Most Georgia Tech events have three key groups: your guests, your VIPs, and your vendors. It's important to evaluate them before you let them evaluate you. Be sure to ask yourself:
How large is this group and can I properly manage that level of feedback? (Could you imagine if we sent a survey to everyone who attended Commencement?)
How educated is this group about this type of event?
How responsive is this group to feedback?
Typically, the most useful feedback comes from your VIPs and your vendors. These keys groups are small enough for you to manage the feedback, are educated in events well enough to recognize the good and "needs improvement" elements, and often respond to feedback requests.
What Do We Ask Them to Evaluate?
Evaluations could include questions for your key groups such as:
Did the group understand the event's purpose?
Did the group feel the elements of the event matched the event purpose?
How did the timing of the event feel? (This could be not only the day and time of the event, but also the length and if things ran on time.)
Would that group be a part of the event again in the future?
Always leave a comment box for any additional comments. You may miss out on the most important feedback because it does not fit into a checkbox.
What Tools Can We Use to Evaluate?
Here are some simple and free tools:
Google allows you to create custom forms and brand the with photos from your event.
Offers free and paid services, is easy to put together, and presents an easy-to-read final report. Ideal for reaching out to larger groups.
If you have a smaller group or want to keep it personal, email is your best method. Include a solicitation for feedback with thank you notes. The downside to email is that it is hard to structure the feedback. Also, you may not get the type of honest, hard truths you are looking for because there is no anonymity.