One of the highlights of my 2021 was getting married to the most amazing man. And as a bride, you miss a lot during the big day. Even now, several months later, I have people talking to me about it. They thought the food was great and it was beautiful. But when I ask if they tried the photobooth, they would say “What photobooth?”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very well advertised. Not that I plan on having another wedding, but it was a learning experience of placement and advertising. Otherwise, it’s a big waste of time and money. If I hadn’t talked about it, I would have never known.
Now, I didn’t send out an evaluation to all my wedding guests (just a Christmas card). But every event planner should. Most importantly, there should be at least one open-ended question where guests can write out what they thought. It’s not enough to only get a “yes”/”no” for how the food was.
Event evaluations are so important to help you truly understand your event’s success rate. Everyone could look like they are having a good time, but believe me, if they aren’t, they will be happy to tell you about it. Likewise, if there was an activity or worship band they really enjoyed, they will want to tell you so that you book it again.
Make sure to read through them. If guests are willing to take the time to fill out your evaluation, it is your responsibility to make sure someone reads them completely. Don’t let that information go to waste! Apply it to your next event. If there are problems, brainstorm how to resolve them. Celebrate the successes.
These positive comments are great fuel for you next event. Use quotes in your Facebook posts and emails about next year’s event that will excite people to sign up that didn’t last time. The number one way to convince someone that something is a good idea is by others giving their experience. That’s why every online shopping/service site has a “reviews” section. When the comments come from other members of your church, they will be even more persuasive.
Remember those problems (or rather criticisms) I mentioned earlier? Those are as equally helpful in your marketing efforts for upcoming events. Acknowledge them in your wording in such a way that they make the event seem new and improved.
I have hosted and participated in many different types of events; sporting tournaments, weddings, church events. While running/hosting/planning an event, you can often be consumed in the details and miss what is happening from the guest perspective. Are they having fun? Did the food taste okay? Did they notice the speaker skip 3 PowerPoint slides? You really don’t know until you ask. Then take that information and use it to motivate people to sign up for your next one.