We manage several programs that include a post-event survey to help determine changes in consumer behavior or perception of the brand. For example, we may survey consumers 30 post-event to see if they have purchased the brand or product promoted at the event. This allows us to measure rates of purchase intent against actual rates of purchase. In a successful event, the data points to the reality of a long-term program impact.
While there is a great deal of value that can come from post-event research, there are also some challenges in collecting reliable data in this manner. Because we email the post-event survey, we rely on consumers who participate in our exit survey to provide their email addresses for future research. While many of the consumers may consent and provide an email address, the average response rate to post-event surveys is typically low – 5% across our post-event programs. We see the occasional exception to this rate, however, as our highest response rate is five times the average at 26%.
How to maximize the success of a post-event survey
There are three main considerations that are a great starting point.
1. Consider the length of your program. Because there is a low response rate, post-event surveys are best suited for programs that allow the volume of responses to grow. The idea works better for a six-month or twelve-month long program with a broad consumer reach rather than a shorter program and a small number of consumers.
2. Consider the type of experience your program offers consumers. Our highest rates of response are from programs that offer a quality, immersive, event experience. It could be an intimate dinner with wine pairings, a sponsorship of a charity event, or a kid-friendly footprint at a state fair. Regardless of the event type, the experience leaves an impression on consumers, giving them a reason to remain engaged well after the event.
3. Balance the need or interest for post-survey data with the risks. Set expectations accordingly. While it is incredibly attractive to show your client metrics like brand/ event recall and event impact (i.e., action taken since the event took place), it is important to set reasonable expectations around the post-event results. Your post-event survey might garner an average, but low, response rate. Of those who do respond, there may be some self-selection bias that precludes the results from being generally applicable.
Given these considerations, could a post-event survey be right for your program?