic has eliminated the need for personal encounters, making it more difficult for organizers to read the mood and atmosphere of an event.
So how to get the necessary feedback? To evaluate an event effectively, organizers need to know how the participants receive the format. This is especially essential in the current phase when new forms are being tried out and adjusted. How do technical infrastructures work? Does the combination of digital content with analog care packages and material work? Do the participants want more exchange and closed chat forums or an open pinboard? Or do they need more video material? When do the participants attend a digital event? Should access and availability be flexible? Or will exchange and networking no longer work? Questions upon questions come along with the new digital formats.
The evaluation of digital events ideally also takes place online, of course. Access statistics provide initial information about the success and impact of a digital event. But to get concrete feedback, a well-prepared online survey is best suited. During or after the event, organizers can draw their participants' attention to an online survey by e-mail or pop-up window and ask for feedback. The online survey can be a short mood poll or a multi-step and complex online survey to gather event-specific information. They are always tailored to the specific event and its participants.
If organizers want to draw special attention to your online survey, they send their participants a postcard with a QR code for the online survey after the event. This will ensure that the online survey does not disappear into the inbox without ever being opened. A prompt evaluation directly after the event or an interim survey during the event also increases the number of participants.
It is essential for organizers that complex online surveys be designed flexibly and that comprehensive conditional logic be integrated without any problems. Each organizer defines its own evaluation rules, chooses between single or multiple-choice questions, and specifies free text fields as required. What organizers need for proper evaluation is meaningful answers and valuable feedback because that really helps and is the first step towards an even better event.