Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

How Post-Event Surveys Inform Marketing Strategy

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spreadsheetRecently, we recapped survey results for a mobile tour we measured last summer into the fall.  The measurement strategy utilized independent ethnographers surveying event attendees who visited the organization’s footprint, asking the attendees what they had learned and how likely they would be to get involved with the organization in the future. While all of the information we received was valuable to the organization’s strategy at future events, there is just as much value added from learning whether or not the attendees actually followed through with their intended actions sometime after the event experience.

Two months following each event, we invited attendees, who had provided their email address at the footprint, to take a post-event web survey on their event experience. The key measurement question in the survey was as follows:

“Based on your experience at the event, which of the following actions have you taken?”

The actions ranged from…

  • Learning more about the organization
  • Finding and visiting the local organization’s office
  • Actually participating in the organization

The results were somewhat startling when we compared them to the results from the same survey in 2012 .

  • 25% learned more about the organization in 2013 versus 41% in 2012
  • 10% found the local office in 2013 versus 18% in 2012

So, it wasn’t surprising to see that 54% took no action and did not plan to in 2013, while just 26% never took action in 2012. These are large percentage point decreases in actions taken, post-event.

Why the decrease in post-event action and how does that affect strategy?

We saw significantly fewer individuals who took action in 2013, and most of them don’t plan on doing so in the future. What did the event teams do in 2012 that was more effective at influencing individuals to take action?

When we recapped our findings with the organization, they mentioned that they provided premiums to attendees who visited the footprint in 2012, but those were discontinued in 2013. The premiums helped the event experience resonate with attendees to the point that they were far more likely to take action following the event in 2012 than the attendees in 2013.

The client team said they planned to incorporate premiums again, which will provides an opportunity to measure their effectiveness and enhance the research this year.

The post-event survey results helped us identify an opportunity for the team to improve event marketing strategy in 2014.  I’m looking forward to sharing our 2014 post-event survey results later this year.

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