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Event Management

Best Pre-event Survey Questions To Ask For A Houseful Event

Yashika Tangri
February 28, 2024
min read
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If planning a successful event, getting into your target audience’s minds should be your primary concern. 

Pre-event survey questions are critical evaluations to help you plan your event flawlessly and get to know what your audience is thinking. You get access to important stakeholder feedback and expectations that would otherwise never be shared.

We have prepared an all-inclusive guide to help you ask the correct questions correctly.

Let’s get started.

A. What are pre-event survey questions?

These are the questions you ask your attendees to gather quality insights about their expectations and preferences for your event. The information can help your team to plan and execute an event that delivers flawlessly. 

Asking pre-event survey questions can help you understand the following areas-

  • Audience expectations
  • Audience preferences
  • Suitable event timings
  • Suitable event location
  • Suitable event channels

B. Why are pre-event survey questions important?

The key idea of pre-event survey questions is to gather feedback long before the event begins. 

Let’s understand how they can help organizers:

1. To understand the audience

The first step towards a successful event is understanding your audience and knowing what they want. And the only foolproof way to find that out is by asking questions. 

For example, you could discern the popularity of a particular celebrity among your audience and invite them to your event so that more people come to your event.

2. To plan better

Your decisions about your current event are important for every event that succeeds it. That is why it’s crucial to ask questions - it can help you plan better events in the future. 

For example, you may find huge audience interest in a particular session. You can arrange that for your next event if it's too late to accommodate.

3. To ensure audiences’ engagement

Audience engagement is beyond just showing up. Pre-event survey questions will help you plan an environment that allows people to participate fully and become actively engaged. 

Asking questions will also let your audience know you are interested in their thoughts, making them feel more valued and engaged with your brand.

4. To give people what they want, need, and expect from your event

Pre-event survey questions will also help you understand audiences’ interests and preferences for the event venue, keynote speakers, and special accommodations like food, allergies, and dietary restrictions. You can act on this information to deliver according to audience expectations.

C. What are the different categories of pre-event survey questions?

There are primarily three categories of pre-event survey questions. Each category of questions has the purpose of generating particular information. 

They are:

1. Qualitative

These are mostly open-ended questions urging participants to provide detailed information on a specific topic. These questions usually provide deep insights. The only catch is - you have to get people motivated to spend time answering them.

2. Quantitative

These questions aim to gather quantifiable information and are number-driven. Common examples include multiple-choice questions or questions where you ask respondents to rate a specific attribute.

3. Binary

These are the simplest questions where you ask the participants to mark off checkboxes to indicate their answers. They don’t generate detailed insights but are useful for gathering basic information, such as demographics.

D. Best practices to make the most out of pre-event survey questions

Here are some best practices to keep in mind to get the most out of your pre-event survey questions:

1. Keep it short and sweet

Most people don’t like to spend a lot of time filling out forms, especially a long, drawn-out survey. So make sure to keep your survey questions simple and concise. Ask relevant, direct, and understandable questions in a simple language. 

This practice will help you get more responses, as answering these questions won’t take much time or energy. We recommend keeping the number of questions under ten. People might lose interest after that.

2. Limit open-ended or qualitative questions

Open-ended questions are the most time-consuming for people to answer. These questions are usually the ones with the lowest response rate. When preparing pre-event survey questions for attendees, balance it by using mostly binary and quantitative questions with a small number of open-ended or qualitative questions.

3. Make it fun and exciting

Audiences don’t like filling out a dull and dry survey, so ensure your pre-event survey questions are interactive and engaging. Give the respondents something to remember or learn about your brand using different types of content. For example, you can utilize infographics for statistics to keep the survey engaging. You can also include various content, such as videos, images, sliders, and matrix questions.

4. Personalize

Targeting specific audience segments can help you prepare relevant content and questions. It will also make the respondents more likely to respond and help you streamline the data that you collect. Tailoring the questions to your audience and their needs can make people more likely to engage.  

5. Utilize research and data

Utilizing research and statistics related to your topic in your survey will allow your respondents to learn something new and make the process entertaining. This will help ensure respondents don’t quit midway and finish answering all the questions.

6. Incentivize responses

People are more likely to respond if they get incentives to answer questions. For example, offering incentives such as raffle entry and discounts could make more people eager to respond and complete the survey.

7. Send reminder emails

Pre-event survey questions are not as important to the attendees as they are to you. They tend to put it aside and forget about them easily. The best way to remind them is to send emails at different points until they have completed the survey. You can include a direct link to your survey or event platform in these emails to make it convenient and accessible.

8. Make sure it’s easily accessible

If you want a maximum number of people to answer your pre-event survey questions, make sure it’s accessible on all devices. People want convenience, and if they don’t find it, there is a chance they will abandon the survey altogether. Easy accessibility and availability can also improve your brand image and make the survey quick.

E. Pre-event survey questions to ask attendees

Pre-event survey questions can be sent as far in advance as needed. Sometimes it may also depend on the type of event, your needs, and how soon you’d like to receive feedback. 

For example, you may share the survey months in advance for large corporate events. While for smaller or non-corporate events, you may share the survey only a few weeks prior.

Here are some important pre-event survey questions to ask:

1. How did you hear about this event?

Answers to this question will give you insight into which marketing channels are the most effective. You will also identify underperforming channels and devise ways to change and improve your marketing efforts.

Best for

  • Trade shows
  • Public events
  • Other events with marketing efforts in different channels

Question format:

  • Multiple-choice questions with four to five options. Include all your marketing channels along with word-of-mouth

2. Why did you choose this event?

This is a very important question to understand the motivation of the respondents to attend the event. You will get an idea of any unique attraction that you might have or any other hidden factors that drive their motivation.

Best for:

  • Large events such as annual trade shows and conferences

Question format:

  • Multiple-choice questions with an optional field. Adding an optional comment field allows people to write any other reasons they would like to add
  • Include speakers, classes, sponsors, location, and others

3. What do you expect from the event?

Participant expectations can majorly impact their engagement and satisfaction levels. Asking this question will ensure that their expectations are fully understood. These expectations might differ based on the event type, but there can usually be some typical demands.

Best for:

  • Formal events like workshops, conferences, and trade shows

Question format:

  • Multiple-choice questions with an optional field
  • You can also ask to rank some factors and include options such as networking, having fun, quality content, hands-on learning, etc.

4. Have you attended this event before?

This question will help you determine your regulars or people who attend every event. You could identify loyal attendees, proving that you are doing something right for the target demographic. 

Also, the more loyal and repeat attendees you have, the more appealing your event looks to sponsors and stakeholders

Best for:

  • Corporate as well as non-corporate event that occurs periodically

Question format:

  • Binary yes/no question
  • Include as an option question in a post-registration survey or on registration forms

5. Do you have any special needs/restrictions we should know?

This question will ensure that you provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for maximum people. Make sure to cover as many aspects as possible, including mobility, hearing/sight aid, etc.

Best for

  • Corporate, industry, and public events

Question format:

  • Binary yes/no question and a comment box to elaborate if necessary
  • Include it during event registration so every attendee gets to answer it. The sooner you get this information, the more time you will have to make better arrangements

6. Do you have any dietary restrictions?

This question is important if you plan to serve food in your event. Many people can have insensitivities around food, including allergies or cultural food restrictions, which can lead them to avoid certain foods.  

Make sure to display essential food information in the event (eg. halal food, kosher) to respect everyone's food choices and habits.

Best for:

  • Any event where you serve food to attendees

Question format:

  • Multiple-choice questions with a comment box
  • Include this as a part of the registration process

7. Do you plan to attend the entire event?

This pre-event survey question will help you identify your event's most valuable information or content. In the future, you can use this information to create more content around what people value the most.

Best for

  • Large corporate events

Question format:

  • Binary yes/no question with a comment box
  • Include during the registration process

8. Is any event information difficult to find or understand?

Asking this question will help you understand if you need to improve your content regarding event promotion. The information on your website should be clear, concise, and easy to find, which will help to analyze that.

Best for:

  • Any event, especially new events or any event that has gone through a substantial change since the last one

Question format:

  • Binary yes/no question with a comment box
  • Include at the end of the registration process, such as the post-registration confirmation page

9. Do you plan to stay at any preferred hotels?

This is a useful question if you have any partnering plans with hotels. It can also serve as a reminder to attendees that they can choose a partner hotel. If there are any perks available, display the information prominently.

Best for

  • National or international shows or events

Question format:

  • Binary yes/no question
  • Include in registration

10. Are there any preferred dates/times/locations in your mind?

If you struggle to pick a time and place for everyone, this question will help determine if your planning paid off. If it didn't, you can use this information to determine a better time or location next time.

Best for:

  • All types of event

Question format:

  • Multiple-choice questions with a comment box

F. Ask the right pre-event survey questions with the Ticket Generator

Asking the right pre-event survey questions is as essential as any other aspect of event planning. This can give you many insights and a peep into deeper unknown things. So, ensure you use the right tool to make the process of answering smooth and convenient.

Ticket Generator is an all-in-one event management platform that helps you with ticketing, registration, and survey needs. Customize your registration to your liking and add your questions to get the most out of your event planning.

Get started now to unlock more amazing features!

Author's Image

Yashika Tangri

Yashika Tangri is an amazing marketing manager who operates from Trycon Technology's Noida office. Her name signifies success and fame, and she has certainly lived up to these expectations.

At work, Yashika is a highly efficient digital marketing organizer and a source of inspiration to her colleagues with her positive demeanor and professional work ethics. Despite being a lifelong student of science, Yashika decided to pursue a career in marketing in 2018.

After work hours, Yashika enjoys creating new playlists on Spotify, and she is an avid reader who finds solace in escaping reality through the pages of mythology books.