Your meeting went off without any major glitches. But was it truly a triumph?
No matter your role, you always want to make each event more effective than the last. However, determining if an event was a win can mean different things to all parties involved. Most meetings have a wide range of stakeholders, from corporate event planners to speakers to sponsors. This can often make it difficult to get a true reading of an event’s success.
Moreover, it’s easy to overlook or forego evaluating performance and sentiment afterward, given all the other details and stress surrounding event planning.
While each event and the total number of stakeholders vary, at the heart of every meeting — large or small — are three parties:
It’s crucial to get a post-event assessment from all three perspectives. The learnings from these reviews can provide invaluable feedback and guidance for future meetings and events. These takeaways can benefit event planners and venues alike.
Current evaluation methods
Most hotels and hotel brands have formal ways of tracking the satisfaction of their transient guests. Evaluating event planner satisfaction, however, is often more sporadic and informal. Various methods are used, from post-event surveys, to speaking directly with organizers afterward, to even hearsay from convention services staff.
The hotels that organize post-con roundtables with their executive team and planning staff are way ahead of the curve when it comes to truly understanding meeting success, says Kemp Gallineau, CEO of Groups360. These candid conversations allow both hotel staff and the event planner to gauge event satisfaction and exchange suggestions and feedback for future improvement.
True barometer of event success
Even with different insights and the varying points of view that meeting organizers and hotels bring to the table, “The attendee is the ultimate measurement of a successful event,” says Gallineau. “Working together and sharing the workload is also extremely important, but the audience is why the event is held.”
Event participants are everyone’s customers and all goals should be tied to their success, not just those that benefit the meeting owner.
“Everyone must be invested in fulfilling the audience’s goals,” says Gallineau.
Define success ahead of time
Understanding what registrants need even before the event begins is key to assessing event performance. When both the hotel and the event planner are transparent with objectives and focus on attendees’ success BEFORE the event, the result can be freeing to both sides, notes Gallineau.
“This transparency enables alignment of objectives for all parties to have a great meeting,” he says. “This also sets the stage for continuous improvement.”
When answering questions like “How did the event go?” and “Should we do it again?”, look at the goals tied directly to the registrants and how they benefit from the meeting program. Even with sky-high registration or booming product sales, it’s whether or not a participant would return that serves as the final barometer of event success.