Events: Evaluation

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Jo Cunningham: So¬†when your event is a massive success, and you’ve had loads of people visit and they’ve had a great time, you want to get feedback from them about what they’ve enjoyed, what was good, what could be better, and we have various ways of doing that evaluation.
Doris Pearce: Evaluation is really, really important, obviously. You need to know how things have gone, you need to know if you want to do them again or you don’t want to do them again. So I think there’s two prongs of evaluation, so both in-house, the staff, the team, the gallery, what did they think, and the public, what did they think. ¬
Jo Cunningham: We do a lot of informal evaluation, we ask people if they’ve had a good time,¬†whether they would come back to an event they’ve attended,¬†whether we could do anything better. We have comments cards that they can fill in when we’re not there, so you can get a real picture of how they feel.
Doris Pearce: You have people saying it’s great, great, great, which is obviously brilliant, but what’s really great is when someone says it is what good but. It’s buts you need to pay attention to. Depending on the scale of your event you would call a debrief meeting, and get all of those constituent members of staff come in and say it was good, but. It’s those buts that you can take on, and work on, and make better. Nothing’s ever going to go perfectly, and nothing’s ever going to be a total disaster, but there are ways to make it more towards success than towards failure.
Jo Cunningham: You can measure it in terms of visitor numbers, but we can also look at the quality of the events we’ve been doing. We do do some formal market research where we ask people to do a questionnaire when they exit the venue.
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At the end of each day you should play back the tapes of your performance. The results should either applaud you or prod you.

Jim Rohn, Business Philosopher and Author

Evaluating an event includes not only getting audience feedback but also involves analysing how effective the organisation was behind the scenes and what can be learnt for next time.

How will you know if the target audience liked the event?

  • How will you get audience feedback?
  • Are the audience interested in more events like this?
  • Was the event well attended and why?

How will you know if the event budget was stuck to?

  • Who was responsible for the budget and was it stuck to?
  • If you charged for the event did you make any profit? If so what will you do with this?

What would you do differently next time?

  • Consider how effectively the event was run. What would you do differently?
  • Consider the marketing campaign and design of publicity. What this success for the target audience?