Everyone accepts the necessity of evaluating an event after it was completed but how to evaluate an event is a big question for many event organizers. Everybody agrees that, after the implementation of an event, the final evaluation should be taken into consideration and carried out thoroughly.
The purpose of the evaluation
The purpose of the evaluation is to have a general look and examine how the event went together with what should be done for better future events. The main purposes for the evaluation of events are:
- To measure whether the event has met its predetermined measurable targets.
- To find out if the event meets the expectations of all participants.
- Keeping track of feedback is important to improve the success of your future events.
Understanding the significance of evaluation
Evaluation is usually disregarded after the event. However, evaluation gives the organization various perspectives gained from event management. From the evaluation session, the event planners can learn from their experience and gain a deeper understanding of operational success, etc.
In the evaluation process, both clients and stakeholders in events insist on a report on how their resources have been used and to which extent objectives have been accomplished.
Some others also place importance on the impact of events such as economic, political, physical, etc. impact on the community itself. Those impacts can also be included in the evaluation process. Moreover, the social impact can be seen through the enhancement of community spirit and the outcome of social benefits.
Collecting information for the evaluation process should not be dismissed and needs to be conducted carefully and appropriately. The amount of information depends on each event in terms of size, scale, participants, etc. However, the amount of information will exceed one's expectations even if it is such a small event where there is no formal research conducted. The collected sources of information should be well-analyzed, or else the analysis would be subjectively done, i.e. based on someone's opinion. The analysis, of course, turns out to be invalid and worthless.
The Evaluation process, in general, has placed an emphasis on two prime issues:
1. Did the event meet its objective?
2. What can be improved for the next edition, if there is one?
When it comes to organizing events, identifying the core objectives is highly crucial because it helps event organizers and coordinators to focus on what should be done to reach the objectives. Event objectives also play a vital role in assuring stakeholders of the event's effectiveness. Overall, stakeholders want to make sure that event organizers and coordinators really put the money to work by spending it effectively and wisely.
After the process of collecting all of the essential information, what is best and what is worst are sorted out. Therefore, having knowledge of "what is best" and "what is worst" can lead to remedies that can boost satisfaction and reduce dissatisfaction. As a consequence, it is highly recommended to rank "what is worst" problems, i.e. from "most serious to least serious" or from "most frequently to least frequently". The task of ranking is certainly favorable to event organizers and coordinators because they will be able to perceive which problems reoccur several times. From that point of view, they could give priority to each problem and try to sort them all out in order of precedence.
Apart from those sources of information, both qualitative and quantitative data can also be used in the evaluation process as shown in the table.
Attendee statistics, including market segmentation data
Sales figures Financial reports and accounts
Interviews with attendees and staff
Economic impact analysis
Management notes and commentary
Environmental impact analysis
Social impact analysis
In order to make all the visitors feel comfortable at the events, it is important to examine visitors' impressions. Needless to say, visitors' impressions certainly impact the success of the event itself. Taking into consideration those impressions can assure that the event will satisfy visitors. It's accepted that there are two sets of participants: satisfied and unsatisfied.
Satisfied and Unsatisfied Participants
Satisfiers refer to things that satisfy participants such as the ambience, excitement, social involvement, relaxation, etc. On the contrary, unsatisfied refers to things that make participants become dissatisfied such as the parking, toilets, queues, etc. Therefore, one should fully pay attention to both judgments by doing some research. In the research, participants' perception is uttermost and should be fully paid attention to. Those factors that cause satisfaction should be well-identified and advocated, and conversely, those that cause dissatisfaction are supposed to be reduced and improved.
Feedback has played a vital role in event organization and management. As a matter of fact, feedback is collected and assists the company or organization to accumulate experience for prospective events. Feedback should be thoroughly handled. There are several options to collect feedback from visitors, guests, and participants at the events such as the completion of forms, personal interviews, small focus groups, etc.
Evaluation is the most important and time-consuming part of event management, but if it's done well and on time, it can give you bigger achievements and better results. There are many methods to evaluate an event, we'd like to introduce some methods that are the most popular when evaluating the events: content analysis directly related to the specific mandates of the beneficiary; observation, conducted by an external auditor; conducting a survey on employees, promoters or partners. The methodology is different for each type of event and each kind of client. Although all methodologies should lead to actionable results or recommendations for improvement. The most important thing is to find the right methodology for your event. If you don't have a lot of time, start with observation and content analysis. You can also choose to conduct interviews, but this method doesn't give you immediate results.