6 Expert Tips for Conducting a Live Event Audit


You work hard to create great events for your attendees, but how do you really know how compelling their experience was start to finish? Staff feedback focuses on planning and execution, and attendees don't have the time or memory to record all of their thoughts in one survey. A live event audit is the answer!

A live event audit is an evaluation conducted by a dedicated, onsite observer. Audits complement existing feedback mechanisms, like staff debriefs and post-event surveys, by filling a critical gap: an analysis of the entire attendee journey. Live audits provide an extra layer of insight to round out your event evaluation from an attendee perspective.

Expert Tips

To get the most out of your audits, follow these best practices:

Evaluate all elements of the attendee experience. The most valuable audits are comprehensive, and consider every step in the attendee journey:

  • Overall journey and design

  • Pre/post-event communications

  • Transportation and lodging

  • Sessions and entertainment

  • Staff, speakers and personnel

  • Signage/wayfinding

  • Meals and breaks

  • Event app and social media

  • Attendee surveys

  • Competitor analysis

Use third-party experts. External auditors can observe objectively and participate in all event activities. Internal team members may support third-party experts as observers, but be sure to assign them to experiences that they didn’t have a hand in planning to avoid bias.

Participate like an attendee. Review pre-event emails, attend demos, talk to other participants, etc. to be fully immersed in the event. And, dress like an attendee so fellow participants and staff treat you as such, avoiding company polos or staff badges.

Document observations as you go. Note what worked well and what didn’t throughout the experience, and prepare a full audit report soon afterwards to inform future planning. Socialize learnings to the appropriate stakeholders and discuss implications.

Provide top-line daily reports to enable changes on the fly, where possible. You may be able to rearrange furniture, adjust signage or push new announcements in real-time that strengthen the attendee experience.

Observe competitor experiences, if participating as a sponsor or exhibitor at an external event, for insight on competitive messaging and level of investment. Arming yourself with knowledge about competitors’ approaches can give you an edge at future events.

Use your audit learnings to deliver the most impactful event experiences possible. Live event audits are easy to integrate, and will help you improve your events by giving more consideration to the attendee point-of-view.

Posted by Lyndsay Merbach | Request as a Speaker

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