Event evaluation types and techniques

Which ever type of event evaluation you choose, it is advisable to gain both quantitative and qualitative feedback.

This can include:

  • the economic impact of the event
  • media publicity and advertising
  • the tourism impact and
  • visitor appreciation and enjoyment.

For example:

  • How did you hear about the event?
  • Where do you live?
  • How would you rate your enjoyment of the event?

Survey-based evaluations

Surveys are a useful tool to gain feedback that accurately reflects people’s opinions. There are three types of surveys that you can use to gather feedback from your event: self-evaluation, direct-evaluation and organisational evaluation.

  • Self-evaluation surveys are made available for people who attend the event to record their comments and return the form. The drawback is they attract a certain type of person, so they may not accurately reflect the event’s audience as a whole.
  • Direct-evaluation surveys with a random audience surveyed. These surveys are usually longer than self-evaluations and will provide more statistics. The results are also more likely to reflect the perceptions of the event’s audience.
  • Organisational evaluation surveys are conducted with people involved in the staging of the event.

Media coverage, advertising and publicity evaluation

Media and advertising coverage should be evaluated to measure the impact on visitor trends. Elements you should include in media and advertising evaluation range from media releases, articles, interviews, photo-shoots and advertisements from the various news formats.

  • Did your media releases spark interest?
  • Were they printed or aired?
  • How many articles were printed in the lead-up to the event, during the event and after the event?

Vox-pop evaluation

A vox pop is an opinion in response to a specific question enabling you to gain a quick response relatively easily. Vox pops are recorded either as audio or vision and can be used for the event in promotional activities, such as on a website.

If you are considering using vox pops, plan ahead and ask questions that will present well post-event if needed and gain consent to use the material or data post event.

Post event meeting evaluation

This meeting should ideally occur no later than two weeks after the event. All people involved including the public, traders, exhibitors, performers, sponsors and those involved in the planning, implementation and organisation of the event, should be encouraged to attend.

The aim of the meeting is to collect the views of participants.

Start by asking for comment on what people liked and didn’t like about the event. All opinions and comments should be recorded for the evaluation.

The blanket approach

It is often beneficial to combine two or more types of evaluation rather than relying on one. People are your best information source and a survey appropriate to your event will give you various indications and results.

Sample size

Your sample audience must be large enough to provide reasonable confidence that it is representative of the entire audience. The more surveys you conduct, the greater your chance in gaining accurate information. The number of surveys conducted is determined by the size and diversity of your event.

Gathering information

Open space events such as festivals, parades, street parties or markets are the easiest to survey with respondents having time to answer questions without getting in the way of their enjoyment of the event or participation.

For music performances, surveys should be conducted outside the venue, as people prefer not to be disturbed when listening to a performance. Similarly, surveys to be conducted at events that are ticketed or seated can only be completed at the start, intermission or end of the event.

After you have considered your event and how to best obtain survey opinions, also consider the time it will take to conduct the survey. For example: If your survey takes five minutes and the average guest is only available for fifteen minutes before or after the event, there are one-thousand guests and you have two interviewers conducting surveys, you will get a maximum of twelve surveys completed - not a sufficient result to provide a true representation of the audience.

Survey sample size

As a guide, a minimum 150 surveys should be completed for an event. For larger scale events, this size should be increased to provide a suitable sample of the expected audience.

We encourage all events held in the Geelong region to complete at least 150 surveys.

Page last updated: Friday, 13 October 2023