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5 tips to collecting customer feedback at B2B events

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So you have wrapped up your event and come back with a long list of contacts. Your customers have even taken the time to fill out your post-event survey with your slick new meeting management interface. But how do you know if your questionnaire is giving you something to work on? In this blog, we look at some ways you can collect action-oriented feedback at events.

Before we dive into collecting the right type of feedback, here are a few things you might have missed:

There is no “bad feedback” – Event professionals will tell you that any feedback is good. Collecting feedback is a sign of a healthy line of communication. So the more surveys, comment cards or form submissions you get, the better it is. Moreover, feedback can be valuable in highlighting where your experience peaked and where it fell short. These pointers can then help you focus on those areas that need work so your next event is a success.

How you collect feedback matters – Collecting feedback at events can be quite a daunting task. Finding customers that are willing to talk about their experience is quite a rarity. But in order to capitalize on those willing to talk about the event experience, it is crucial to ensure that the method in which this is done is not cumbersome.

Feedback is not done exclusively after an event – Event feedback needs to have a place in every stage of the event. Pre-event surveys, for example, can help you find out what resonates with your potential customers. Keeping a tab on what your customers are saying during the event through interactive polls can also prove to be invaluable in understanding what resonates with your attendees. And moreover, this also helps you address their concerns as soon as they arise. And finally, using the right channel to collect feedback after the event can go a long way in creating better events in the future.

Personalization is not dead – Due to their lack of time, attendees view the task of filling up a feedback form as an annoyance. But there are ways to get around this so that your attendees feel like they are contributing to something that may be of their benefit. In simpler terms, incentivizing the feedback process and adding a personal touch can help obtain authentic feedback.

Types of customer feedback at events

There are two ways feedback can be classified. In this section, we show you two ways to classify feedback collection models and explain to you how these classifications play a big role in creating the right model of feedback that best suits the event.

Quantitative vs Qualitative models

The Quantitative feedback model – As the name suggests, quantitative feedback measures each objective against a numerical score. The questions around this model are framed to measure how likely a customer is likely to perform a task. And although these questions are scored between a range (typically between one and five), only the extremes are considered valid responses.

For example, attendees are asked to give the question “How likely are you to recommend this product or service” a score between one and five with five being highly likely and one being not at all likely. While scoring the questionnaire, only the extremes (1 and 5 are taken into consideration)

The Qualitative feedback model – This feedback model, is the exact opposite of the quantitative feedback model. Questions are more open ended and attendees are asked to elaborate on their experiences to get a more detailed understanding of what worked and what did not.

Short-form vs Detailed models

An alternative way to base your feedback model is by choosing between the short form and detailed models of feedback.

Short-form feedback – Also called the instantaneous feedback model, these surveys contain not more than five yes or no questions. There are no scores involved and help researchers get definitive answers. This is the most frequently used model because of how simple and short it is. Moreover, this model can be applied in every stage of the event.

Detailed feedback model – This model, very much like the Qualitative feedback model, uses open ended questions that address issues of a more complex nature. They are based on emotion and feelings and helps gauge how effectively customers have understood the brand value and value proposition.

For example, the questions in this model run along the lines of “What did you find most interesting about our product?” And attendees are asked to answer them in a sentence or two.

Tips to collecting the right feedback

As stated earlier, feedback can flow in from any stage of the event. Let’s take a look at a few ways that can help you collect accurate feedback.

Attendee polls

Attendee polls are usually conducted before the event. These polls help you set the pretext with attendees and help you understand their expectations. Once you’ve collected enough responses, you can consolidate the information and incorporate some of the feedback into the event plan. Attendee polls are usually the short-form, qualitative feedback models that ask attendees questions about priority and preference.

Social media

Attendees use social media to talk about everything. Keeping a tab on social media can be immensely informative. You can measure how effective your event is by monitoring the way it scales online. And creating a short survey poll on Twitter, for example, can help you engage the audience and gauge their interest levels. This will reveal a great deal about what resonates with your customers and what does not. Social walls can also be used as an engaging way to gain important attendee feedback.

QR code

A QR code is a short way to get customers to immerse themselves in the feedback process while staying connected with the brand. Since a majority of customers use smartphones, the QR code makes it easier for them to interact with the brand through their mobile device. Set up a QR code at multiple places around the booth and link it to a short survey.Additionally, this process can be incentivized to maximize engagement. QR code based feedback questionnaires use the short-form, quantitative feedback approach.

Post-event feedback

Once the event concludes, it is important that accurate feedback is collected while the attendee experience is fresh in his/her mind. This is where post-event feedback comes into play. Place tablets at the exit so that they can fill up the survey as they leave your booth. This will not only make it easy to record feedback but will also make it easy to extract this information and channel it to the events team instantly. Post-event feedbacks typically employ a mix of detailed, quantitative, and qualitative models.

Email follow-up

The best time to send out a post-event follow-up email is between 24 to 48 hours of the event concluding. This way, event attendees are fresh from the experience and are able to recollect aspects of the event easily. Email surveys can ask attendees if their expectations were met and if they were satisfied with the overall experience. This can be a mix of detailed qualitative models of feedback.

Related: Everything you need to know about collecting feedback at events

Conclusion

Collecting feedback is an important part to continuously improving the event experience and advancing sales. But obtaining authentic and valid responses is not a simple task. Every form of feedback is a fragment of the bigger picture. And this makes it important for event marketers to create surveys that get them the right information across the different stages of the event in an engaging manner.