So, would you do it all again? Was it worth it? Did you accomplish what you set out to achieve? What about the ROI? Measuring the success of a corporate event is the only sure way to determine whether the day is worth repeating, let alone if your delegates are likely to come back for more. If you’ve commissioned an events management agency to coordinate your corporate event, you should receive the feedback, the surveys, the data – all the quantifiable results you need to see if the expense was justified and the objectives met.

If you’ve organised the function yourself, here are some of the tools of the trade that professional event managers use to measure the success of a corporate event.

The post-event survey

Use your database to contact everyone who attended the event and find out what wowed and what didn’t work at all. Send your post-event survey out as soon as possible after the conference closes and you’ll get the best response and more meaningful results. Ask the right questions and you’ll gather enough information to determine how to stage a better event next time – ask specifics about the venue and the facilities it offered, the format of the function and if it met the guests’ expectations. Always include space to gather feedback about what could have been done better and what was missing. There are apps (SurveyMonkey and Zwoor are noteworthy) that’ll do the job for you and present all the facts and stats in a super-easy format, or conduct your own online survey that’s straightforward and easy to complete. If you want to optimise your response rates, offer an incentive like a discount on the price of the next event or a prize draw.

Social media

If you conducted a social media campaign before and during your corporate event, keep monitoring the feeds, tags, blog posts and RTs to see how it was perceived by those present. There are numerous platforms that can infiltrate friends’ and followers’ feedback (HootSuite, Tweetdeck and SproutSocial present posts in one lovely place) and help you automate and tailor content to cater for the mentions that are made. Take this more professional social route and you’ll also benefit from some seriously insightful reports that’ll break down the buzz and disseminate the details to help you evaluate your event success.

The post-event participation plan

You did it before, you can do it again. Encourage a select few to get back around the table and talk about their experiences of your event. Talk to guests at the event and invite them to join you in an informal group discussion immediately afterwards to help you improve future functions while the day’s activities are still fresh and hopefully fabulous in their minds. You may need to offer incentives like future event discounts, accreditations or even hard cash, but your chances of garnering some really honest feedback in a face-to-face environment are as high as they can be.

Whichever route you choose to get the answers to those questions posed in our intro, just do it. Gathering and interpreting feedback is as important to the event as holding it in the first place; skip this step at your peril.