As event managers, we know the conclusion of an event means lots of loose ends to tie up. One of the biggest tasks is to compile and write the post-event report. It’s an important task and will serve you well when it comes to planning and delivering future events.
Here are the 6 key reasons why you need to write a post-event reports:
- To review the success of the event against KPIs and event objectives
- To determine key recommendations for future events
- To avoid making costly mistakes by reviewing what worked and what didn’t
- To develop KPIs and objectives for the following year’s event
- To provide key metrics to measure against the following year
- To inform business cases and sponsorship proposals for future events
Here’s the 10 key areas you need to cover in your post-event report
Download a free copy of our Post-event Report Template here.
1. Post-event report executive summary
An executive summary is exactly that, a summary – keep it under a page. It should be the last thing you write and include:
- Summary of post-event report
- Highlight key achievements
- List key recommendations
In the first few sentences of the report cover the who, what, when, where and why of your event. You may wish to add a brief history of the event if relevant.
Include a list of all key event staff (internal and external) in this section.
List event objects and measure the success of the event against these and any KPIs. If KPIs weren’t achieved, provide a statement on why not and any future recommendations.
In this section, provide a summary of the event spend against the initial budget. Provide information on why variances occurred. Use graphs and tables to display the data and add brief commentary where necessary. Review event pricing structure and add recommendations in the section below.
Attach the final budget to the report as an appendices.
List all key recommendations from the Introduction section.
3. Attendee survey
Use your post-event report to summarise the attendee survey. Attendee surveys are important, they inform decisions for future events and will assist you to write your post-event report.
Summarize each section of the report and outline areas for improvements. It’s helpful to create a file with attendee quotes to use in next year’s marketing and on your website.
List all key recommendations from the Attendee Survey section.
Download your free post-event report template here.
4. Programme and speakers
Use this section to outline everything that went into creating the conference programme. Include information about the call for abstracts process, speakers and the event programme. Below we’ve outline information on each of these.
Call for abstracts
Review your call for abstracts, outline what worked and identify improvements for future events. List all recommendation in the Key Recommendation section.
Review the speakers using the data provided in the attendee survey and add speaker’s scores in a table. Provide a breakdown of the speaker types and review the mix. Outline key recommendations in the Key Recommendation section.
Review the structure of the programme e.g. plenary sessions, keynote speakers, concurrent sessions and social events. Outline anything that worked and improvements for future event. Use feedback from the attendee survey to help measure the success of the programme.
Within this section, review programme outputs e.g. the printed programme, event app or website. Analyze costs associated with producing programme outputs, and review ROI for each. What was the ROI for the output? Identify any improvements for future events.
When reviewing an event app, use the following 5 app measures to assess the success of your event app. If this is the first year you have used an event app, these measures will provide a benchmark for future events:
- Acquisition vs usage
- Cost per user
- User engagement rate
- Live polling response rate
- User experience rating (this is an essential question to add to your post-event survey).
List all key recommendations from the Programme and Speakers section.
5. Location and venue
The location of an event and the venue play a huge part in its success. No doubt, you will receive feedback on the catering from attendees, this should be reviewed in the sections below.
It’s important to review the location of your event. Not only will it help you decide where to hold future events, it may provide insight into attendee numbers. You also need to review other important aspects of the location including:
- Accessibility and ease of travel to the airport
- Hotel options
- Cost of travel
- Venue options in proximity to the event
Choosing a venue is one of the most important decisions for event organisers (and the most expensive). It’s important to conduct a thorough review of the venue. If there are any major issues highlighted, it is also important to provide feedback to the venue. You’ll likely find that attendees will help highlight any issues in the attendee survey.
Venue areas to include are:
- The space and appropriateness for event
- Facilities including event rooms
- AV equipment and support
- Catering – quality, options and service
List all key recommendations from the Location and Venue section.
It’s important to review accommodation options post-event. Attendees rely on you to provide the best possible options for them while they attend your event. Summarise accommodation options and list any recommendations in the section below.
List all key recommendations from the Accommodation section.
7. Marketing, media and promotion
Provide a summary of marketing activities, highlighting successes and failures. Areas to address include:
- Promotional activities and outcomes. Use analytics to support outcomes
- Attendee demographics (where they’re from, their age, job titles). It is important you know your audience and how to target them. Consider displaying this in an infographic
- Social media engagement. Look at growth during the event campaign and engagement at the event
- Media – Summaries event media coverage. Highlight positive outcomes
- Website (include key analytics)
- Review marketing budget and spend
- Include any creative and examples in the appendix of the report
List all key recommendations from the Marketing, Media and Promotion section.
Summaries all sponsorship activities and outcomes. Areas to cover include:
- Overview of sponsors and final numbers
- Full summary of sponsorship packages
- Include a summary of sponsorship revenue
List all key recommendations from the Sponsorship section.
Review staff resourcing for your event and provide recommendations for future events. This will help you prepare budgets for the following year’s event.
List all key recommendations from the Staffing section.
10. Future recommendations
To conclude your post-event report, summarise key recommendations highlighted throughout the report. Include recommendations from staff, sponsors, speakers and attendees.
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