Guest Column - July 2020
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Wrapping Things Up
>> Post-Event Evaluation Critical for Long-Term Success

By Ellie Ziegler & Peter Titlebaum, Ed.D.

Understanding the Data

All event surveys could analyze data collected about the performance in the following categories (if appropriate):

>> Connections to local companies.

>> Local company contributions (in terms of recommending and facilitating sponsorship).

>> Securing local funding (county or city) or state grants.

>> Venue recommendations and site visits.

>> Supporting local ticket sales.

>> Advertising strategies (street pole banners, bus stop signage, etc.).

>> Results of media relations.

>> Providing lodging and amenities for event staff.

>> Secure venues for ancillary events.

>> List of restaurants, attractions and itineraries.

>> Letters and speakers from local dignitaries and organizations.

>> Ability to provide social media promotion for the event.

The benefit event holders can gain from post-event evaluation is ensuring that their clients are aware of all of the services that they have to offer. Not all clients may be aware of the services offered and could appreciate having certain pre-event and event-day responsibilities taken care of for them.

Event companies have a network of contacts or board members who can provide a variety of services. If they are able to put their clients' minds at ease and take charge of executing certain aspects of their event, whether it is during the actual event or leading up to it, this will help increase event retention and overall client satisfaction.

A variety of services that event companies provide that may go unnoticed by event owners include:

>> Volunteer programs.

>> Social media strategies.

>> Public relations (curation of media relations).

>> VIP programs.

>> Concierge programs (information booths).

>> Organization of press releases or press conferences.

>> Conducting economic impact studies.

>> Relationships/connections with local vendors.

Know What You Have to Offer

Event owners have a variety of factors to evaluate when considering whether or not they would like to bring an event to a specific city. Event owners must carefully analyze a variety of other amenities and unique qualities that cities have to offer.

Event managers need to consider the following amenities when choosing the perfect city to host their event:

>> Accessibility to various forms of transportation, including local travel and air travel, from the main venue.

>> Proximity of restaurants to the main venue.

>> Proximity of tourist attractions and sight-seeing opportunities to the main venue.

>> Proximity of the main venue to other venues for ancillary events.

>> Proximity of the headquarters hotel or lodging to the main venue.

Post-event evaluation can benefit event owners in a variety of ways. It is shortsighted for event owners to move on to their next event without the insight they can gain from analyzing the event they just executed. The value of the information is having the power to make better decisions down the road. It can help you keep events coming back, but more importantly, can help improve your events in the future. Take the time to gain feedback and it will help make your events even better down the road. RM

Ellie Ziegler is a recent graduate from the University of Dayton with a bachelor's degree in Sport Management accompanied by a minor in business administration. She has an interest in pursuing a career within marketing. Peter Titlebaum, Ed.D, is a professor at the University of Dayton. His areas of expertise include marketing, sales, fundraising, activation, return on investment and return of objective strategies. He is a frequent speaker with more than 200 presentations and 150 publications to his credit.