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How to Evaluate An Event?

Jun 24, 2016

Everyone accepts the the necessity of evaluating an event after it was completed but how to evaluate an event is a big question for many event organisers. Everybody agrees that, after the implementation of an event, the final evaluation should be taken into consideration and carried out thoroughly. Besides, the evaluation should include all of the necessary and various sources of information. Not only does the evaluation concern participants' perception but event organizers' perception should be included in the evaluation as well.

The purpose of evaluation

The purpose of evaluation is to have a general look and examine how the event went together with what should be done for better future events.

Improvements should be made in accordance with those three different scenarios as follows;

How to evaluate an event scenarios Those improvements need to be done appropriately, even though it can be void of necessary sources of information by any means such as in a form of questionnaires, in the form of electronic surveys etc. Collecting those sources of information is very constructive for the evaluation.

Understanding the significance of evaluation

Evaluation is usually neglected after the event. However, evaluation gives the firm or organization various perspectives gained from the event organization and management. For example, from the evaluation session, the firm can learn from their experience and gain deeper understanding of operational success, etc.

Normally, the evaluation process is guided by the event's goals and objectives but some writers also point out various approaches to event evaluation such as "effectiveness", "goal attainment", "systems resource approach", "competing values" etc. Moreover, in the evaluation process, both clients and stakeholders in events insist a report on how their resources have been used and to which extent objectives have been accomplished.

Some others also places 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. For example, regarding the political impact, event promotes the city, the country, the people, the cultures etc. where the event has taken place. Moreover, the social impact can be seen through the enhancement of community spirit and the outcome of social benefits as well.

Collecting information

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 invalid and worthless.

Evaluation process, in general, has placed an emphasis on two prime issues:

  1. Did the event meet its objective? and
  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 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 which can boost up the satisfaction and reduce the 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 on the table.

Quantitative data Qualitative data
Attendee statistics, including market segmentation data Attendee perceptions
Sales figures Financial reports and accounts Interviews with attendees and staff
Economic impact analysis Management notes and commentary
Environmental impact analysis Social impact analysis Environmental impact analysis
Social impact analysis

Visitors' impressions

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 judgments: satisfiers and dissatisfiers.

Satisfiers and dissatisfier

Satisfiers refer to things that satisfy visitors such as the ambience, excitement, social involvement, relaxation etc. On the contrary, dissatisfiers refer to things that make visitors 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, visitors' 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

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 the prospective events. Feedback should be thoroughly handled. There are several options to collect feedback from visitors, guests, participants at the events such as the completion of forms, personal interviews, small focus group etc.


About the Author

Erkan OGULGANMIS

Posted by Erkan OGULGANMIS

Erkan OGULGANMIS Graduated from Army War College, completed MA degree in Ankara University on Global & Regional Studies, studies law in Istanbul University. Works in MEETINGHAND Online Solutions Co. as Business Development & Sales Manager.