11 Questions You Need to Ask Attendees Before An Event

March 28, 2024

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What’s the most effective way to anticipate the wants and needs of your audience? Ask them directly with pre-event survey questions – and then deliver. Pre-event evaluation questions can cover everything from logistics to topics to keynote speakers. This valuable feedback will help you plan around your crowd and show your attendees that you are organized and responsive. Plus, pre-event surveys are a great way to generate some additional buzz and excitement!

Chances are you are already emailing your attendees in advance to discuss the event, answer their questions, and ensure they have the information they need, so now is the perfect time to introduce your survey.

Event technology partners who specialize in registration and onsite services sometimes have a survey tool built into their platform. Stova’s survey tool enables clients to collect feedback from their audience and report on it directly in registration, eliminating the need for other point solutions.

Here are 11 questions to get your pre-event survey started:

1. How did you hear about the event?

As you promote your event, this question helps you gauge how and where people are learning about it, helping you target your marketing efforts and reach more like-minded people. On the flip side, it can help determine if one of your marketing channels is underperforming.

2. When are you arriving?

Depending on the response here, you may want to consider a shuttle to/from the hotel or airport to make sure transport and welcome registration runs smoothly. You can also ask where attendees are staying and use the answers to help provide more detailed travel info.

3. Which social platform do you prefer?

Depending on your audience, a Twitter hashtag might not be as popular as an Instagram photo contest or a Snapchat story or TikTok Live (depending on your region, too). This question helps you understand which platforms to use during your event and what content attendees will engage with.

4. How do you feel about the location of the event?

The more attendees are excited about the location, the more they’ll be more excited about the event. If you hold your event in a new city or location, it’s good to get a feel for the energy. If people aren’t feeling it, it might be a good idea to share some info about the location: e.g. things to do, places to stay, or restaurants to check out.

5. What are you hoping to get out of the event?

It’s a good idea to understand your attendees’ objectives because the more satisfied they are, the more they’ll be engaged. Keep this question open-ended and let attendees tell you what they want. Depending on how they answer – if their goal is information, networking, team building – you can adjust accordingly.

6. Have you attended this event before?

Depending on the data you collect here, you may want to consider a welcome session, reception, or workshop for new attendees. What about an after party for returning attendees to reconnect?

7. What speakers are you looking forward to most?

As we’ve mentioned before, speakers are one of the essential elements of a successful event, and a major point of interest for your attendees. Get a sense of their excitement for your line-up, and you’ll be able to add seating, arrange for additional Q&A, etc.

8. Is there any event information that you couldn’t find or access easily?

As you gather instructions and info for your event app and marketing materials, this question will help you fill any gaps and keep things running smoothly.

9. Do you have any special needs or disabilities that we can help accommodate?

You want all guests to feel welcome and comfortable. Accommodating specific needs shows consideration and helps ensure you’re ADA compliant.

10. Do you have any food allergies or specific dietary needs?

Food is crucial, no matter the audience. Ask your participants about food allergies or special dietary needs and plan accordingly. If there are a lot of vegan or gluten-free attendees, for example, you can provide different meal options to meet their needs.

11. What’s your favorite Prince song?

This question doesn’t have to be about Prince (although who doesn’t like Prince?). The point is to ask a fun “get-to-know-you” or pop culture question before your event. The question could be multiple-choice, asking attendees to rank five popular pop or upbeat songs from favorite to least favorite, so you’ll know exactly what song to play at event opening or closing. You might also share the most popular result with the audience as an icebreaker.

Before creating your pre-conference survey questions, decide the method of delivery and the question type. Do you prefer to use a ranking, multiple-choice or free-form system? Perhaps a combination is best. Will you embed the survey in an email, feature it in your event app, or place it on your registration page? You can also continue the communication with your audience by using a redirect page after the survey. Above all else, encourage participation by keeping it short!

Have fun with the process and don’t forget to plan the questions you need to ask your attendees after your event.

How Can Stova Help?

Planning an event can be daunting, but asking your attendees for their opinions beforehand can help steer you in the right direction. If you’re using an event registration platform, like Stova’s Core platform, you can use the built in survey tool to ask these questions to engage your attendees before they arrive onsite. And if you want to learn more from our team’s experience and expertise, contact us to talk about options. We’d love to discuss your next event!

Competition for attendee attention is one of the biggest challenges for event organizers. The barriers to entry for content delivery have never been lower, and participants have never asked for more when justifying the decision to leave the comfort of their home offices. This means your event engagement has to start early – ideally, last from event to event. Find out more about Event Momentum – How to Generate it and How to Keep it Going.

Ready to learn more?

Whether your event is virtual, hybrid, or in-person, enhance your attendee’s journey with an event ecosystem built for your audience. Ready to walk through Stova's event technology solutions? Schedule some time with us today.