Customer Feedback is an important part of event marketing. 

Customer feedback on the value and effectiveness of your trade show or event is the most important information that will determine the success of your trade show and event program.

Events are used for communication and engagement with the goal of gaining desirable behavior from participants. This behavior only occurs if participants are persuaded and motivated to act. To know how well your event marketing program accomplishes these goals requires insight through the eyes of your customer.

Here are three critical success factors for a marketing event:

1) You must attract enough of the right people to participate in your program, i.e. those who can act in a beneficial manner.

2) You must give participants information and an experience that is persuasive and conclusive.

3) You must gain their commitment to act in a manner that benefits your company and accomplishes your goals.

Therefore, the following categories of information are essential for understanding how well your program performs on these critical accomplishments:

  • Who are they (demographics of your visitor base as compared to the event base)?
  • Why did the participants come?
  • What did they learn as a result of visiting your exhibit or event (…if anything, and what was most valuable to their future plans)?
  • What do participants plan to do as a result of their visit (specifically will they take the steps you have specified necessary to achieve results)?

There are several ways to collect this information. There are advantages and disadvantages for each method. In some cases, a mix of research techniques provides the best results.

On-site survey techniques, such as random visitor intercept surveys, allow for participant profiling, immediate feedback on the visitor’s experience and prediction of post event behavior, such as purchase intent. On-site research provides actionable information regarding how well your exhibit is organized, how to arrange and manage customer flow and the effectiveness of your message hierarchy. Visitor tracking within your exhibit or event is also possible through a number of technologies.

Post- event survey techniques can provide validation of customer behavior. Did the visitor receive a follow-up or progress through the next steps of your program? What specifically did they do? What did they buy and from whom? Was their exhibit or event visit a factor in their buying decision, etc? Post-event surveys are also good for testing your event’s impact on brand awareness and retention of specific product marketing messages.

On a grander scale, you can reach out to your entire leads universe quarterly or annually to validate the effectiveness of follow-up by your company and to create a projection of actual purchasing results including an estimated amount of sales. You can perform statistical analysis on your program data to see which factors most influenced customers who bought or identify those who were satisfied or dissatisfied with their experience with your company.

ROI and efficiency measures are important, however making the right changes in future events is much easier when you have good customer feedback. Decide which survey techniques will work best to validate and improve your results in the business development and communication objectives for associated with your program.

Written by Ed Jones for Gateway

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Ed Jones knows what delivers real return on investment - actions on the part of prospects that lead directly to the order. Or, in the case of your employees, behavioral changes that improve business results. He knows how to elicit that behavior and how to measure it. Ed has nearly thirty years experience crafting prospect, customer and employee communications programs that lead to the improvement of the bottom line of businesses. His approach has turned many large corporate communications programs inside out, with dramatic results. Ed is equal parts finance, marketing, sales and creative.