Want to find out what attendees thought of your event? That’s what surveys are for.

The old adage “there are no bad questions” doesn’t apply to surveys. In fact, the data you collect is only as good as the event survey questions you ask. The right questions help you gradually make changes, from little tweaks (like a new caterer) to drastic pivots (like turning your dinner party into a dance party).

The wrong questions turn your event surveys into just another tedious, ineffective task on your to-do list.

Based on SurveyMonkey data from thousands of organizations, here are the top five event survey questions event creators should ask. Benchmark yourself against the average responses to move the needle on your events.

1. Overall, how would you rate the event?

This “cold open” sets the tone for your survey by bluntly asking attendees whether they liked your event. Once you’ve taken the general temperature, you can probe for deeper answers.

Benchmark your performance

Here are the average responses for the typical event:

  • 45% “excellent”
  • 37% “very good”
  • 13% “good”
  • 4% “fair”
  • 1% “poor”

Act on the feedback

If at least 45% of your respondents check “excellent,” you’re average. But if your numbers are less encouraging (or if you want to be better than average) you have work to do. The answers to the rest of the questions will help you get specific feedback.

2. How likely is it that you would recommend the event to a friend?

Extremely likely                                                                                           Extremely unlikely

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

The answer to this question will give you your Net Promoter Score™ (NPS), a common industry measurement of customer satisfaction. This scale breaks your attendees into three camps: detractors (6 or below), passives (7 or 8), and promoters (9 or 10). Promoters are the people who will enthusiastically recommend your event to friends.

Benchmark your performance

Most events have an overall NPS score of 53. That breaks down to:

  • 64% promoters
  • 26% passives
  • 11% detractors

Act on the feedback

Your NPS is a useful way to gauge how your event compares to other events. But it’s even more useful for comparing your event to itself over time. Are you improving? Or flatlining?

Use SurveyMonkey’s free tool to calculate your NPS.

3. Was the event too long, too short or about right?

Sometimes, people really love your event — for the first two hours. Then they get bored, and their enthusiasm wanes. Or they’re just getting into it, and then it’s over. The length of your event can have a major impact on overall satisfaction.

Benchmark your performance

According to SurveyMonkey data:

  • 81% of event survey respondents typically say the event length was about right
  • 8% say it was too short
  • 8% say it was too long

Act on the feedback

If more than 8% of your respondents say the event was too long or too short, that’s a sign you need to reevaluate your programming.

4. How organized was the event?

There are many reasons attendees might view your event as “not so organized” or, yikes, “not at all organized.” Perhaps the box office staff struggled to find their will-call tickets. Or the signage was subpar, making for a confusing experience.

Benchmark your performance

Typically, SurveyMonkey says, attendees report an event was:

  • 37% extremely organized
  • 50% very organized
  • 11% somewhat organized
  • Less than 2% not so organized or not at all organized

Act on the feedback

They didn’t have the optimal time. It’s your job to figure out why.

Skip logic allows you to ask follow-up questions to survey respondents, depending on their answers. For those that respond “not so organized” or “not at all organized,” consider a follow-up question: “Why?”

5. How helpful was the staff?

In many ways, your staff are your event brand. The ways they show up for attendees determine how attendees view your entire event. One negative interaction with a less-than-professional staff member can derail an attendee’s experience, opinion of your event, and willingness to come back.

This goes not just for paid staff but also volunteers, vendors, and entertainment.

Pro tip: Avoid the temptation to lump multiple staff-related questions into one survey question. For instance:

How helpful and friendly was the staff?

It’s entirely possible for staff members to be helpful, yet surly. Or friendly, but no help.

Benchmark your performance

On average, attendees find staff:

  • 57-63% extremely friendly or helpful
  • 31-34% very friendly or helpful
  • Less than 8% give worse ratings

Act on the feedback

If your survey reveals comparatively dismal staff ratings, it’s time to review your hiring and training practices. Check out Event Staffing: How to Build an All-Star Events Team.

Take your event surveys to the next level

For more event benchmarks culled from SurveyMonkey’s research, and to better align your event with the best, download the free ebook The Ultimate Guide to Event Surveys: Inside Tips from SurveyMonkey.