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Setting Up Your Own Attendee Survey

To say things have changed is an understatement. It doesn’t take a big study to see our industry will have lasting impacts from the pandemic. However, surveying your trade show or event attendees will help you understand their perception of health and safety, and how to best design your event to meet the new expectations. We recently fielded a survey of 1330 attendees across multiple shows and found five key segments emerged with variations of comfortability around safety mitigation efforts. A frequent question we have received since releasing the results is ‘how can I get started?’ 

To help, we’ve outlined some key questions and pointers to start the process:

Demographics: Make sure to ask general company and personal demographic questions to get a good read on the respondents. For example, to understand the types of businesses sending attendees to your event, ask company size, type of industry, and type of company (public or non-profit).  To understand more personal demographics, ask questions such as title and job function, age, and gender. 
Health and Safety Considerations:  To understand your audience’s preferences on health and safety-related mitigation when returning to live events, ask questions centered around their comfort with specific interactions.

For example, try these from our recent survey: 

What would you say is the biggest factor that will influence your decision to attend a tradeshow/event in 2020?
a) Safety and health concerns
b) Travel challenges 
c) Government restrictions/regulations 
d) Company budget 
e) Other (please list)
Will the location of the trade show/live event influence your decision to attend? (Y/N) 
How likely are you to attend an event of the following in 2020? In 2021? 
a) Regional/same state 
b) Local/same city 
c) International 
Have you or will you plan to attend a virtual event due to COVID-19? 
a) Yes, I’ve attended a virtual event 
b) Yes, I plan to attend a virtual event 
c) No, I have not attended a virtual event 
d) I’m unsure 
Bonus question: 
a) If yes, did the virtual event meet your needs (Y/N) 
b) If yes, does the virtual event, in your opinion, replace the in-person event? (Y/N) 
Do you anticipate wanting to interact more in-person once restrictions are relaxed or will you be concerned about human contact and spread of germs?
a) Ready to interact F2F 
b) Hesitancy to travel/meet with others 
c) Undecided 
d) Other (Please list)
Please select which of the following safety measures are most important to you? (Rank from 1-5, 1 very important, 5 not important)
a) Health checks at entrances
b) Medical staff/nurses on-site 
c) Contactless service
d) Spacing and crowd management
e) One-way directional traffic in the exhibit hall/ buffer zones between exhibits
f) Continuous hygiene/cleaning and sanitizing
g) Immediate notification if someone if COVID-19 is detected on-site 
h) Different food service set-ups
i) Other (list)
How open are you to following? (Please scale from 1-5, 1 very open, 5 not open)
a) Temperature taking 
b) Mandatory hand washing stations 
c) Mandatory face masks/gloves 
d) Mandatory spacing between people
e) Accepting promotional pieces in paper or business cards 
f) Accepting giveaways   
g) Accepting food from an exhibitor 
h) Pre-packaged grab-and-go food items 
i) Attending a hospitality evening event
j) Limiting # of people in a booth, general session, exhibit halls  
k) Signing a consent form to absolve liabilities of contracting COVID-19 at the event    
l) Appointment setting with exhibitors vs. walking a tradeshow booth 
m) Bio services such as cleaning foam products 
What technology is most important to you when attending a live event?
a) Mobile event app 
b) Wayfinding 
c) Live streaming for remote attendance 
d) Self-service tools 
e) Crowd management technology 
f) Networking technology 
g) Other (open ended text) 
Surveying your attendees to understand new audience expectations will help you plan a safe and engaging event while fostering continued connections with your attendees. It’s the first step towards refocusing on new attendee expectations. Contact your GES representative to learn more about how surveying your attendees can help you gain key insight.